Santa Luisa de Marillac, Manjangue, Chokwé
Maria, 16 years old is an orphan and lives with her auntie in Manjangue. She is currently attending year 8 in Escola Secundária de Manjangue and has HIV. Since 2012, Maria is part of the UPG Sponsorship Programme and is a member of the Daycare Center in Santa Luisa, Manjangue. This Daycare Center ensures that these chilren and youngsters receive medical support, medication, food, proper hygiene, educational
support playful activities and professional psychological help for children with HIV, which is totally financed by UPG. Maria also lived with her brother, Belide, who had HIV and unfortunately in 2018, Belide became ill and due to his fragile immune system, was unabel to recover. He passed away at the age of 17.
Maria was only 15 years when she was confronted with this loss. She started to isolate herself, demonstrated long periods of sadness. With the support of the HIV Day Center, the Sisters, teachers and friends, Maria started to recover and at the moment interacts like she used to with other children and teachers. During the delicate period of her life, the grief she felt for her brother’s loss was never a reason for her to give up.