Jacqueline Kulipajiri (Jacquie) is a kind, helpful young girl whose life is very different thanks to the generosity of our supporters.
Young childhood was sadly a challenge for Jacquie. On the 30th July 2003 Jacquie was referred to Open Arms by Social Welfare. She had sadly become orphaned and upon arrival was extremely ill; undernourished and with little energy. To make things worse Jacquie had a severe cough, a high fever, sickness and her weight was dangerously low.
Mrs Phiri recalls ‘In my heart I always think of Jacqueline, who came to us before there were Anti-Retrovial Drugs for HIV. She almost died. I can still picture her one day as she lay in her cot, tiny, emaciated, with her hand on her cheek. I almost cried.’
A combination of antibiotics and cough medicine was given to Jacquie to help combat her illness as well as Panado for pain-relief. These were the only medications available to help her at the time. Sadly, they did not help and it was quickly realised little Jacquie would need much more treatment to become healthy.
The right treatment
As soon as antiretrovial treatment (ARVs) became available in Malawi, Jacquie was tested for HIV and the results came back positive. ARV treatment was given immediately to allow the immune system to recover by slowing down the damage caused by the virus. With this new medication quickly getting into her bloodstream, she improved dramatically and became a happier, healthier little girl, almost symptom free!
In 2006 we were delighted that Jacquie had moved back in with her family in Ndirande Township.
Now a wonderful grown up girl studying for her senior standard six at Chitsime Primary School, Jacquie enjoys helping others as you can seen in the photos. She enjoys food and describes her favourites as; nsima, avocados, mangoes and cucumber.
She works hard, cares for her family and one day dreams of becoming a nurse or lawyer.
Jacquie will continue to be on HIV (ARV) medication for the rest of her life hopefully bringing the HIV virus to an 'undetectable' status. She is able to get her monthly medications from Queen Elizabeth Hospital and understands the importance of taking it.
As for Open Arms, the Blantyre Outreach team kept a close eye on her for her first 18 months of living with her Uncle. And through the generosity of her sponsor, we are able to continue to offer a small monthly payment and Likuni flour (which is high in protein and energy) to make sure her family can support her needs now and into the future.
Jacquie's story is one of celebration for Open Arms, as through your kind support we have been able to save her life and give her a future to look forward to.
She looks back on her earlier years gratefully,
''I am so grateful to my sponsors for the love and assistance that I receive'' Jacquie tells us.
It is incredible to see the progress of this young girl thanks to your support. We would like to keep these services running for more of the children that are referred to us but we can only do this with your help. If you would like to find out how you can sponsor a child or set up a regular donation to Open Arms please visit https://www.openarmsmalawi.org/how-you-can-help/donate