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KMC Generations

 

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KMC offers a variety of services to those living with HIV in the community. [Joanna Hiebert Bergen/MCCPhoto]

One of the reasons for the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS in the Kenya Mennonite Church is the practice of wife inheritance. Traditionally a widow was "inherited" by one of her husband's brothers. This brother would provide for her and her children and she would become his wife. Today the husband often dies of AIDS, a disease that the inherited wife will eventually pass on to her new husband and his other wife/wives.

Through their HIV/AIDS project, the KMC aims to address this and other cultural practices contributing to the spread of HIV. Through a network of church and community AIDS educators, each church diocese has created its own AIDS campaign that addresses local challenges and incorporates men, women, and children. People living with AIDS are counseled and accompanied as they seek out medical care and orphan children are cared for through assistance with schools fees and supplies. School-based youth are provided with AIDS education and supported through peer education groups. Community counseling centers and support groups for AIDS widows have also been established.

Goal:

To decrease the rate of spread of HIV and the stigma associated with the disease and to assist those affected by AIDS to live a more comfortable and fulfilling life, with hope for the future.