Awareness and Education
March of 2005, we completed a year-long project in our continuing
HIV/AIDS Awareness efforts…
and Chris Bentley and Norma Rushton after speaking to the
village of Mrugua.
is the recipient of a $17,500 State Department grant to help
in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Bura. AIDS is having a devastating
impact in Africa and our Sister City, Bura, is no exception.
We know that the rates of HIV infection are particularly high
in the Taita hills area of Kenya where Bura is located and
that there are a growing number of orphans due to AIDS deaths
in the region. This project will allow for an exchange of
community health and education workers between Bura and Newburyport.
A team of (3) from Newburyport will go to Bura in January
2004 and a team of (5) from Bura will come to Newburyport
in April 2004 (NOTE: Due to visa difficulties,
only 3 were able to come. See an account of a successful candidate in the sidebar to the right.)
the main goals of the Project are to:
and enhance existing efforts to prevent new HIV infections
health clinic capacity for counseling and testing people
community awareness of HIV/AIDS
technical skills training and additional HIV/AIDS education
1 : Newburyport Team goes to Bura
Dr. Glenn Crawford, Laurel Rushton and Norma Rushton
I of the HIV/AIDS Project has been successfully completed.
Laurel Rushton, Glen Crawford and Norma Rushton have recently
returned from 2 weeks in Bura where they provided training
and support to the many HIV/AIDS prevention groups, medical
clinics and schools. They were graciously hosted by Bura residents
Mary Kilei, Crecencia Wakio Machila, and Newton Deche Chilango.
in Bura they also distributed money from a recent GN/BA fundraiser
to the following HIV/AIDS service groups
Catholic Youth Group
HIV/AIDS Drama Group
Voluntary Counselling and Testing center in Voi
II: The Team from Kenya Arrives
three HIV/AIDS workers arrived in Newburyport from Bura. They
Lady Mwamburi Mshote, Mary Kilei, both nurses, and Fulgence
Mwarongo Mnyika, founder of Hope Against AIDS which has a mission “to curb HIV/AIDS spread by teaching
Kenyans on HIV/AIDS scourge through theater and presentations."
accompanied by Laurel and often Norma and Glenn, had a busy
schedule during their three-week visit. They visited testing
facilities including Anna Jacques Hospital, Holy Family Hospital,
counselling and Testing center in Beverly, Strongest Link
case management program, and a nutrition seminar.
visited several area schools, including
High School and Middle school
High School, Juniors and Sophmores
Middle school 8th grade
Hear firsthand how difficult it can be
to get a visa to the U.S, in the words of Mrs. Lady Mwamburi
learned counseling techniques, as well as medical treatment,
and the many ways which HIV is spread.
they participated in other activities:
worship in Christian Churches
to Boston to see the Boston marathon whereby Kenyans won
White Mountains in New Hampshire (saw snow on ski mountain)
for GNBA HIV/AIDS Project-through an Evening of African
Food and Dance- Raised $1400.00
monthly meeting of GNBA
GNBA funding committee meeting
also participated in book packing at our warehouse for the Books for Kenya project, and loading
of medical supplies at IMEC.
III: The Evaluation Team in Bura
and Norma dance with members of a group that has formed to
take AIDS orphans into their homes.
of 2005, Norma Rushton returned to Bura, with GNBA Secretary
Chris Bentley, and Steve Bentley, photographer and website
designer for our group.The purpose was to evaluate the progress
the area has experienced as a result of our educational efforts.
have been encouraging!
free condom dispensers in many public locations, such as dispensary
walls and outside bars. Many people we spoke with were aware
to use gloves in handling patients with aids, and many were
aware how the disease was transmitted, and knew how to recognize
symptoms, and that it is important to get tested. Testing
has gone up dramatically, with counselling available at some
loacations to those who test positive.
were still posters in many public locations, and materials
available in dispensaries.
persist, however, as we found in discussions. Clinics are
often far away, and medicine is often unavailable.Some obstacles
are that behavior is not changing, and the Catholic Church
and it's Youth Groups recognize abstinance as the only prevention.
Drugs, alcohol and poverty can supplant concerns about HIV.
Husbands often need to work in Mombassa or Nairobi, leaving
their wives for long periods of time.
still don't know how to use condoms properly, and it was suggested
that training men and women separately might help.