World AIDS Day 2014
It is estimated that 34 million people worldwide are living with HIV.
Along with tuberculosis and malaria, AIDS is one of the biggest killers in developing countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. World AIDS day, held on the 1st December each year, is an opportunity to acknowledge this, and to do something about it.
In Malawi, which has one of the highest poverty levels in Africa, a disease such as AIDS can have a devastating impact on families. 80% of the population in Malawi depend on agriculture to feed their families and earn an income and if a family member falls ill, and is unable to work, this can push them further into poverty and hunger.
This is a situation many of the families we work with could face, which is why we help them to put food on the table so they can improve their diet and nutrition, and stay healthy enough to work so they can earn an income and provide for their children. We do this by providing communities with training in simple agricultural techniques which helps increase the amount and variety of food they grow.
We talked to Nellie who shared the impact working with Find Your Feet has had on her life, and her community.
Nellie, pictured above, lives with her husband and three sons in a remote village in northern Malawi. In the past, she struggled to grow enough food, and during one of these difficult years, Nellie also tested positive for HIV.
"Before Find Your Feet came to our village my land was a desert. We had no trees and no food. I used to have to beg to survive."
We invested in Nellie by teaching her agricultural techniques such as compost making. Now, she has enough food to feed her three sons, has sold enough produce to buy a tin roof for her home. We also showed Nellie how to grow and prepare nutritious foods, such as spinach, so that she can stay healthy.
"I used to grow only 3 or 4 bags of maize, now I make my own manure and I can grow 50 bags of maize. I now have lots of food all year round, I can get money for emergencies and as you can see I am well dressed now."
But we didn't stop there. We provided Nellie with a bicycle and the skills she needs to share her new farming techniques with 21 other farmers and their families. Now she cycles around her community visiting other people who are HIV positive, showing them how to prepare foods that will help to protect their immune systems.
This means your support doesn't just help a family like Nellie's to grow enough nutritious food to stay healthy and happy, but you can also help her to spread the word so other vulnerable families in her community can benefit too!
Find out more about World AIDS Day.
Hear more about what we do and meet the families we work with.