A beneficiary of the Beacon of Hope Centre [Photo: Courtesy]
By Nicanor Ndiege
Mention the name ‘Beacon of Hope Centre’ to students of Multimedia University and automatically memories of free Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT), an exercise that they are so accustomed to, comes to mind.
The centre that sits on an eight and half hectares piece of land in Rongai town, for many years has been offering tri-annual free VCT services to students at the University.
Apart from pitching tent to carry out the exercise, on February 18, this year, young and aggressive media practitioners from the MMU journalism club, which I am part of, through their Cooperate Social Responsibility (CSR) set out to also give back to the centre.
During our activities, I realized that the centre was also giving hope to a special group of people in the society and I set out to find out.
A sign board at the centre drew my attention, it read; ‘Beacon Academy & Vocational Training/Production Centre’.
On the workshop’s doorway, the mission statement
within a rectangular frame reads: “To bring hope to women living with and affected by HIV and AIDS in poor communities by empowering and equipping them to meet their spiritual, physical, emotional, economic and family needs in a sustainable way”.
Within the centre, I met Naomi Mwikali a member from the Carpet Weaving production who has been in the centre for the last six years.
Soft spoken Mwikali says that she knew about the centre in the year 2006 from other women in the neighborhood, now colleagues, that the centre was in need of women living with HIV/AIDS to be trained on tailoring, carpet weaving and kikoi weaving.
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