Zenebech’s Story

Zenebech was widowed seven years ago and left to bring up four children alone. Her daughter Teneil* is a child in the Beyond the Orphanage program

“My husband died of HIV/AIDS in 2005. We had four children together and I thought he would live with me until the day I died – I never expected to outlive him. But I lost him so suddenly,” she says.

“When he got sick, I had never heard of HIV/AIDS. In fact, I didn’t know anything about AIDS until he died.

“When people found out he had died from AIDS, they didn’t want to know me. I was discriminated against. I had no social life. It was a very challenging time for my children and me.

“After my husband died, I started wondering about my own condition and went to see a doctor. I found out I was also HIV positive. That was the day I gave up all hope. I knew my children, especially my smallest girl Teneil, would be orphaned and in danger.

“My children and I were really lucky to find Beyond the Orphanage. The staff promised to take my daughter and help. They told me what HIV is: how it gets in the body and how to live with it. I felt a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders – I started thinking about a new life.

“Through Beyond the Orphanage, my daughter and I get nutritional support every month. And with ongoing counseling, my first-born child has even begun university! I feel we have a bright future now. I know that if I die, Beyond the Orphanage and my own son will be able to help my daughter. I really thank Beyond the Orphanage for their help.”

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