Maweni - Supporting mothers and children in Kenya
Maweni e.V. from Frankfurt am Main would like to improve the health of HIV-infected mothers and children in Kenya.
We support the DREAM program for HIV-infected pregnant women in the health centers of Tunyai, Nchiru, Chiakariga and Chaaria in Kenya. Through this program, the transmission of HIV from the pregnant women to the children can be prevented. The mothers are given lifelong treatment and can see their healthy children growing up. In Nchiru we also help infected children in the attached children's village. Our goal is to sustainably improve medical care in Kenya.
What idea inspired Maweni?
Anita Mwabasi, chairwoman of Maweni, tells us the story:
"As a little girl, I saw on ARD or ZDF - I do not remember exactly which one - but there were not more channels, a short display with children from Africa who had big bellies, who were starving. It was switched to another channel, because my mother said: “It’s too far away, in a completely different world”. My mother's words are still ringing in my head today: "You can not do anything there."
I could never accept that statement. I lived my life for a long time, always remembering that maybe I could do something. Then I fell ill with breast cancer. When I heard the diagnosis, I was hardly afraid. I said to myself, "You will not die from it. Go through the treatment and see what you can do afterwards in Africa." The continent became Kenya. Together with a partner association, I realized my vision. I built a children's home in Africa.
The opening ceremony was very moving. But only for a very short time. After cutting the ribbon, the children still smiled, but I saw an incredible sadness in their eyes. They had a bed, a good life. But no mother. Then, together with my club members, I ventured a new path.
Since then, we've been working to get HIV-infected pregnant women to undergo mother-to-child therapy. This type of support means that the mother receives a drug that makes her survive very well, and 99% of the children are born without HIV. Whenever I visit the mothers and their children, my heart and mind fill with the words of that mission. I know, my vision has saved my life a little bit. "If you really want to achieve something, you can do it" , that's what I could say then."
In 2018 Maweni was among the winners of the Google.org Impact Challenge in the category for local projects. Many thanks to all our supporters in the competition. With the prize money of 20000 € we realized the following: In order to achieve a stable power supply in the health center of Chiakariga with about 200 HIV patients, we installed a photovoltaic system there. Computers now facilitate the collection of patient and laboratory data there. The possibilities offered by the new computers and stable internet access allow telemedicine to be realized and the HIV center Chiakariga is networked with other HIV centers. Technical exchange is realized and the Center can participate in e-learning training sessions. This benefits both the center's patients and those of other centers.