The Project Lek story begins with a baby boy called “Lek”, brought to the Agape Home by his mother. Both Lek and his mother were HIV infected. Although she was trying hard to keep her family together, Lek’s mother was simply not able to work enough to meet the family’s basic needs. Thus, she made the difficult decision to place her son in a home for care.
It was clear to all who met her, that Lek’s mother loved her son very much, but the circumstances of her life made it impossible for her to be able to care for him any longer at her home. Lek’s mother brought him to Agape Home to live, but also remained in close contact with him.
One of the volunteer caregivers serving at Agape at the time observed Lek and his mother together, and was moved to action to help. This volunteer worked to raise some special funds—enough to help Lek’s mother to meet her basic monthly needs, and consider taking Lek back home to live with her. Her efforts on behalf of Lek’s family were a success, and with this additional financial assistance, Lek’s mother was able to take him home to live with her for the rest of his brief life.
That experience led the Agape Home to action to start the Project Lek program. As in Lek’s case, we do encounter situations where a family is faced with the difficult decision of placing a child in care at a facility like ours, because they cannot make ends meet financially. This may be due to a variety of reasons, including the difficulties encountered in trying to hold down a job while caring for a family member who is ill. Thus, the decision was made to try and help in these situations where a little financial assistance can make the difference in keeping a family together.
How it works:
All the families who are supported by Project Lek funds have been impacted by HIV/AIDS, with either a parent of the child, or both the parent and the child being HIV-infected. In each case, the family has income from at least one other source, typically a job held by a parent, but the income from the other source(s) is not sufficient to meet the family’s basic needs. Because of this latter factor, the child is at risk of being separated from the family. In each case, the stipend provided through Project Lek helps maintain the family’s ability to stay together.
Cases will come to our attention in a variety of ways, including referral through a church, or other local contact, referral from another NGO, or referral from someone associated with the Agape Home. In each case, the family is visited, and an assessment of the required assistance is made. If the family is accepted for Project Lek assistance, the Agape Home will follow up on a regular basis, typically through the regular monthly contact for the disbursement of funds and through monthly pastoral care.