Maureen is the Executive Director of Lean on me and NGO based in Kenya. Mother of 2 boys she works with positive adolecent girls. Her experience and knowledge makes a key person to work with in helping young girls get back to school. Watch this space as we develop new initiatives in Kisumu Kenya.
Lean On Me Foundation is a registered NGO. It was founded to increase access to education, health and human rights for women and girls through advocacy and service provision to enable them to live more meaningful lives.
A HIV free society.
To increase access to education, health and human rights for women and girls through advocacy and service provision to enable them live more meaningful lives.
We uphold confidentiality, accountability and human dignity in all our interventions.
Lean on Me Foundation provides comprehensive care and support to adolescent girls and young women living with HIV and TB to enable them live more meaningful lives. We support girls out of school to get back to school by providing school fees and other learning requirements and also offer psychosocial support in form of group therapies to enable them live healthy and ambitious lives like their HIV free counterparts.
This donation was particularly helpful because historically children born with HIV do not get equal opportunity to go to school as it is assumed they will not live long enough to yield the fruits of education. Programs that target retaining girls in school like the PEPFAR’s DREAMS Initiative also target the HIV negative girls leaving out those already infected. The donation went a long way in paying school fees and buying school uniforms, books and other requirements to 10 beneficiaries through our education program and also benefiting more than 300 adolescent girls living with HIV through our psychosocial program in which the girls meet monthly for group therapy counseling sessions.
In the coming year Lean on Me envisages increase in school fees as four of these beneficiaries will be in high school and probably with a need to take them to boarding schools so that they have serene environment for learning.
In future we are looking into having a Dream Centre. This is because there are some of the Lean on Me members who are living in conditions that do not allow them a whole day in school but with the LEAN ON ME DREAM CENTRE we hope to nurture their skills in art, hairdressing, design, carpentry, bead work and cookery, skills that will earn them a future. We also look to open the dream centre to privileged children so that the school fees they pay can contribute to running of the centre and supporting the underprivileged children.
One other challenge we have found with adolescent girls is the extremely high mortality rate. Most of them stop adhering to treatment when dealing with the social challenges that come with being an adolescent. The Morbidity and mortality rate of adolescents who do not have any form of support is alarming. Lean on Me is proud to say that most adolescents in our program are doing well health wise thanks to the monthly group therapy support sessions as well as other forms of psychosocial support they get from us. Unfortunately most HIV programs do not fund this part of the HIV care. The cost of inaction is steadily increasing and this will soon be a new epidemic.