The Global Post’s Tracy Jarrett recently went on a journey to learn about human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the disease that took her mother’s life. She traveled to Cape Town, South Africa and met Maletsatsi Mbayi, a mentor mother at mothers2mothers. Mbayi discussed her duties at the organization, but also shared her story and how m2m changed her life.
After learning that she was HIV positive and pregnant, Mbayi said she contemplated committing suicide. However, Mbayi eventually began treatment and told her friends about her disease. She joined a support group at church where she was recruited to be part of the m2m program as an example of someone who had the courage to speak out about her status.
Jarrett noted how m2m had changed Mbayi:
“It is clear that working for mothers2mothers has empowered Mbayi, who now stands strong and confident, and is noticeably pained when she remembers her darkest hours, when she thought that taking her own life was the only way forward. Her knowledge and her dedication to helping other HIV positive women signify how far she has come.”
While listening to Mbayi’s stories, Jarrett thought of her mother. “If my mother had lived, would she also have helped support other HIV-positive mothers? Would she have needed a job like that to help her cope?” she wrote. “As I left I gave Mbayi a hug, squeezing her as if she were my own mother. When I got back to my apartment near the city center, tears swelled in my eyes.”
Yet another example of how Kravis Prize winners are changing lives all around the world!
“A Daughter’s Journey, Part V: Mothers2Mothers in Cape Town” [The Global Post, July 6, 2012]