“I want to be a teacher so I can pass on knowledge to other children.”
Jaliya is the inspiration behind awamu. Jaliya suffered extreme neglect at the hands of her uncle when she was sent to live with him following the death of both of her parents from AIDS. She was just seven years old.
Fearing she too had the illness and may “contaminate” his children, she was kept in isolation looked in a tiny room, barely big enough for her to stand in. Little Jaliya slept alone each night on a sack and was forbidden to play with her cousins, go to school or even touch the family’s possessions.
Regina pledged there and then to look after Jaliya, offer her the love and comfort she so desperately craved and nurse her back to health. Although she knew it would be a struggle, she found a place in her home for her alongside the 10 other children in her care who’d also lost their parents to AIDS related illnesses.
Five years on, Jaliya is a healthy and happy 12-year-old. She’s doing well in school, she plays with her friends and brothers and sisters and, most importantly she has the love of a grandmother (or ‘ja-ja’) from Regina. A love that is so obviously reciprocated.
“Last year I performed well, I did well in every subject. I hope I will become first in my class. I want to be a teacher so I can pass on knowledge to other children.”
And this is thanks to you and your support of awamu.