Josephine's Story

Josephine was one of the first women to join the Living Compassion cooperative. Her mother died when she was a young girl. Her father tried to take care of her but eventually asked relatives to take her. When Josephine was 15, her relatives married her to a 45-year old man infected with HIV. Josephine soon became HIV-positive and gave birth to three babies born with HIV. Josephine is 25 years old and has already lost two of her children to AIDS. When we met Josephine, she was unemployed and barely able to take care of herself and her two children.

After Living Compassion came to Kantolomba, Josephine was able to get medical treatment for her HIV. She started taking antiretrovirals and learned about appropriate nutrition for herself and her children. Her daughter Marian joined the feeding program, and Josephine started working as part of the women’s cooperative. She received a loan for a new roof for her mud-brick house, and now has safe shelter for her family.

Josephine’s most recent baby was born HIV-negative, because Josephine received appropriate medical care during her pregnancy. She is now focused on building a brighter future for herself, her new husband, and her two daughters.



Josephine and the women in the sewing cooperative currently generate income from the items they sew. In her free time, Josephine crochets beautiful clothing for the children of Kantolomba. In partnership with Living Compassion, these skills will be turned into another micro-enterprise that will generate more revenue for the cooperative.

Being a part of Living Compassion has improved Josephine’s life in many ways. She now has a place to come every day where people respect and appreciate her and where she is able to earn a living. More importantly, she is part of a community and receives the support of the men and women of the cooperative as she faces life’s challenges.

As a parent, there is nothing more important than knowing that you are doing all that you can to create a better future for your children. With Living Compassion’s partnership and support, Josephine knows that she and her children have a much brighter future ahead of them.
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