A Day in the Life

Meet Zama.  For those of you who have had the privilege of visiting Seed of Hope, then you know her personally.  She is our HIV counselor, support group facilitator, and counselor for anything else that may cross our doorsteps!  She loves to laugh and is an awesome asset to our health team!  For the last two weeks…our coworkers, Jabu and Buli (also integral parts to our health team) have been away at a 2 week training course, so Zama has been holding down the fort – literally!

I will give you a peak at what her life looks like in the health department on any given day.

The day starts with devotions/prayer with all the staff.  There are already people waiting in the hallway to see Zama when she comes out of devotions.

Some of them need eye tests, some are there for HIV tests.  She spends the morning tending to all sorts of needs. Providing counseling for young girls needing pregnancy tests.  Phoning a partner organization for sexual abuse trauma counseling for two of our young clients who have suffered at the hand of another.  Heartbreaking.

Taking time to counsel one of the victims – a young boy who had been raped by a man in the community.  She starts with having him draw pictures of how he feels and talk about those pictures, but as of yet, the pain is too deep.  He is unable to talk about his pictures, so she just lets him draw his feelings out.

A young 19 year old girl comes in for assistance.  Her mom died last year (her father died years ago) and she is left to care for her 15 and 12 year old sisters.  She has both of her sisters in school and appears to be doing a really good job caring for them – despite not having any income.  Zama helps her get the paperwork she needs to be able to apply to get a foster care grant from the government to help care for her sisters and keep them in school.  There is a HUGE risk in this country for the girls to revert to selling themselves to “sugar daddies” to be able to survive.  So we are doing all we can to help them get the resources they need to continue in school and live a healthy lifestyle.

The day continues.  More HIV tests.  Trying to plan the next support group meeting in between clients.  A meeting with the aunt of one of our Simunye children.  Our Simunye teacher had noticed this little boy was looking unhealthy and had lots of sores on his legs.  She notified Zama and called the family.  The little boy is an orphan living with his auntie.  The auntie comes and Zama starts the process of testing the young boy and getting him the help he needs.  Most likely, his HIV was passed to him from his late mother either through birth or breast feeding.  A preventable event, but a lot of young moms are still lacking the education they need to keep their babies safe.

By this time, her day is almost over.  But there is a loud crying in the hallway.  A family we have helped in the past are in the hall with a screaming 5 month old.  The young mom has run off and left the baby with the granny.  The granny has no money to feed the baby. The babe is literally starving!  We do not make it a habit of passing out formula to the community – as our mandate is to help people to help themselves.  Encourage responsibility and ownership of their problems…. but in some cases, we have to respond to crisis!  And in the case of a screaming babe….  we considered it a crisis!  We bought some formula for the baby and asked the granny to find the mom and bring her back in for counseling.

And just as Zama was entering the taxi to go home, another need arrives from one of the children in the Simunye class…  She lets that taxi go and returns to the health room to help this little one.  And then heads to the road again to catch the next taxi.

Just a snippet… of a day in the life of Zama.  We are so blessed to have her at SOH.  Please say a prayer for her.  It is not an easy job to hear sad story after sad story – day after day. And then maneuver through trying to help these “sad stories” so as not to foster dependence, but to walk alongside people and build into them motivation and responsibility.

4 Responses to A Day in the Life
  1. Rachel Reply

    Thank you for sharing Mish and Zama.
    Someone showed me this quote recently:
    ‘Our prayers go where we cannot’ – Brother Andrew.
    Well, I cannot be with you and help but I can certainly pray!
    Praying for you and praising God for the work you do and the blessing you are to those in the community there.

    • Michelle Reply

      Your prayers mean so much to us, Rachel. The health team carries a lot of stress at times, so I know it is the prayers of people who love and support us that carry us through some days.

  2. Shell Reply

    Such long days…my pray will be for energy and restorative sleep especially for Zama!

    • Michelle Reply

      Thanks for your prayers Shell!!

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