Lydia and the Dispensary

May 25th, 2015 | By | Category: Newsletters, Updates
1Lydia with daughters

Lydia and her daughters relax for a moment in front of their house. The walls have been finished with mud and cow dung.

I’d like to introduce you to Lydia Mushi. She lives in Okaseni Village and is a single mother with two daughters.

Lydia was one of our first microcredit ladies and a star of the program. She borrowed about $80.00 and used it to start a small business selling produce. She was clever about her business, and instead of selling only one product (for example, bananas), she sold three: lentils, corn and beans. She thus ensured a year-round income for herself and her kids. Her business was going well and her hard work was paying off. She owed only $1.00 US on her loan when she was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.

Lydia had to drop out of the microcredit program, and life became even more difficult for her. Tanzania tries to provide universal health care but has limited resources. She was able to get anti-viral drugs but had to go to a hospital in Moshi, the nearest large town, to pick them up. This long trek to get medications was onerous as you can imagine for someone in her condition.

Melki, the village chairperson, stands in a hallway of the refurbished dispensary. The walls, floor, and windows have considerably upgraded.

Melki, the village chairperson, stands in a hallway of the refurbished dispensary. The walls, floor, and windows have considerably upgraded.

The dispensary that we are funding in Okaseni will be an enormous blessing for Lydia. The renovations to the building are going well (although slowly since it has been a huge undertaking for such a small organization as ours). But we are so pleased with the fabulous work being done on it. New walls, floors, and window fittings have been put in, and the outside walls have been finished with stucco and then painted. Currently, the window panes and electricity are being installed.

The outhouse is state-of-the-art for Okaseni. The privacy and cleanliness of the facility are far beyond what most villagers have.

The outhouse is state-of-the-art for Okaseni. The privacy and cleanliness of the facility are far beyond what most villagers have.

The villagers wanted to have a latrine for the patients coming to the dispensary, so a septic pit and a separate out-building for the toilet itself were built. This is a huge step-up in hygiene because most houses in the village have only pit toilets with old sacks or large pieces of plastic as “walls”. This new latrine is probably the only one of its kind in the village. Not only will it improve sanitation, it will also afford the patients privacy and dignity. We were very pleased that the villagers proposed this initiative.

The septic pit has been installed near the out-building and will also help improve hygiene and sanitation in the village.

The septic pit has been installed near the out-building and will also help improve hygiene and sanitation in the village.

Once the dispensary is finished, Lydia will be able to get her medications much more easily. The time and energy she saves with the dispensary nearby she can put to good use doing what work she can to support herself and her girls. Her life will be a little less difficult and her life expectancy will improve. We are so happy to be funding the dispensary as it will help to improve – and maybe even save – Lydia’s life.

If you would like to help Lydia and other villagers get the health care they need to improve their lives, please donate through our website. One hundred percent of the money you donate now will go to help get the dispensary up and running. Lydia thanks you. The village thanks you. We thank you. Asante sana!

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