2012February 9, 2012
When their daughter Leah was born, Imani, Helena, and the baby tested positive for HIV. Anguished and ashamed, Imani left his ailing family and fled the village, despite family members' attempts to intervene. Leaders from the Muslim Council of Tanzania, the Pentecostal Church of Tanzania, and the Christian Council of Tanzania learned about the situation and teamed up to find Imani. The interfaith coalition had received training from the Health Policy Initiative (HPI) on the basics of HIV transmission and learned how stigma and discrimination erode the bonds of family, community, and country. Following intensive counseling, Imani returned to his family with his hope restored and a reinvigorated determination to live a healthy, happy life.
February 9, 2012
After enduring violence and sexual assault for a decade, Happiness Soine finally gained justice when the perpetrator was arrested after a journalist published her account. In an effort to raise public awareness of gender-based violence, the Health Policy Initiative (HPI) collaborates with the Association of Journalists against HIV/AIDS in Tanzania to build the media's capacity in reporting on stigma, discrimination, and gender-based violence. Journalists learn about Tanzanian laws, policies, and regulations, and examine relevant provisions of the penal code related to rape and indecent assault. She now lives happily with her two sons in a new house on their plot of land in the Arumeru District.
February 9, 2012
After finding out she and her son were HIV-positive, Valediana was forced to squat on a small piece of unused land where she built herself a makeshift hut from thatched grass and began to raise her baby boy, Jotham. The Health Policy Initiative (HPI) has been working with faith-based organizations in Tanzania to reduce stigma and discrimination. HPI educates religious leaders on the basics of HIV transmission and illustrates how stigma and discrimination erode the bonds of family, community, and country. By exemplifying compassion and empathy, religious leaders have proven influential in promoting a supportive environment for people like Valediana and Jotham.