Relieving Galane’s worries
Galane (middle) has dreams and hopes just like all kids, but Galane carries the burden of living with HIV. When she was only young, both of her parents passed away due to illnesses related to AIDS. Left in the care of her older sister, and living with the life-threatening virus herself, it seemed that Galane’s dreams would never be reached.
Galane lives in Dembi Dollo, Ethiopia where Stand by Me run the Abdi Academy, a centre that provides children with a great education and hope for the future. The Abdi Academy aims to remove all the obstacles that prevent children from reaching their dreams; bad health, child labour, malnutrition and HIV to name just a few.
HIV has been by far the most daunting obstacle we have faced to date and when we first realised the seriousness of HIV in Ethiopia, we had very little medical experience to know how to save children’s lives. Yet, in an amazing turn of events, we found a healthcare team who travelled to Ethiopia and established a programme to save children’s lives and give them a chance in life.
The HIV Food Programme now provides regular medication and nutritious food to children and families members living with HIV. This care helps to keep them alive, healthy and attending school. Today our HIV Food Programme cares for 126 children and family members living with this life-threatening virus.
Since Galane joined the HIV Food Programme and started receiving monthly medication and food, her health has improved every year. Not only is she much healthier, she worries less and her sister does not feel the burden of providing a balanced diet for Galane, knowing that the consequences of her not receiving sufficient food would be severe.
“Before I met the programme, I always worry about my health situation if my CD4 Count drops suddenly. But now I am confident enough as my health status is good.” Galane Tola
Today you can find Galane working hard at school. Thanks to the HIV Food Programme she is healthy, and when a child like Galane is healthy, she can enjoy school and enjoy life. She has the same opportunities and the same chance to reach her full potential as all of our children. She smiles wide, without worry for the future.