Individuals attending the meetings are becoming more confident as a result of the support they are receiving from the group, which is evidence from their involvement in the group’s activities, they have more active social lives and the fact that they are all taking their medication and are cooperating with their health professional. The confidence and self-esteem of the members are improving.
Members of the group are now more empowered, and they are becoming more and more self managed. They are also actively involved in helping to broaden the awareness of HIV and its possible impact on victims, within the community.
Our meetings are sometimes addressed by Doctors and other health professionals and subjects addressed in the past include, Hepatitis B, Maintaining Relationship, Motivation and Healthy Eating. Six other workshops on confidence building and healthy eating are planned for the next 6 months. A summer seaside trip was organised on 06 July 2019. It was attended by 50 members. This was very boastful to the members and helped their moral and self-esteem. A day out of the normal environment where they had great fun.
I am pleased to say that we did not experience any major difficulties at this stage of the project. Initially there was the problem of gaining the confidence of the individuals and in persuading them to “open us” as it were!
The following are a sample of the many comments made by individuals attending the support group;
(1) I feel confidence to associate with the public
(2) My self esteem is now high
(3) I can now maintain a relationship
(4) I feel confidence to share my experience with others
(5) The Ernest Foundation is a family to me
(6) I am able now to associate with friends and neighbours
(7) I am no more living in isolation