Medical services save a child’s life in rural Kenya
By Chelsea Quackenbush
Stanley lost both of his parents to HIV by time he was 6. The young Kenyan boy then lived with his aunt, who could barely afford to feed him and take care of him.
She had a heart condition but tried to support Stanley by working on a farm as a day laborer. Stanley, who contracted HIV at birth, was malnourished and sickly. He was timid and had no hope, until Buckner stepped in to fight for him.
Buckner staff assessed his condition, helped his aunt create a health plan and encouraged her to seek medical advice and services from a local HIV clinic. Buckner also provided cash subsides so they could afford his medical treatment.
In addition to tangible medical aid, Buckner also helped get Stanley enrolled in a boarding school where he feels comfortable and accepted socially. He receives food and clothing and anti-retro viral treatment at school.
“Stanley is now a jovial boy, healthy and full of energy and hope,” said a social worker at the Reynolds Center - Cherangani at Buckner Kenya. “He has high self-esteem. He loves his school because of the social acceptance he has from his teachers and friends.”
Stanley represents a cross-section of children in rural Kenya. There are many who need care and protection, education, food, clothing and shelter. They have serious medical needs but often there is no one to help get the services they need.
Buckner has put into place intervention programs that meet these needs like monthly financial assistance which helps families buy food and other basic necessities. Medical centers built in different regions around the country provide medical services for children.
Buckner also offers educational programs for children, which include guidance and counseling. Other programs, like foster care, offer training for caretakers, assessment and placement.
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