Today I met Auntie Becky. No I do not have some distant relative in Cameroon. The people of Cameroon have a lot of respect for others. You address your elders as Auntie or Uncle. Everybody called Genesis, Pastor and Marceline, Madam (we just call them by their own names though). Jeff refers to me as Auntie Heather but I told him just Heather is fine.
Anyway back to Auntie Becky, she is an amazing lady and one I will be having a lot to do with in the future. Auntie Becky retired from Government work a few years ago. She trained with a home help team and now works with HIV/AIDS. She works in the surrounding area helping about 60 orphans and widows. About 40 of these through HIV/AIDS. She helps the people who are too poor to help themselves. She visits these people in their houses. She told me about one grandmother who lives in on of the villages. Both her children have died of AIDS and she is left caring for 18 grandchildren by herself. She has little income and depends on the help Auntie Becky gives for the family to survive.
HINT is joining forces with Auntie Becky to help care for these people. I will be working with her visiting these people. Advising them how to keep healthy, speaking to other people in the villages about HIV and how to protect themselves.
Auntie Becky used to do this work with the help of the Government. There was an small local organisation who were government funded. However the treasurer was always away and it was impossible for them to access the funds. This appears a common problem in Cameroon and most of Africa I guess. There are funds there but they do not get to the correct people. So Auntie Becky and her team decided to go it alone. They depend on donations which is why they are teaming up with HINT. As it is a functioning NGO with a desire to work in the field of HIV/AIDS.
I look forward to working with Auntie Becky more and visiting the people that she helps. It will be a real help having a local person who speaks Pidgen to be with me when talking to people in the villages. I say I am trying to learn but not getting very far!