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Hope for Aids, Alafia Clinic

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About Hope for Aids

The HOPE for AIDS, Alafia Clinic is a mission based clinic in Benin, West Africa.  HOPE for AIDS, Alafia Clinic reaches out to orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV/AIDS in Benin, West Africa. Alafia’s goal is to provide holistic care and to share God’s love with people living with HIV.

Alafia works together with the community, to assist widows and grandmothers to be self-supporting, to be actively involved with the community, and to increase their learning opportunities. One of their priorities is to assist orphans and vulnerable children to be secure, well educated, healthy, and valued.

 

How Alafia helps orphans and vulnerable children:

• Providing medical care including Antiretroviral Therapy (ART)

• Treating opportunistic infections (infections caused by a weakened immune system)

• Teaching and sensitization about HIV/AIDS

• Sharing the Gospel

• Assisting grandmothers and vulnerable women with income generating activities

• Providing nutritional support including rice, oil, sardines, and milk

• Giving basic hygienic supplies

• Supplying school material and school fees for children with the most need

• Organizing fun days for children! “Journee des Enfants”

Who is Alafia?

Alafia- meaning “peace” or “good health”

The HOPE for AIDS, Alafia Clinic, was begun by a missionary nurse from Holland, a Beninese nurse, and a local evangelist, all with a desire to reach out to people living with HIV. This outreach ministry is based at L’Hôpital Évangelique de Bembéréké in northern Benin, and works in partnership with SIM (Serving in Mission) and the UEEB (Union des Eglises Evangéliques du Benin). Some of the hospital staff were troubled by the lack of support and education to combat the growing HIV/AIDS problem in Benin. Bembéréké did not have a clinic for people living with HIV/AIDS, and these patients were in need of more personal attention, counselling, and medical care.

People living with HIV are often among the poorest of the population and are often stigmatized and rejected by their families.

In 2003, through prayer and careful planning, Alafia was begun. This ministry includes an HIV/AIDS clinic at the hospital and follow up care to patients in their homes. Alafia’s medical staff regularly visit patients in the surrounding villages to give medical care, council, and encouragement. Alafia’s goal is to share God’s love and to provide holistic care for people living with HIV.

The Beninese Government designated the Alafia Clinic as an official site for providing the antiretroviral medications (ARVs), which are a combination of medications used to slow the progression of HIV.  Because life expectancy is extended, nurses are needed to provide care and restoration for these patients. The clinic provides basic medications for the frequent infections caused by a weakened immune system, as well as medications to fight parasites and provide pain control, free of charge.

Many hard working widows and grandmothers are caring for orphaned family members but do not have the means for adequate housing and nutrition. Due to poverty, and a culture where the woman is dependent on the support of her husband, widows often find themselves in a difficult situation when they are left to care for their families alone.

Alafia works together with the community, to assist widows and grandmothers to be self-supporting, to be actively involved with the community, and to increase their learning opportunities.  One of their priorities is to assist orphans and vulnerable children to be secure, well educated, healthy, and valued.

When a child is orphaned, they are usually placed with a relative and have little or no follow up or external support.  Understandably, these relatives often don’t know the care needed for a child living with HIV. Orphans are often not sent to school because of lack of funds.

Alafia provides medical care, council, and follow up with children and caregivers, which improves adherence to ARVs and the child’s quality of life. Teaching children about HIV/AIDS from an early age makes a difference in preventing the spread of the virus, decreasing stigma and discrimination, and living positively with HIV.

Widows and orphans are provided with monthly staples of rice, oil, sardines, and milk. Basic hygienic supplies are given to encourage good skin care resulting in fewer infections. School fees and materials are given to the children with the greatest need. Once a year, a “Journée des Enfants”, is held for the children. This day is filled with games, songs, Bible stories, and good food, finishing off with a gift bag for each child.

Crossroads Baptist Church is a part of this ministry! We are having an event for cyclists to ride for orphans and vulnerable children living with HIV/AIDS in Benin! If you would like to cycle with us, or pledge to our cyclists, to support children receiving care at the Alafia Clinic, we would love to have you join us on September 27th! All are welcome!!

To donate: https://hopeforaids.org/the-alafia-project/