BOHAPO (Bungoma Orphans HIV AIDS Poverty Organisation)

Uniting to fight Poverty HIV & AIDS  

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The number of orphans is increasing in our community due to the high death rate caused by HIV/AIDS. As a consequence, many poor families must take care of their relativeís kids (when the father/mother or both parents die). Whereas they are not able to face their own basic need in food. Our government statistics show that an average of 700 people die daily and 2 millions are infected by HIV/AIDS. As we focused on HIV/ AIDS we came to learn that the increase of infected people is due to negligence, insecurity, poverty, ignorance and cultural practices.

CULTURE

Certain practices like polygamy, traditional circumcision (where one knife is used to circumcise many boys) or wife inheritance are affecting and increasing the spread of HIV/AIDS within the community. We donít fight culture, but we try to make people aware of the risks of getting AIDS by practicing the communityís traditions.

 IGNORANCE CAUSING INSECURITY

Some people believe that HIV/AIDS is not there but it is witchcraft. The lack of knowledge makes people believe, for example, that an infected person should have intercourse with many people in order to reduce the amount of viruses in his/her body. Other believes (as having sex with virgin girls can cure HIV/AIDS) are causing many rapes cases of young girls. In 2004, two boys had their penis chopped off, as people believed that soup made from them, would cure HIV/AIDS. BOHAPO founder was among those involved in organizing reconstructive surgery in Spain, which was successful.

POVERTY

Due to the absence of steady incomes experienced by the majority of the community, some of its members opt for anything to get money or food. This has increased commercial sex workers infected by HIV due to unprotected sex practices.

We cannot support all the orphans and the needy, but we assist as many people as we can. .