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Latest stories from IPPF

Spotlight

A selection of stories from across the Federation

Humanitarian response team, Fiji.
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In pictures: Humanitarian photographers share their experiences of storytelling in the field

IPPF’s localized approach to humanitarian emergencies is led by our Member Associations' response teams and whenever possible, we deploy local photographers.
Arnilda - WISH
story

| 25 September 2020

"Being a single mother at 14 was a suffocating experience and it could have been worse if I hadn't been accompanied by the Adolescent and Youth Friendly Services"

Five years ago, when Arnilda Simango was 13, she started dating a boy from her community, outside Xai-Xai City, in Gaza Province in southern Mozambique. A year later she got pregnant, at his insistence, and he left her shortly after the baby was born. AMODEFA’s youth services offered her counselling and advice throughout her pregnancy and became the network through which she made new friends.  Today, at the age of 18, she is raising her son, with help from her mother and plans to return to school. “When I started dating, I thought I wanted a partner who could take care of me and that could maybe fill the void I felt for not having a father. When I started the relationship with my boyfriend, he insisted that he needed a son because all his friends already had one. I had little space to say no because he threatened to date someone else and I was convinced he was the right person for me. When I got pregnant in 2016, he started behaving strangely. He stopped being affectionate and gave indications that he did not want to be with me anymore. That's when a friend of mine told me that there was a youth center where I could get advice on how to proceed in this situation". The Adolescent and Youth Friendly Services (SAAJ) center, based at the Patrice Lumumba Urban Health Center, on the outskirts of Xai-Xai, is run by AMODEFA and provides HIV testing and treatment, prenatal and postpartum consultations, and other information and services around sexual health and rights. The center is supported by the Women’s Integrated Sexual Health (WISH2ACTION) programme, led by IPPF.   "One day I walked there and received a lot of advice. As I was already 4 to 5 months pregnant, I was advised to open a prenatal form. They did all the follow-up until I gave birth to my son.” "Believe me, being a single mother at 14 was a suffocating experience and it could have been worse if I had not been accompanied by [the SAAJ]. I do not know how to thank them. I practically felt alone without knowing what to do, but I had a lot of advice here and made friends with other girls". Planning for the future  Arnilda dropped out of 7th grade once she became pregnant and helped her mother selling basic goods from a stall in her home. It is from this small business that her mother supports her two children who are still living at home, as well as five grandchildren. Arnilda plans to return to school next year to continue her studies now her son is old enough to stay with his grandmother. Her dream is to be a professional model. Until then she does not want to have another child, so she goes to the SAAJ for family planning purposes. Arnilda says she walks 50 minutes to the center every three months for the contraceptive injection.  "I wanted the implant, but it doesn't settle well with me, so I renew the injection every three months.  I do this because I need to continue studying to have a decent job that allows me to support my son. Next year I will go back to school. "A second child is not in the plans. I still consider myself a minor. Even the first child I only had because at the time I had no one to give me advice and show me the best way. I believed in my ex-boyfriend and today I have this lesson. Today I can say that I have come to my senses, not only from the experience of being a mother, but from everything I learn here [at the SAAJ]. There is no friend of mine who does not know SAAJ. I always advise them to approach here because I know they will have all kinds of counselling and accompaniment.”

Arnilda - WISH
story

| 25 September 2022

"Being a single mother at 14 was a suffocating experience and it could have been worse if I hadn't been accompanied by the Adolescent and Youth Friendly Services"

Five years ago, when Arnilda Simango was 13, she started dating a boy from her community, outside Xai-Xai City, in Gaza Province in southern Mozambique. A year later she got pregnant, at his insistence, and he left her shortly after the baby was born. AMODEFA’s youth services offered her counselling and advice throughout her pregnancy and became the network through which she made new friends.  Today, at the age of 18, she is raising her son, with help from her mother and plans to return to school. “When I started dating, I thought I wanted a partner who could take care of me and that could maybe fill the void I felt for not having a father. When I started the relationship with my boyfriend, he insisted that he needed a son because all his friends already had one. I had little space to say no because he threatened to date someone else and I was convinced he was the right person for me. When I got pregnant in 2016, he started behaving strangely. He stopped being affectionate and gave indications that he did not want to be with me anymore. That's when a friend of mine told me that there was a youth center where I could get advice on how to proceed in this situation". The Adolescent and Youth Friendly Services (SAAJ) center, based at the Patrice Lumumba Urban Health Center, on the outskirts of Xai-Xai, is run by AMODEFA and provides HIV testing and treatment, prenatal and postpartum consultations, and other information and services around sexual health and rights. The center is supported by the Women’s Integrated Sexual Health (WISH2ACTION) programme, led by IPPF.   "One day I walked there and received a lot of advice. As I was already 4 to 5 months pregnant, I was advised to open a prenatal form. They did all the follow-up until I gave birth to my son.” "Believe me, being a single mother at 14 was a suffocating experience and it could have been worse if I had not been accompanied by [the SAAJ]. I do not know how to thank them. I practically felt alone without knowing what to do, but I had a lot of advice here and made friends with other girls". Planning for the future  Arnilda dropped out of 7th grade once she became pregnant and helped her mother selling basic goods from a stall in her home. It is from this small business that her mother supports her two children who are still living at home, as well as five grandchildren. Arnilda plans to return to school next year to continue her studies now her son is old enough to stay with his grandmother. Her dream is to be a professional model. Until then she does not want to have another child, so she goes to the SAAJ for family planning purposes. Arnilda says she walks 50 minutes to the center every three months for the contraceptive injection.  "I wanted the implant, but it doesn't settle well with me, so I renew the injection every three months.  I do this because I need to continue studying to have a decent job that allows me to support my son. Next year I will go back to school. "A second child is not in the plans. I still consider myself a minor. Even the first child I only had because at the time I had no one to give me advice and show me the best way. I believed in my ex-boyfriend and today I have this lesson. Today I can say that I have come to my senses, not only from the experience of being a mother, but from everything I learn here [at the SAAJ]. There is no friend of mine who does not know SAAJ. I always advise them to approach here because I know they will have all kinds of counselling and accompaniment.”

Antonio Junior Xiranza
story

| 06 December 2017

“I am happy about life here”

Antonio Junior Xiranza is 12 years old. He lives with his Aunt Talita Agosto Mujovo, 39, and her three children in Maputo, Mozambique, after his parents both died from HIV-related illnesses. Antonio is HIV positive, something that Talita was able to reveal to him over the course of nine counselling sessions through IPPF Member Association AMODEFA’s Ntyiso programme. When Antonio was sent to Talita in 2015 he had no understanding of his illness. He was severely underweight and wouldn’t take his medication. “I didn’t think he was going to make it,” says Talita. But following AMODEFA’s intervention last year Antonio’s health has improved rapidly and is gaining weight. This is in large part because Antonio, though still young, has chosen to take on the responsibility for managing his illness himself.  “He takes his medication without being told”, says Talita. “If he’s injured he knows the other children can’t touch his wound.” Antonio is still small for his age but says he feels stronger. He is well enough now to attend school regularly and is already thinking about the future; when he grows up he wants to be a fireman.“I am happy about life here,” he says, shyly. Talita says she is “relieved” to see these changes in Antonio. “At first I was not going to say anything. I would have waited until he was 18 to tell him,” Talita says, which would have continued to put pressure on the entire family. “But with the help of the counselling I had through Ntyiso I was able to tell him now.” While Ntyiso was intended to help parents speak more openly about HIV with their children, it has given Talita the confidence to discuss the illness more widely. “I was able to tell my father, who was sick and had a wound, that he should get tested for HIV,” she says. Her father was diagnosed positive and is now in treatment. “Before I wouldn’t have advised people to take the test, I would have just kept quiet,” she says. Read more about AMODEFA's tireless work in Mozambique

Antonio Junior Xiranza
story

| 25 September 2022

“I am happy about life here”

Antonio Junior Xiranza is 12 years old. He lives with his Aunt Talita Agosto Mujovo, 39, and her three children in Maputo, Mozambique, after his parents both died from HIV-related illnesses. Antonio is HIV positive, something that Talita was able to reveal to him over the course of nine counselling sessions through IPPF Member Association AMODEFA’s Ntyiso programme. When Antonio was sent to Talita in 2015 he had no understanding of his illness. He was severely underweight and wouldn’t take his medication. “I didn’t think he was going to make it,” says Talita. But following AMODEFA’s intervention last year Antonio’s health has improved rapidly and is gaining weight. This is in large part because Antonio, though still young, has chosen to take on the responsibility for managing his illness himself.  “He takes his medication without being told”, says Talita. “If he’s injured he knows the other children can’t touch his wound.” Antonio is still small for his age but says he feels stronger. He is well enough now to attend school regularly and is already thinking about the future; when he grows up he wants to be a fireman.“I am happy about life here,” he says, shyly. Talita says she is “relieved” to see these changes in Antonio. “At first I was not going to say anything. I would have waited until he was 18 to tell him,” Talita says, which would have continued to put pressure on the entire family. “But with the help of the counselling I had through Ntyiso I was able to tell him now.” While Ntyiso was intended to help parents speak more openly about HIV with their children, it has given Talita the confidence to discuss the illness more widely. “I was able to tell my father, who was sick and had a wound, that he should get tested for HIV,” she says. Her father was diagnosed positive and is now in treatment. “Before I wouldn’t have advised people to take the test, I would have just kept quiet,” she says. Read more about AMODEFA's tireless work in Mozambique

Albertina Machaieie, Amodefa, Mozambique
story

| 06 December 2017

“I like helping people, that’s why I do this job”

Albertina Machaieie has been working with HIV patients for Amodefa for 38 years and is their longest serving nurse. “I’m going to work forever,” she says. “I like helping people, that’s why I do this job.” Albertina heads up Amodefa’s home care programme which provides medical, nutritional and emotional support to HIV positive patients living in the poorest suburbs of Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. She has seen a dramatic change in attitudes to HIV in the 19 years she has been running the service. In the past she had to hide her car and would visit her patients anonymously. “People feared HIV so they feared me coming to them,” she says.Now people welcome her into the community as a friend and will direct new patients to her. “They call us ‘Muhanyisse’”, which means saviour in the local language Shangaan, she says. Albertina and another nurse work with a large team of volunteers, or ‘activistas’, most of whom are also HIV positive. As well as delivering medication and food to patients and performing health examinations, an important part of Amodefa’s work is continuing to change attitudes towards HIV. “The homecare project encompasses everything,” she says. “It’s not just treatment for illness, we also work with the mind – people need to change their mindset.” She and the activistas give lectures in the community to raise awareness of HIV, and also offer counselling to patients, many of whom find it difficult to accept their HIV positive status. “Husbands and wives stop understanding each other when one is living in denial of HIV,” says Albertina. “They blame the illness on witchcraft.” In other cases, those carrying the virus are scared to tell their families for fear of being rejected. “There are many stories of family members, particularly of wives, who have found they are HIV positive and partners have threatened to leave,” she says. “But when Amodefa has stepped in and advocated, the husband has stayed.” This holistic approach to its homecare has been so effective that medical and psychology students have come from Brazil, the US and Mexico to Mozambique to study the programme and to learn from Albertina’s experience. “I am the library for Amodefa,” she jokes. Over the course of her career Albertina has worked with many challenging cases – particularly men. “Women are more open to treatment because they want to get better so they can care for their children,” she says, “but men often won’t seek help until their health has severely deteriorated.” She recalls one case where a woman tested positive for HIV while she was pregnant. She told her husband to get tested but he refused, and he also prevented his wife from taking any treatment. As a result her baby was born HIV positive - as were her second and third born. “With her last child she started taking the treatment without her husband’s knowledge and the baby was born without HIV,” says Albertina. “This man now says, ‘People, you need to be open – I have three positive children and it is my fault because I would not accept the truth.’” “Children who are HIV positive and don’t know often abandon their medication because they are tired of taking the drugs,” says Albertina. “Ntyiso teaches the importance of taking the medicine. When they are aware of their status, they start taking the medicine normally.” Albertina worked with ten families during the pilot phase of the programme. “Already I have seen great changes in the children, it shows why this project of revelation is so important.” The Ntiyso is a pilot project implemented in Maputo City and it has its focus on disclosure of the HIV + status to adolescents. It targets mothers, parents and caregivers of adolescents. The main activities are: Education and training of Mothers, Parents and caregivers of adolescents to reveal HIV+ status to their adolescents. Due to the Global Gag Rule this project lost its funding and was forced to close. Read more about AMODEFA's tireless work in Mozambique

Albertina Machaieie, Amodefa, Mozambique
story

| 25 September 2022

“I like helping people, that’s why I do this job”

Albertina Machaieie has been working with HIV patients for Amodefa for 38 years and is their longest serving nurse. “I’m going to work forever,” she says. “I like helping people, that’s why I do this job.” Albertina heads up Amodefa’s home care programme which provides medical, nutritional and emotional support to HIV positive patients living in the poorest suburbs of Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. She has seen a dramatic change in attitudes to HIV in the 19 years she has been running the service. In the past she had to hide her car and would visit her patients anonymously. “People feared HIV so they feared me coming to them,” she says.Now people welcome her into the community as a friend and will direct new patients to her. “They call us ‘Muhanyisse’”, which means saviour in the local language Shangaan, she says. Albertina and another nurse work with a large team of volunteers, or ‘activistas’, most of whom are also HIV positive. As well as delivering medication and food to patients and performing health examinations, an important part of Amodefa’s work is continuing to change attitudes towards HIV. “The homecare project encompasses everything,” she says. “It’s not just treatment for illness, we also work with the mind – people need to change their mindset.” She and the activistas give lectures in the community to raise awareness of HIV, and also offer counselling to patients, many of whom find it difficult to accept their HIV positive status. “Husbands and wives stop understanding each other when one is living in denial of HIV,” says Albertina. “They blame the illness on witchcraft.” In other cases, those carrying the virus are scared to tell their families for fear of being rejected. “There are many stories of family members, particularly of wives, who have found they are HIV positive and partners have threatened to leave,” she says. “But when Amodefa has stepped in and advocated, the husband has stayed.” This holistic approach to its homecare has been so effective that medical and psychology students have come from Brazil, the US and Mexico to Mozambique to study the programme and to learn from Albertina’s experience. “I am the library for Amodefa,” she jokes. Over the course of her career Albertina has worked with many challenging cases – particularly men. “Women are more open to treatment because they want to get better so they can care for their children,” she says, “but men often won’t seek help until their health has severely deteriorated.” She recalls one case where a woman tested positive for HIV while she was pregnant. She told her husband to get tested but he refused, and he also prevented his wife from taking any treatment. As a result her baby was born HIV positive - as were her second and third born. “With her last child she started taking the treatment without her husband’s knowledge and the baby was born without HIV,” says Albertina. “This man now says, ‘People, you need to be open – I have three positive children and it is my fault because I would not accept the truth.’” “Children who are HIV positive and don’t know often abandon their medication because they are tired of taking the drugs,” says Albertina. “Ntyiso teaches the importance of taking the medicine. When they are aware of their status, they start taking the medicine normally.” Albertina worked with ten families during the pilot phase of the programme. “Already I have seen great changes in the children, it shows why this project of revelation is so important.” The Ntiyso is a pilot project implemented in Maputo City and it has its focus on disclosure of the HIV + status to adolescents. It targets mothers, parents and caregivers of adolescents. The main activities are: Education and training of Mothers, Parents and caregivers of adolescents to reveal HIV+ status to their adolescents. Due to the Global Gag Rule this project lost its funding and was forced to close. Read more about AMODEFA's tireless work in Mozambique

Palmira Enoque Tembe, Mozambique,
story

| 01 December 2017

“I’m fine and I am making plans for the future. I know now to get ill is not to die”

Palmira Enoque Tembe, 54, is HIV positive She lives with two sons, who are also HIV positive, and four grandchildren in a small house in Bairro Feiroviaro on the outskirts of Maputo. Three times a week she is visited by Amodefa volunteers and once a week by a nurse who provide medication, food and therapy to the family. “Amodefa counsels me through the difficulties in life,” Palmira says. Palmira found out she had HIV when her youngest child was nine months old. He was diagnosed as HIV positive. Palmira asked her husband to get tested too,“He refused” says Palmira. “He said I was possessed by evil spirits and was trying to kill him and my son". Her husband abandoned the family and Palmira was left to battle the illness and raise the children on her own. “I was terrified. I lost hope. I didn’t want to do anything, just sit in my room and cry,” she says. Now, however, the nutritious food, medication and regular medical check-ups she receives as part of the homecare programme have given her a new lease on life. “I’m fine and I am making plans for the future. I know now to get ill is not to die,” says Palmira, who has started to subsistence farm again. At first she was wary of the service. “It seemed like an advertisement for having HIV and I didn’t want my neighbours to isolate me,” she says. “But now I depend on it.” It was through Amodefa’s new pilot counselling project, ‘Ntyiso’ - which translates as ‘The Truth’ in the local language, Shangaan - Palmira was finally able to open up to her son that he had HIV too. While he had always suspected he was carrying the virus, he needed to hear it from his mother for it to become real.“It has changed by life,” she says. “It has improved our relationship because I no longer feel ashamed.” The Ntiyso is a pilot project implemented in Maputo City and it has its focus on disclosure of the HIV + status to adolescents. It targets mothers, parents and caregivers of adolescents. The main activities are: Education and training of Mothers, Parents and caregivers of adolescents to reveal HIV+ status to their adolescents. Due to the Global Gag Rule this project lost its funding and was forced to close. Read more about AMODEFA's tireless work in Mozambique

Palmira Enoque Tembe, Mozambique,
story

| 25 September 2022

“I’m fine and I am making plans for the future. I know now to get ill is not to die”

Palmira Enoque Tembe, 54, is HIV positive She lives with two sons, who are also HIV positive, and four grandchildren in a small house in Bairro Feiroviaro on the outskirts of Maputo. Three times a week she is visited by Amodefa volunteers and once a week by a nurse who provide medication, food and therapy to the family. “Amodefa counsels me through the difficulties in life,” Palmira says. Palmira found out she had HIV when her youngest child was nine months old. He was diagnosed as HIV positive. Palmira asked her husband to get tested too,“He refused” says Palmira. “He said I was possessed by evil spirits and was trying to kill him and my son". Her husband abandoned the family and Palmira was left to battle the illness and raise the children on her own. “I was terrified. I lost hope. I didn’t want to do anything, just sit in my room and cry,” she says. Now, however, the nutritious food, medication and regular medical check-ups she receives as part of the homecare programme have given her a new lease on life. “I’m fine and I am making plans for the future. I know now to get ill is not to die,” says Palmira, who has started to subsistence farm again. At first she was wary of the service. “It seemed like an advertisement for having HIV and I didn’t want my neighbours to isolate me,” she says. “But now I depend on it.” It was through Amodefa’s new pilot counselling project, ‘Ntyiso’ - which translates as ‘The Truth’ in the local language, Shangaan - Palmira was finally able to open up to her son that he had HIV too. While he had always suspected he was carrying the virus, he needed to hear it from his mother for it to become real.“It has changed by life,” she says. “It has improved our relationship because I no longer feel ashamed.” The Ntiyso is a pilot project implemented in Maputo City and it has its focus on disclosure of the HIV + status to adolescents. It targets mothers, parents and caregivers of adolescents. The main activities are: Education and training of Mothers, Parents and caregivers of adolescents to reveal HIV+ status to their adolescents. Due to the Global Gag Rule this project lost its funding and was forced to close. Read more about AMODEFA's tireless work in Mozambique

Arnilda - WISH
story

| 25 September 2020

"Being a single mother at 14 was a suffocating experience and it could have been worse if I hadn't been accompanied by the Adolescent and Youth Friendly Services"

Five years ago, when Arnilda Simango was 13, she started dating a boy from her community, outside Xai-Xai City, in Gaza Province in southern Mozambique. A year later she got pregnant, at his insistence, and he left her shortly after the baby was born. AMODEFA’s youth services offered her counselling and advice throughout her pregnancy and became the network through which she made new friends.  Today, at the age of 18, she is raising her son, with help from her mother and plans to return to school. “When I started dating, I thought I wanted a partner who could take care of me and that could maybe fill the void I felt for not having a father. When I started the relationship with my boyfriend, he insisted that he needed a son because all his friends already had one. I had little space to say no because he threatened to date someone else and I was convinced he was the right person for me. When I got pregnant in 2016, he started behaving strangely. He stopped being affectionate and gave indications that he did not want to be with me anymore. That's when a friend of mine told me that there was a youth center where I could get advice on how to proceed in this situation". The Adolescent and Youth Friendly Services (SAAJ) center, based at the Patrice Lumumba Urban Health Center, on the outskirts of Xai-Xai, is run by AMODEFA and provides HIV testing and treatment, prenatal and postpartum consultations, and other information and services around sexual health and rights. The center is supported by the Women’s Integrated Sexual Health (WISH2ACTION) programme, led by IPPF.   "One day I walked there and received a lot of advice. As I was already 4 to 5 months pregnant, I was advised to open a prenatal form. They did all the follow-up until I gave birth to my son.” "Believe me, being a single mother at 14 was a suffocating experience and it could have been worse if I had not been accompanied by [the SAAJ]. I do not know how to thank them. I practically felt alone without knowing what to do, but I had a lot of advice here and made friends with other girls". Planning for the future  Arnilda dropped out of 7th grade once she became pregnant and helped her mother selling basic goods from a stall in her home. It is from this small business that her mother supports her two children who are still living at home, as well as five grandchildren. Arnilda plans to return to school next year to continue her studies now her son is old enough to stay with his grandmother. Her dream is to be a professional model. Until then she does not want to have another child, so she goes to the SAAJ for family planning purposes. Arnilda says she walks 50 minutes to the center every three months for the contraceptive injection.  "I wanted the implant, but it doesn't settle well with me, so I renew the injection every three months.  I do this because I need to continue studying to have a decent job that allows me to support my son. Next year I will go back to school. "A second child is not in the plans. I still consider myself a minor. Even the first child I only had because at the time I had no one to give me advice and show me the best way. I believed in my ex-boyfriend and today I have this lesson. Today I can say that I have come to my senses, not only from the experience of being a mother, but from everything I learn here [at the SAAJ]. There is no friend of mine who does not know SAAJ. I always advise them to approach here because I know they will have all kinds of counselling and accompaniment.”

Arnilda - WISH
story

| 25 September 2022

"Being a single mother at 14 was a suffocating experience and it could have been worse if I hadn't been accompanied by the Adolescent and Youth Friendly Services"

Five years ago, when Arnilda Simango was 13, she started dating a boy from her community, outside Xai-Xai City, in Gaza Province in southern Mozambique. A year later she got pregnant, at his insistence, and he left her shortly after the baby was born. AMODEFA’s youth services offered her counselling and advice throughout her pregnancy and became the network through which she made new friends.  Today, at the age of 18, she is raising her son, with help from her mother and plans to return to school. “When I started dating, I thought I wanted a partner who could take care of me and that could maybe fill the void I felt for not having a father. When I started the relationship with my boyfriend, he insisted that he needed a son because all his friends already had one. I had little space to say no because he threatened to date someone else and I was convinced he was the right person for me. When I got pregnant in 2016, he started behaving strangely. He stopped being affectionate and gave indications that he did not want to be with me anymore. That's when a friend of mine told me that there was a youth center where I could get advice on how to proceed in this situation". The Adolescent and Youth Friendly Services (SAAJ) center, based at the Patrice Lumumba Urban Health Center, on the outskirts of Xai-Xai, is run by AMODEFA and provides HIV testing and treatment, prenatal and postpartum consultations, and other information and services around sexual health and rights. The center is supported by the Women’s Integrated Sexual Health (WISH2ACTION) programme, led by IPPF.   "One day I walked there and received a lot of advice. As I was already 4 to 5 months pregnant, I was advised to open a prenatal form. They did all the follow-up until I gave birth to my son.” "Believe me, being a single mother at 14 was a suffocating experience and it could have been worse if I had not been accompanied by [the SAAJ]. I do not know how to thank them. I practically felt alone without knowing what to do, but I had a lot of advice here and made friends with other girls". Planning for the future  Arnilda dropped out of 7th grade once she became pregnant and helped her mother selling basic goods from a stall in her home. It is from this small business that her mother supports her two children who are still living at home, as well as five grandchildren. Arnilda plans to return to school next year to continue her studies now her son is old enough to stay with his grandmother. Her dream is to be a professional model. Until then she does not want to have another child, so she goes to the SAAJ for family planning purposes. Arnilda says she walks 50 minutes to the center every three months for the contraceptive injection.  "I wanted the implant, but it doesn't settle well with me, so I renew the injection every three months.  I do this because I need to continue studying to have a decent job that allows me to support my son. Next year I will go back to school. "A second child is not in the plans. I still consider myself a minor. Even the first child I only had because at the time I had no one to give me advice and show me the best way. I believed in my ex-boyfriend and today I have this lesson. Today I can say that I have come to my senses, not only from the experience of being a mother, but from everything I learn here [at the SAAJ]. There is no friend of mine who does not know SAAJ. I always advise them to approach here because I know they will have all kinds of counselling and accompaniment.”

Antonio Junior Xiranza
story

| 06 December 2017

“I am happy about life here”

Antonio Junior Xiranza is 12 years old. He lives with his Aunt Talita Agosto Mujovo, 39, and her three children in Maputo, Mozambique, after his parents both died from HIV-related illnesses. Antonio is HIV positive, something that Talita was able to reveal to him over the course of nine counselling sessions through IPPF Member Association AMODEFA’s Ntyiso programme. When Antonio was sent to Talita in 2015 he had no understanding of his illness. He was severely underweight and wouldn’t take his medication. “I didn’t think he was going to make it,” says Talita. But following AMODEFA’s intervention last year Antonio’s health has improved rapidly and is gaining weight. This is in large part because Antonio, though still young, has chosen to take on the responsibility for managing his illness himself.  “He takes his medication without being told”, says Talita. “If he’s injured he knows the other children can’t touch his wound.” Antonio is still small for his age but says he feels stronger. He is well enough now to attend school regularly and is already thinking about the future; when he grows up he wants to be a fireman.“I am happy about life here,” he says, shyly. Talita says she is “relieved” to see these changes in Antonio. “At first I was not going to say anything. I would have waited until he was 18 to tell him,” Talita says, which would have continued to put pressure on the entire family. “But with the help of the counselling I had through Ntyiso I was able to tell him now.” While Ntyiso was intended to help parents speak more openly about HIV with their children, it has given Talita the confidence to discuss the illness more widely. “I was able to tell my father, who was sick and had a wound, that he should get tested for HIV,” she says. Her father was diagnosed positive and is now in treatment. “Before I wouldn’t have advised people to take the test, I would have just kept quiet,” she says. Read more about AMODEFA's tireless work in Mozambique

Antonio Junior Xiranza
story

| 25 September 2022

“I am happy about life here”

Antonio Junior Xiranza is 12 years old. He lives with his Aunt Talita Agosto Mujovo, 39, and her three children in Maputo, Mozambique, after his parents both died from HIV-related illnesses. Antonio is HIV positive, something that Talita was able to reveal to him over the course of nine counselling sessions through IPPF Member Association AMODEFA’s Ntyiso programme. When Antonio was sent to Talita in 2015 he had no understanding of his illness. He was severely underweight and wouldn’t take his medication. “I didn’t think he was going to make it,” says Talita. But following AMODEFA’s intervention last year Antonio’s health has improved rapidly and is gaining weight. This is in large part because Antonio, though still young, has chosen to take on the responsibility for managing his illness himself.  “He takes his medication without being told”, says Talita. “If he’s injured he knows the other children can’t touch his wound.” Antonio is still small for his age but says he feels stronger. He is well enough now to attend school regularly and is already thinking about the future; when he grows up he wants to be a fireman.“I am happy about life here,” he says, shyly. Talita says she is “relieved” to see these changes in Antonio. “At first I was not going to say anything. I would have waited until he was 18 to tell him,” Talita says, which would have continued to put pressure on the entire family. “But with the help of the counselling I had through Ntyiso I was able to tell him now.” While Ntyiso was intended to help parents speak more openly about HIV with their children, it has given Talita the confidence to discuss the illness more widely. “I was able to tell my father, who was sick and had a wound, that he should get tested for HIV,” she says. Her father was diagnosed positive and is now in treatment. “Before I wouldn’t have advised people to take the test, I would have just kept quiet,” she says. Read more about AMODEFA's tireless work in Mozambique

Albertina Machaieie, Amodefa, Mozambique
story

| 06 December 2017

“I like helping people, that’s why I do this job”

Albertina Machaieie has been working with HIV patients for Amodefa for 38 years and is their longest serving nurse. “I’m going to work forever,” she says. “I like helping people, that’s why I do this job.” Albertina heads up Amodefa’s home care programme which provides medical, nutritional and emotional support to HIV positive patients living in the poorest suburbs of Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. She has seen a dramatic change in attitudes to HIV in the 19 years she has been running the service. In the past she had to hide her car and would visit her patients anonymously. “People feared HIV so they feared me coming to them,” she says.Now people welcome her into the community as a friend and will direct new patients to her. “They call us ‘Muhanyisse’”, which means saviour in the local language Shangaan, she says. Albertina and another nurse work with a large team of volunteers, or ‘activistas’, most of whom are also HIV positive. As well as delivering medication and food to patients and performing health examinations, an important part of Amodefa’s work is continuing to change attitudes towards HIV. “The homecare project encompasses everything,” she says. “It’s not just treatment for illness, we also work with the mind – people need to change their mindset.” She and the activistas give lectures in the community to raise awareness of HIV, and also offer counselling to patients, many of whom find it difficult to accept their HIV positive status. “Husbands and wives stop understanding each other when one is living in denial of HIV,” says Albertina. “They blame the illness on witchcraft.” In other cases, those carrying the virus are scared to tell their families for fear of being rejected. “There are many stories of family members, particularly of wives, who have found they are HIV positive and partners have threatened to leave,” she says. “But when Amodefa has stepped in and advocated, the husband has stayed.” This holistic approach to its homecare has been so effective that medical and psychology students have come from Brazil, the US and Mexico to Mozambique to study the programme and to learn from Albertina’s experience. “I am the library for Amodefa,” she jokes. Over the course of her career Albertina has worked with many challenging cases – particularly men. “Women are more open to treatment because they want to get better so they can care for their children,” she says, “but men often won’t seek help until their health has severely deteriorated.” She recalls one case where a woman tested positive for HIV while she was pregnant. She told her husband to get tested but he refused, and he also prevented his wife from taking any treatment. As a result her baby was born HIV positive - as were her second and third born. “With her last child she started taking the treatment without her husband’s knowledge and the baby was born without HIV,” says Albertina. “This man now says, ‘People, you need to be open – I have three positive children and it is my fault because I would not accept the truth.’” “Children who are HIV positive and don’t know often abandon their medication because they are tired of taking the drugs,” says Albertina. “Ntyiso teaches the importance of taking the medicine. When they are aware of their status, they start taking the medicine normally.” Albertina worked with ten families during the pilot phase of the programme. “Already I have seen great changes in the children, it shows why this project of revelation is so important.” The Ntiyso is a pilot project implemented in Maputo City and it has its focus on disclosure of the HIV + status to adolescents. It targets mothers, parents and caregivers of adolescents. The main activities are: Education and training of Mothers, Parents and caregivers of adolescents to reveal HIV+ status to their adolescents. Due to the Global Gag Rule this project lost its funding and was forced to close. Read more about AMODEFA's tireless work in Mozambique

Albertina Machaieie, Amodefa, Mozambique
story

| 25 September 2022

“I like helping people, that’s why I do this job”

Albertina Machaieie has been working with HIV patients for Amodefa for 38 years and is their longest serving nurse. “I’m going to work forever,” she says. “I like helping people, that’s why I do this job.” Albertina heads up Amodefa’s home care programme which provides medical, nutritional and emotional support to HIV positive patients living in the poorest suburbs of Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. She has seen a dramatic change in attitudes to HIV in the 19 years she has been running the service. In the past she had to hide her car and would visit her patients anonymously. “People feared HIV so they feared me coming to them,” she says.Now people welcome her into the community as a friend and will direct new patients to her. “They call us ‘Muhanyisse’”, which means saviour in the local language Shangaan, she says. Albertina and another nurse work with a large team of volunteers, or ‘activistas’, most of whom are also HIV positive. As well as delivering medication and food to patients and performing health examinations, an important part of Amodefa’s work is continuing to change attitudes towards HIV. “The homecare project encompasses everything,” she says. “It’s not just treatment for illness, we also work with the mind – people need to change their mindset.” She and the activistas give lectures in the community to raise awareness of HIV, and also offer counselling to patients, many of whom find it difficult to accept their HIV positive status. “Husbands and wives stop understanding each other when one is living in denial of HIV,” says Albertina. “They blame the illness on witchcraft.” In other cases, those carrying the virus are scared to tell their families for fear of being rejected. “There are many stories of family members, particularly of wives, who have found they are HIV positive and partners have threatened to leave,” she says. “But when Amodefa has stepped in and advocated, the husband has stayed.” This holistic approach to its homecare has been so effective that medical and psychology students have come from Brazil, the US and Mexico to Mozambique to study the programme and to learn from Albertina’s experience. “I am the library for Amodefa,” she jokes. Over the course of her career Albertina has worked with many challenging cases – particularly men. “Women are more open to treatment because they want to get better so they can care for their children,” she says, “but men often won’t seek help until their health has severely deteriorated.” She recalls one case where a woman tested positive for HIV while she was pregnant. She told her husband to get tested but he refused, and he also prevented his wife from taking any treatment. As a result her baby was born HIV positive - as were her second and third born. “With her last child she started taking the treatment without her husband’s knowledge and the baby was born without HIV,” says Albertina. “This man now says, ‘People, you need to be open – I have three positive children and it is my fault because I would not accept the truth.’” “Children who are HIV positive and don’t know often abandon their medication because they are tired of taking the drugs,” says Albertina. “Ntyiso teaches the importance of taking the medicine. When they are aware of their status, they start taking the medicine normally.” Albertina worked with ten families during the pilot phase of the programme. “Already I have seen great changes in the children, it shows why this project of revelation is so important.” The Ntiyso is a pilot project implemented in Maputo City and it has its focus on disclosure of the HIV + status to adolescents. It targets mothers, parents and caregivers of adolescents. The main activities are: Education and training of Mothers, Parents and caregivers of adolescents to reveal HIV+ status to their adolescents. Due to the Global Gag Rule this project lost its funding and was forced to close. Read more about AMODEFA's tireless work in Mozambique

Palmira Enoque Tembe, Mozambique,
story

| 01 December 2017

“I’m fine and I am making plans for the future. I know now to get ill is not to die”

Palmira Enoque Tembe, 54, is HIV positive She lives with two sons, who are also HIV positive, and four grandchildren in a small house in Bairro Feiroviaro on the outskirts of Maputo. Three times a week she is visited by Amodefa volunteers and once a week by a nurse who provide medication, food and therapy to the family. “Amodefa counsels me through the difficulties in life,” Palmira says. Palmira found out she had HIV when her youngest child was nine months old. He was diagnosed as HIV positive. Palmira asked her husband to get tested too,“He refused” says Palmira. “He said I was possessed by evil spirits and was trying to kill him and my son". Her husband abandoned the family and Palmira was left to battle the illness and raise the children on her own. “I was terrified. I lost hope. I didn’t want to do anything, just sit in my room and cry,” she says. Now, however, the nutritious food, medication and regular medical check-ups she receives as part of the homecare programme have given her a new lease on life. “I’m fine and I am making plans for the future. I know now to get ill is not to die,” says Palmira, who has started to subsistence farm again. At first she was wary of the service. “It seemed like an advertisement for having HIV and I didn’t want my neighbours to isolate me,” she says. “But now I depend on it.” It was through Amodefa’s new pilot counselling project, ‘Ntyiso’ - which translates as ‘The Truth’ in the local language, Shangaan - Palmira was finally able to open up to her son that he had HIV too. While he had always suspected he was carrying the virus, he needed to hear it from his mother for it to become real.“It has changed by life,” she says. “It has improved our relationship because I no longer feel ashamed.” The Ntiyso is a pilot project implemented in Maputo City and it has its focus on disclosure of the HIV + status to adolescents. It targets mothers, parents and caregivers of adolescents. The main activities are: Education and training of Mothers, Parents and caregivers of adolescents to reveal HIV+ status to their adolescents. Due to the Global Gag Rule this project lost its funding and was forced to close. Read more about AMODEFA's tireless work in Mozambique

Palmira Enoque Tembe, Mozambique,
story

| 25 September 2022

“I’m fine and I am making plans for the future. I know now to get ill is not to die”

Palmira Enoque Tembe, 54, is HIV positive She lives with two sons, who are also HIV positive, and four grandchildren in a small house in Bairro Feiroviaro on the outskirts of Maputo. Three times a week she is visited by Amodefa volunteers and once a week by a nurse who provide medication, food and therapy to the family. “Amodefa counsels me through the difficulties in life,” Palmira says. Palmira found out she had HIV when her youngest child was nine months old. He was diagnosed as HIV positive. Palmira asked her husband to get tested too,“He refused” says Palmira. “He said I was possessed by evil spirits and was trying to kill him and my son". Her husband abandoned the family and Palmira was left to battle the illness and raise the children on her own. “I was terrified. I lost hope. I didn’t want to do anything, just sit in my room and cry,” she says. Now, however, the nutritious food, medication and regular medical check-ups she receives as part of the homecare programme have given her a new lease on life. “I’m fine and I am making plans for the future. I know now to get ill is not to die,” says Palmira, who has started to subsistence farm again. At first she was wary of the service. “It seemed like an advertisement for having HIV and I didn’t want my neighbours to isolate me,” she says. “But now I depend on it.” It was through Amodefa’s new pilot counselling project, ‘Ntyiso’ - which translates as ‘The Truth’ in the local language, Shangaan - Palmira was finally able to open up to her son that he had HIV too. While he had always suspected he was carrying the virus, he needed to hear it from his mother for it to become real.“It has changed by life,” she says. “It has improved our relationship because I no longer feel ashamed.” The Ntiyso is a pilot project implemented in Maputo City and it has its focus on disclosure of the HIV + status to adolescents. It targets mothers, parents and caregivers of adolescents. The main activities are: Education and training of Mothers, Parents and caregivers of adolescents to reveal HIV+ status to their adolescents. Due to the Global Gag Rule this project lost its funding and was forced to close. Read more about AMODEFA's tireless work in Mozambique