Posted July 4th
Linkiscina is a mother and grandmother who is taking care of her two children and two grandchildren. She became a widow in 1999 and discovered her late husband had infected her with HIV/AIDS in 2004.
Knowing she had a family to support, she began to brew alcohol so she could buy food for her family. Linkiscina wasn't proud of what she was doing, but she couldn't see another way of making money -- especially since she was feeling quite ill due to HIV. To make matters worse, she was robbed. The thieves took everything and she had - and she had no idea what to do next. Hopelessness and despair set in. The ache in her heart continued, but the children needed to be fed.
One day a pastor came and spoke to the village. He came and asked them to “Lay your burdens down”. These are exactly the words Linkiscina needed to hear. She came forward and prayed and laid it all down at the feet of Jesus. She suddenly knew that God would provide for her family.
Shortly after Linkiscina became a Christian, Someobdy Cares began to work in Chikudzulire. Somebody Cares began to teach the widows how to make beads and soap. Soon the widows group began to earn money from the sale of these items.
But Linkiscina realized that the money truly was not hers. If there was an emergency in her home (one of the children would become sick or she would lose her fight against HIV/AIDS) she would still have no money to care for her family. She knew she needed to find a steady income. With the introduction of selenium from Somebody Cares into her treatment, she grew healthier and stronger. She was no longer bed ridden. It was now time for Linkiscina to support her family in an honorable way.
In February of 2011, she was strong enough to take on a couple of seasonal jobs that paid her a total of $35. With this money she asked Somebody Cares to purchase her the palm oil to make soap. In her first month of sales of soap from her home she made a profit of $12. Since that first month, she has steadily grown her business and every month is showing a bigger and bigger profit. Her desire is to have enough money to open a bank account, so that her children are taken care of in the future.
Linkiscina continues to be a part of the HIV/AIDS support group in her village. She encourages others to press on and be creative in starting their own businesses. She enjoys their weekly Bible studies and sharing during their time together. Her prayer is that her 9 year old son and 13 year old duaghter complete their education – no matter what happens to her. She prays that her son can find a mentor that can lead him in the ways of the Lord, and break some of the bad habits he is developing at this time. She thanks God for the blessings of Somebody Cares, her renewed strength, and for the hope of a bright future for her children and grandchildren.
Linkiscina is one of the women in Chikudzulire that Mission has helped through supporting the Women and Widows program operated by Somebody Cares. Her story is an illustration of the transformation that is occuring in the lives of many women in Chikudzulire.
Linkiscina, the women in the HIV/AIDS support group, and the Women and Widows group in Chikudzulire say a big heartfelt THANK YOU to the people of Mission for their support and prayer.