Helping the poor help themselves

Last year, we met a Zambian woman named Christine who had gone from riches to rags because of AIDS. Once the owner of three houses, she sold all her properties in desperation and used the money to pay a medicine man to cure her. In the end, she was left with no money, no friends or family to support her, and a worsening illness.

At the time of our meeting, Cross Catholic was providing nutritional support and counseling for Christine through a local home-based care program. The support, in combination with antiretroviral (ARV) medication, had effected a dramatic change in her life and restored her declining health to where she was able to function.

With the help of Cross Catholic, Christine has turned her life around after losing everything she had.

Just last month, we met Christine again – this time at her brand new home that we provided through the help of the same local ministry. We were delighted to find that Christine was raising chickens on her new property and that she was utilizing all the available space outside to grow her own food. The chickens will provide a steady income that will enable her to support herself and her one child who is now living with her.

Christine’s work ethic is setting a good example for her neighbors, all of whom have also received their homes from Cross Catholic. The temptation for these families to give in to despair is great, but Christine wasted no time in making the most of her situation. She is no longer a victim, but an overcomer. Instead of weeping over her past, she is looking toward the future with new hope, as she plans for her family’s welfare.

Christine represents exactly the kind of success the home-based care program aims to achieve in the lives of poor Zambian families traumatized by the AIDS pandemic.


Christine’s new house.