I am so happy that I am now one of them.
– Mercy Matiki
Mercy Matiki, 13, was covered in painful sores and looked very frail when her family was referred to CCP’s One Community program in April 2017.
Life was difficult in Mercy’s home. Her father had died from AIDS-related complications the year before. He was the sole breadwinner in the family. Their living conditions worsened in their rural village in southern Malawi and food became scarce. The children were forced to drop out of school as their mother, Ida, could not afford uniforms and books.
Her mother’s illness also seemed to be getting worse when the community resource person came to the house. Mercy got her first HIV test – and a positive diagnosis.
Immediately, Mercy was taken to the nearest health facility where she was started on treatment. Within weeks, her sores had disappeared and she regained much of her strength.
“When I told Mercy about her status, she wasn’t very sad,” her mother says. “She was happy to hear that she would not be sick as often as she was in the past and that she could play with her friends. She has a very positive attitude.”
Working with others in the area, the community resource person linked Mercy and her siblings with someone to help them get back to school. Mercy is currently attending a local private school at no cost to her family. One Community is supporting her with school materials such as books and pens as well as a backpack and shoes she can wear to class. She will soon receive a school uniform.
She says it had always been her wish to see the inside of the beautiful school and had admired the boys and girls who were able to attend. “I am so happy that I am now one of them.” She says.
Meanwhile, Mercy’s mother has also joined one of One Community’s Village Savings and Loan Groups where she is saving money to order secondhand clothes to sell, which will help her increase the household income.
“In such a short period of time, our family has been transformed,” she says. “One Community came at a time when I did not know how my children and I would survive. But now I have hope.”