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Wife Inheritance
Wife Inheritance Project with CAFOD

CAFOD  
The movement of men against AIDS in Kenya partnered with Catholic Agencies for Overseas Development {CAFOD} in April 2006.
This was a scaling up initiative to reach out to a larger population and to strengthen the ongoing activities in a bid to provide quality and timely support to those infected and affected with the HIV and AIDS in Karatina, Inoi, Konyu, and Kerugoya. The project is providing an enabling environment for those infected with HIV and AIDS who are continuing to get support from churches and other institutions, men are mobilized and motivated as agents  of change ,this is leading  them  to  taking active role in HIV mitigation.

The project through outlined activities offered skills and support to both men and women who are enabling them take active part in supporting both the infected and affected with HIV/AIDS.

The project has some of its key indicators of success which included the change of attitude towards People living with HIV and AIDS, an increased number of people seeking support from the project, initiation of income generating activities by the members, increased involvement of People living with the HIV and AIDS and community members in care and support activities, increased community involvement and contribution in terms of offering land for IGA and office space in Kerugoya.

Stake Holders Meeting
CAFOD StakeHolders' Meeting

TRAININGS
The trainings mainly target People living with HIV and AIDS and the male focal persons using approved manuals whereby members benefit adequately in gaining skills on how to manage, conduct and run men support groups.

COUNSELLING
One on one counselling sessions benefit PLWHAs within the project sites and the community members, thus supporting and helping people within the community to open up and share. Counselling facilitates behaviour change and behaviour formation process.  

OVERALL PROJECT IMPACT
Most people  Karatina,Inoi,Konyu,Itiati and Keruguya who previously indulged in risky behaviours that exposed them to the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS are now empowered this can be attributed  to the fact that high illiteracy  levels which was a barrier  t information dissemination has improved immensely with the intervention that built the skills  of the community through the joint efforts of  both MMAAK and CAFOD by the use of community structures and languages that suits each group of people.

CONCLUSION

MMAAK appreciates the support both technical and financial from CAFOD East Africa, this has enabled the project to achieve its objectives within the project area.MMAAK is looking forward for continued collaboration.

Wife Inheritance Project
Tom Onyango campaigns to end the custom of wife inheritance, which puts people at risk of contracting HIV [CAFOD]

Tom Onyango, 32, was forced to marry a second wife after his first died. Now he campaigns to end the custom of wife inheritance, which puts people at risk of contracting HIV

The custom of wife inheritance means that if a wife dies, the widower is paid to take another wife from his in-laws.

If a husband dies, the elders sit and choose another husband for the widow from their clan. The couple must have sexual intercourse when one of the elders are watching.

This practice puts people at increased risk of contracting the HIV virus which is why CAFOD partner, the Movement of Men Against AIDS in Kenya (MMAAK), is campaigning to do something about it.
The role of poverty

Tom is a volunteer for MMAAK. He comes from Kano/Angola in the outskirts of Kisumu, where wife inheritance is a common occurrence.

It often happens as a result of poverty and Tom is no exception. Orphaned at an early age, Tom and his sister stayed with an aunt who did not send them to school.

“Life was very difficult,” Tom explained. “One day, we had nothing to eat and my aunt was away so we had to run after a rat on the roof and have it for our supper because we had nothing else".

Tom eventually married and was happy with his wife. But she became ill and was tested HIV-positive. She died without having told Tom she had the virus - her sister told Tom several years later.

The elders and my in-laws forced me to have a new wife...I had to do it because of culture but I didn't like it at all
Tom Onyang

“Immediately after my wife’s burial, the elders and my in laws forced me to have a new wife, a relative of my late wife. I had to do it because of culture but I didn’t like it at all.” says Tom