Kezias was angry and hopeless. He stated he knew he would either die from AIDS or shame. He and his 4-year-old brother, Cipo, were the two children with HIV of six born to his HIV positive mother. Now their parents are both dead, and he was living in 2-room cement house in Chawama compound with his 21-year-old sister, Doreen. The family is composed of 6 siblings Doreen, Kezias, Richard, the twins Daniel and Dansilo, and Cipo, plus Grace, Doreen’s half-sister and daughter, Precious, also lived in the home. Richard was staying with an uncle because there is no space in their 200 square foot two room house. Kezias was sleeping on a love seat, and the other family shared two double beds in the second room. The home had no running water or toilet facilities. Life was a struggle. There was a shortage of everything, but especially a future with promise. Kezias would like to be a working and going to school, but was struggling with finding an appropriate school situation while contributing to the family. Kezias has come a long way; Charlie Johnson taught him how to live with a future and without shame, and how to be adherent with his ART so that now his HIV is under control. Life is still harsh; never knowing from month to month if there will be enough money for food, transport, school fees, clothes, and other emergent needs.
Living Hope Clinical Foundation is investing in Kezias and his family by supporting private school tuition for Cipo, lunches and school supplies, providing school fees for the other children, and supplementing Doreen in her income generating business in retail clothing. Cipo is also and ART and thriving in his health and school work. Funds from Living Hope moved Kezias and his family into more suitable housing with running water, toilet and shower that provided room for Richard to join the family as well. Grace and her family remain in Chawama. Kezias has recently found employment, and hopes to return to school in the evening.