Meeting Point, an AIDS hospice run by my dear friend Ketty Opoka, was featured in the Times‘ Freakonomics blog today:
The organization’s philosophy has also evolved along with science. “In the past, if you had HIV/AIDS, you thought you had to die,” Opoka told me. “Now you can help other people. It’s gone from a philosophy of ‘give me; help me’ to helping others.” Former clients now provide counseling to new patients on their ARV regimes, encouraging people to stick out the difficult early phase.
When floods struck Meeting Point’s headquarters in 2007, the organization’s new philosophy, as well as its home-grown community roots, was on full display. Told that it needed to move to higher ground or risk further flooding, Meeting Point secured a plot of land from the local Catholic Church. Opoka asked her clients to help clear the land.
So many volunteers showed up that Meeting Point’s staff had to implement a rotating shift schedule for the land clearing. The local hospital’s doctors told Opoka that while the land was being cleared, Meeting Point clients showed up early for their ARV regimes, toting hoes and shovels and begging doctors to wait on them first so they could head to Meeting Point for their shifts
Jeannie and I have been raising funds to rebuild Meeting Point, including $14,000 so far. Just $65,000 to go. Please read more and (if you can) give here. (Donations are tax deductible in the US and Canada.)
You’ll be hard pressed to find a worthier cause.