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Programmes Unit, UN-WFP Tanzania
As an HIV-positive orphan, Faudhia spent long hours struggling to find food for herself and her grandmother. She often missed school. Now she is getting food and medicine through a WFP-assisted programme and she is fighting to change her life for the better.
DODOMA-- Faudhia Athman Mushi, now 13, was orphaned as a child and was later found to be HIV-positive. Living with her elderly grandmother in rural Kibosho Kindi village in Tanzania, she says her life changed dramatically after she was enrolled in the Kiwakkuki programme that offered her both anti-retroviral drugs supplemented by nutritious food from WFP targeted at people living with HIV/AIDS.
“Our family was made up of just two people – me and my grandmother,” she remembers. “We had nothing to eat so we begged from our neighbors. I used to spend a lot of time looking for food so we could survive, while my grandmother stayed home doing domestic work. This meant I went to school irregularly, with poor health. When I did, I easily lost concentration, which resulted in poor performance.”
After she started receiving the food and medication, Faudhia says her symptoms started to diminish and she became more energetic and alert at school. She has just completed her Class 7 studies at Kindi primary school and in two sets of recent exams, she ranked 24th out of 53 pupils, then 19th out of 53 pupils. She says her teachers believe she can continue to place higher in these exams so she can go on to attend secondary school.
Faudhia says she is determined to become either a teacher or a journalist, and loves mathematics, science, and English. “I am also happy that my grandmother can do her work without worrying about my health anymore,” she says, adding: “I thank WFP (and other donors) with all my heart for the food that has supported me and I am sure will help me achieve my dreams and be able to support myself and other people affected with HIV."