While the team was here last week we were privileged to meet a group of extraordinary women who rallied their strength together to start a joint farm. Gimbo and her sister Sophie started their journey with ROWAN when they found out they were HIV positive. They became depressed, hopeless and burdened by the stigma they were facing. They believed they would die soon, which didn’t leave much will to live. So instead they sat idle awaiting their death. Then they met Juliette. Juliette is a ROWAN zone leader. Juliette became a zone leader when she found out she was HIV positive.
She said “ROWAN helped me feel bold to share openly about the disease.”
Now she is helping her community do the same thing. Through Juliette’s counseling and educational teaching, Gimbo and Sophie have hope about their status. They now know they can manage their illness and live a very full life. Juliette, Gimbo and Sophie are part of our farming program and learned the necessary skills to start their own, large scale, banana farm! They are now able to sustain themselves by selling their harvests commercially. This work takes incredible strength and these women joined together, despite challenges and made it happen. We are so incredibly inspired by their story.