Imagine the relief that comes when you find a safe, healing and welcoming place you can trust as your whole world is collapsing. Because of your past support, PWA is this kind of space.
Forced to stay in a shelter with two young children while working on obtaining immigration status in Canada, Chebet, an HIV+ woman, received shocking news; her refugee claim had been denied and she was being deported.
“I was blind from stress… just floored,” says Chebet.
With this devastating news and two young daughters to look after, Chebet didn’t feel she could function. To add to her stress Chebet had almost no support. She had no income, no health benefits, no drug coverage and no hope for the future. Her family lived out of the country and Chebet dare not tell them of her struggles, because of HIV stigma, “There would be too much shame,” she tells us.
While the specific circumstances about Chebet’s experiences are unique, the hopelessness she felt is not. In so many cases the people PWA help feel alone and overwhelmed by the immense struggles they face. Imagine Chebet’s relief when she finally found a space away from the chaos… imagine Chebet’s relief when she found PWA.
Because of your donation, PWA is here to help people like Chebet get connected to government programs that provide a basic income, medical care and drug coverage – absolute necessities for people living with HIV. For Chebet, we immediately introduced her to a case worker who listened with an open heart – something Chebet hadn’t experienced in a long while. PWA connected Chebet to a lawyer with expertise in HIV & immigration which then allowed her to access the vital government income, health and drug benefits programs.
“When I first came to PWA I didn’t know anything.
I had nothing… but PWA changed all of that for me, and I am so grateful.”
Chebet did get her refugee status and moved out of the shelter and into subsidized housing. Her two girls are doing great, and Chebet has gone on to become a PWA peer health navigator, helping other woman living with HIV face similar challenges. Chebet has become an empowered community leader. Her transformation has been amazing. Chebet says it best, “When I am well my family is well… and we are all well now!”
I thank you for being a generous supporter of PWA and our clients in the past. We know many people look to their favourite charities during the holiday season, so we wanted to give you that chance.
Please feel good knowing that your donation is touching the lives of so many at this important time of year. Through the generosity of donors like you, PWA continues to provide its life-changing services and programs to people like Chebet – empowering them and their families on their journey towards wellness and healing.
Thank you and happy holidays.