Kagemulo’s smile in this picture is misleading. She smiled upon seeing the video just taken during a visit to her home outside of Bukoba, Tanzania. Kagemulo had never before seen a picture of herself.
Indeed, Kagemulo said, “I cry all the time.” Three of her four sons are dead, and the fourth has advanced AIDS. Kagemulo cares for her son in her home, is the guardian for his two children, and is the guardian for two other grandchildren orphaned by AIDS.
When asked, “What do you hope for?” Kagemulo shakes her head and said, “I’ve lost all hope.” Later, though, when asked, “What do you pray for?” she does share three hopes: She hopes her son will die before she does. She hopes her grandchildren can live in her home and on her plot of land after she dies. She hopes her grandchildren can survive without her. “All they want to do is play,” she said. “If I am sick and don’t tell them to do it, they won’t collect firewood or look for food.”
Kagemulo is grateful for Nelson, the HUYAWA (“Service to Children”) field representative who makes regular visits to her home, bringing bedding, school uniforms, and supplies. He arranges for free medical care at the church clinic.
HUYAWA, a program of the Northwestern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, offers relief and development services to children orphaned by AIDS. Your contributions to the ELCA World Hunger Appeal, through ELCA Global Mission and in partnership with the Lutheran World Federation, help HUYAWA offer Kagemulo’s grandchildren, and too many others orphaned by AIDS, a future with hope.
Story and photograph by Sue Edison-Swift, adapted from
“Reproducible Stories,” shared with congregations in the
Spring 2004 ELCA World Hunger Resource Packet. Learn about current ways to support ministry in Tanzania through “Always Made New: the Campaign for the ELCA.”