The Born Positive Trust

Our Work

Handcrafted Bead Bracelets

Alzira and husband making the first Born Positive bracelet

Alzira and husband making the first Born Positive bracelet

Introducing Born Positive Beaded Bracelets…

We are very excited to be finally launching our first sustainable income generation project! Mama Alzira and her husband Abrahamo adopted their orphaned niece and nephew, Jacinto and Annabella, almost a year ago. We have been conducting regular home visits to the family to check on their progress and we are thrilled with the developments.

We have been in discussion with Alzira and Abrahamo over the last few months to get them started on a small business venture, hand crafting commissioned Born Positive beaded bracelets for us. The aim is to uplift their financial situation and encourage eventual independence from our monetary support.

After placing an order, Alzira and her husband will handcraft the stock. Each bracelet will be purchased by us for an agreed price of 25 meticals (50p). The bracelets will be up for sale in the UK initially for £1.50 each. The profits from every bracelet sold will go directly back into our charity and will be used to reach more vulnerable families who are caring for orphan children.

Born Positive Bracelets

Born Positive Bracelets

How to buy a bracelet?

Alzira’s bracelets will initially be available through our UK representatives: Vicky Parker in Aberdeen, Luke Fellone in London, Rosie Johnson in Nottingham, and Annie Harewood in Surrey. They will also be available at any events. Please contact us via email to organise the best way to buy yours!

If you would like to purchase an order of bracelets and help us to distribute them, please don’t hesitate to get intouch. The more places we can stock them, the more we can buy from Alzira and the more we will raise for our children and families.

Email: ahulme.marketing@gmail.com

Annie’s Blog Entry 1

Annie's first cold night at AACOSIDA Orphanage.

Annie’s first cold night at AACOSIDA Orphanage.

Week One – Arriving Home

In 2013 I spent two weeks in South Africa with my family volunteering for Daktari Bush School and Wildlife Orphanage. Now, nine months later, I have returned with my elder sister to volunteer for her and her charity Born Positive in Mozambique for four weeks. From my last experience in Africa I had some idea of what to expect, but at the same time I was apprehensive as to what was waiting for me over five thousand miles across the world. In order to arrive in Maputo, Mozambique we took an eleven hour flight from England to Johannesburg. After this we drove for five hours north east from the city towards Hoedspruit, Limpopo Province. After a few well-needed days rest we continued the final leg of our journey via coach south east across the Mozambican border and towards Maputo.

Our coach was meant to pick us and our suitcases up at 12.00pm on one of the streets of the town. However two hours later, we still stood: slouchy and tired against the bags, waiting by the side of a busy road in the midst of a small market for the coach to finally arrive. While we were waiting, trying to ignore the rumbling in our tummies and the aching pain in our feet and backs, we had time to look around and witness the organised chaos which was Africa. Directly in front of us was a main road, heaving with a range of vehicles including trucks, scooters, buses, and the occasional shopping trolley; accompanied by a man desperately trying to steer his way in and out of the traffic. Behind and to each of our sides was a small market, where stalls of fresh fruit and vegetables were being sold, along with various other goods. After what felt like an eternity, the coach arrived. However as soon as it did, so did a crowd of other passengers who were just as impatient and tired as we were. Once we had loaded our bags and found two seats, we settled down for the journey which would take up the rest of the day by tucking into a well deserved sandwich.

The first part of the journey was still within South Africa and during daylight hours. This meant that we could pass the time by gazing out of the window as we left the city behind, and take in the new views such as the mountains and the villages. As the sun began to sink towards the horizon we started to approach the Mozambican border. With our passports in our hands and a brisk pace in our feet, we left the coach and headed towards border control. For someone who had little recollection of what crossing a border was like, I was quite nervous. So as we got closer to the queue I was grateful I was with someone who knew what they were doing. Incidentally, I had nothing to be nervous about. I already had my VISA organised, which meant that we went through the border quickly and easily. But after seeing the waiting line for those applying for their VISA, I knew that I would always prearrange one. And so, we had crossed the border and started towards our coach again so that we could start the final part of our journey.

Once we were back on the coach and comfy again it was getting dark, even though it was only around 6.00pm. At the time I wasn’t sure whether it being dark was a good or bad thing. It could be good in the idea that it meant I wouldn’t have a culture shock immediately, however it could have also been bad in the idea that I may expect the worst and give myself a culture shock. Neither my sister nor I knew which way I would take it. But what I did know was that there is a huge difference on the Mozambican side of the border than the South African side. Immediately after the coach had pulled away I saw how much rubbish littered the road and earth, and the amount of people either walking or standing shoulder to shoulder in the back of pick-up trucks was almost unbelievable. But don’t get me wrong, South Africa was by no means litter-free, but the extent of it in Mozambique couldn’t be missed. At this point I was grateful it was getting darker. It meant that for now, these comparisons could be put on hold. And so, for the next few hours we tried to catch some sleep. As the only thing we could see out of the windows were distant fires, we had nothing better to do.

After the coach had dropped off the first set of passengers, and the momentary rain had passed, it was our stop. Once someone has spent the past four-five hours sitting on a coach, not to mention the last few days worth of traveling, you can understand that they may not be in the best of moods. This is in fact was what the taxi drivers found out once they had been waving their signs at us from the second the coach doors opened. We had already arranged a lift with Dumsane, the manager of AACOSIDA, Born Positive’s partner orphanage. Who we would be living with. So our frustration with the taxi drivers began to rise when they didn’t understand that we weren’t in need of their service, even when it was said in Portuguese. And so we found ourselves standing, once again, with just our luggage on the side of a road. The only difference being this time it was dark, and we were accompanied by various taxi drivers who were determined to get a customer.

Eventually after battling through Maputo city centre traffic, consisting of all kinds of cars, trucks, lorries, livestock, and the incessant sound of car horns we made it Matola, a town in the suburbs. We turned left off of the bustling highway, straight onto an even busier dusty dirt track which finally lead us to a large white, metal gate with peeling paint and rust. After three toots of Dumsane’s horn, a little hand could be seen fumbling with the padlock to let us in. As the gate slid open, half a dozen curious little faces welcomed us. And so, after twenty hours of traveling, we arrived at AACOSIDA orphanage which was going to become home.

Happy and HomeWithin ten minutes, all of our luggage had been carried and dragged into the main house by eager helpers, and after a quick dinner of a Mozambican traditional dish, matapa (the closest comparison would be spinach and rice) we were shown to our room. On first impression, and in all honesty, I wished to be back on the coach for the night. The room had three single beds and a cold, concrete floor. I turned to Amy and said, shivering “Its freezing. Maybe we should shut the windows?” to which she replied with “Hunny, there are no windows”. Since then, I have been shocked with the coldness off the evenings and mornings in Africa. I had no idea that their winters were so cold. I wished I had brought more jumpers and even a hot water bottle. However two days later, with glass windows fitted and two pairs of socks on, I already looked forward to tucking myself into bed under my mosquito net and gazing up to the corrugated iron roof. It feels like home.

Vicky’s Blog Entry 1

Vicky reunited with Jacinto after 2 years...

Vicky reunited with Jacinto after 2 years…

Monday 14th July 2014

After spending nearly a week in Mozambique, I can definitely say without a doubt that this country is a home from home. After planning what we were going to do over these next few weeks on my arrival, we took the weekend off and spent it in Mozambique’s capital, Maputo. Walking around the same areas I did 2 years ago when I volunteered with VSO Youth Volunteering, and seeing the art market with batiques flowing freely in the wind and intricate wooden gifts, I began to realise just how much Mozambique means to me and how I developed personally for the better by spending 3 months volunteering here. It only felt right that this time I visited, I needed to give back to the community, which is where Born Positive comes in.

With the help of our new partner Dumsane, owner of AACOSIDA (an orphanage for 20 children affected by HIV/AIDS), we are continuing to support our existing families who already have orphan children in their care. We are also planning on finding substitute families for AACOSIDA’s children, whether that be finding their aunties, uncles, going through the process of adoption or even finding grandparents if they are capable of taking on the responsibility of looking after a child affected by HIV/AIDS in a country where poverty is prominent everywhere.

Today was a special day. It was my first home visit to none other than Jacinto and Annabella. Jacinto was at the orphanage, Infantario Provincial in Patrice, Xai-Xai where we volunteered back in 2012 with his younger twin brother, Mysterio, who sadly passed away a few months after the programme. Annabella was taken to the orphanage by a distant relative towards the end of the programme, so I had met her briefly. Born Positive has helped to relocate them to a loving home and they both stay with their Aunt Alzira and family, who live in Mahelene, a very rural part of Mozambique. It took us about two and a half hours to drive there on winding roads with multiple potholes that we had to swerve around and we drove over a few railway tracks that were VERY bumpy!

Walking through the African shrubbery towards the creche that Born Positive pays for them to attend to pick them up was exciting, I hadn’t really thought about how I was going to react. As we stepped into the room, maybe 40 children were cosied up together on bamboo mats watching The Lion King in portuguese. I didn’t really have time to take it all in as Jacinto and Annabella spotted volunteers Amy and Leo, who have been conducting regular visits to the family for the last year, and ran for cuddles. I was not sure if Jacinto would recognise me, after all it had been two years since I waved goodbye to him and Mysterio at Infantario. After Jacinto had cuddled Amy and Leo he looked at me and smiled and I was sure he knew I was a familiar face. He reached out his arms to me and I picked him up and he wrapped his legs around my waist and his arms around my neck, giggling away. I couldn’t help but cry out of shock that this baby boy, who was thought to have HIV but has been twice cleared, had recognised me. A simple volunteer who just a few years ago would visit the orphanage and give him and Mysterio cuddles, wheel them around the courtyard in a wheelbarrow which they loved, and give them the love and attention they deserve. Of course Mysterio was in my mind the whole time. It was a bittersweet moment. It pained me not to see Mysterio run up to us smiling and waving, but seeing Jacinto alive and healthy, talking and walking without looking small and weak like he was going to topple over, was a moment that will stay with me forever.

Travelling all that way was exhausting and made me realise how truly exhausting it must have been for my fellow colleagues and volunteers Amy, Leo and Flora to visit Jacinto and Annabella using public transport. Its hard to picture what public transport in Mozambique is like when you haven’t experienced it, but it is not like at home. There is no bus timetable, the chappa (mini bus style public transport) leaves when it is full, and by full I mean every seat is taken and people stand over the seated people, leaving no room for personal space! I cannot thank those who are donating towards our vehicle enough. You only truly appreciate the reasons behind needing it when you see here first hand the difference it has made. We will be able to spend more time with the families we support, assessing their needs and keeping orphan kids in loving local homes – and it’s all thanks to you!

Vicky.

Dumsane’s Story…

Baby Dumsane, playing with at his new home

Baby Dumsane, showing us his new home

Baby Dumsane lost his mother to HIV at just 2 months old, his father remains in the late stages of AIDS in South Africa. Thankfully, Dumsane himself did not contract the virus during childbirth or thereafter.

After losing his mother, he was brought to A.A.C.O.SIDA orphanage. In fact this is where he was proudly named after Mr Dumsane Macamo who runs the orphanage with his wife Clementina.

Shortly after Baby Dumsane’s arrival, a lady and member of the local church group came forward and offered to be his substitute mother. She doesn’t have children of her own, which means that Dumsane has her full attention as well as neighbouring children with whom he plays with – He is now 1 year 3 months and a very happy, healthy little boy.

His new mother earns money by selling second hand shoes and although this is not a reliable source of income, she loves him dearly. A.A.C.O.SIDA have remained in contact to check on the families progress and have provided donated baby milk and other supplies when they can.

Born Positive will now be helping to provide the follow up support that Dumsane and his mother need, with regular visits, donations of baby clothes and finding a sponsor to pay for him to attend creche as our initial focus areas. Longer term, we’ll be looking at ways to uplift Dumsane’s mother so she can boost her income – possible handcrafting some items for us! Watch this space!

If you would be interested in sponsoring Baby Dumsane’s crech fees please email Amy at ahulme.marketing@gmail.com.

Magda’s Story…

Amy, Magda, Flora and Dumsane.

Amy (Born Positive Co-Founder), Magda, Flora (Born Positive Family Liaison Volunteer) and Dumsane (AACOSIDA Orphanage Founder).

Magda was 4 years old when her parents died of HIV, her father worked in the mines in South Africa and it is there that he contracted the virus. On his return home to Mozambique, the infection was passed to the mother, and then onto Magda herself during childbirth.

Until the age of 7 Magda lived at A.A.C.O.SIDA orphanage, after which she was taken in by some of her family relatives living nearby, the home where she still resides now. She is a responsible young woman managing her medicines and going to school.

Last year she failed her grade 10, the pressures of relationships among her sexually active piers make her feel segregated, alone and anxious. She avoids boyfriends because she is afraid of passing the virus and even more afraid of disclosing her HIV status for fear of further bullying.

Although in this difficult age of questioning, Magda has always wanted to be a nurse. In July she will be re-sitting her grade 10 exam and if she passes she will be at the correct level to apply for nursing school. Having now welcomed Magda under our Born Positive wings, we will be helping her to find a bursary or sponsor and guiding her through the application process for the course of her dreams.

We hope you will join us in welcoming Magda to our Born Positive family and wishing her all the luck for her exam!

May Success Story!

May Success Story

Left to right – Rofino, Jacinto and Annabella

On Wednesday last week Flora and I visited Jacinto and Annabella, the orphaned brother and sister that Born Positive has been supporting for over a year now.

8 months ago we helped to relocate them to their aunty Alzira’s home in Mahelane Village, where they could experience family life and love for the first time. With Flora our Family Liaison Volunteer visiting them regularly, the improvements in the children and the overall unity of the family has been going from strength to strength.

Last weeks visit left us almost to happy for words! When we got to Mamma Alzira’s home we were over the moon to see that the Betta Lights solar unit that we installed in March was still intact, the ear-to-ear grin on Alzira’s face when we asked her how it was going told us everything we needed to know. The two light bulbs have absolutely revolutionised their lives.

It was 11am when we arrived and the absence of the usual crowd of children was a little strange but absolutely refreshing – they were all at school of course! After the usual meeting with the chiefs of the community to show our respect and announce our visit, we took the short walk through the village to the Khensane creche and primary school.

Walking around a blind corner into the courtyard of the school, I spotted our little cherubs playing and they spotted me! Within seconds I had been almost bowled over with hugs and shouts of “Mana Amy! Mana Amy!”

With the help of our wonderful sponsors – Martien and Barbra from Holland for Annabella and Tracie Shephard from England for Jacinto and Rofino – we have been paying for all three (Rofino being Alzira’s 3 year old biological son) to attend the creche Monday – Friday for the last 7 months. Whilst renewing the fees for another 3 months, Flora, Alzira and I beamed with pride as we were told by the head teacher how much progress the children are making in class.

But, perhaps the best surprise of the day was hearing 3 and a half year old Jacinto speak for the first time. Having worked with him for the last 2 years it was clear that he was developing much slower than most children of his age, undoubtedly due to the traumas (both emotional and physical) that he has faced during his life. Up until now, he has not been able to articulate a single word and would only communicate with noises and hand gestures.

Finally, just 2 months before his 4th birthday and after lots of practice at creche and finally feeling comfortable in his new home environment the shy little boy we once new has blossomed into a confident, happy go lucky, chatter box!

During the same week we also had the honour of meeting Magda, Dumsane and Isaac, three very special children each individually orphaned and affected by HIV in one way or another – after meeting each of them in person we are delighted to announce that Born Positive will be supporting them in the same way we have done and will continue to do for Jacinto and Annabella. More on that to follow!

Thank you for reading our success story and being a part of our Born Positive change! We couldn’t do it without you.

Amy Hulme – Co-Founder.

Baking A Difference!

Baking a Difference!

Baking a Difference!

#Bakingadifference

Calling all yummy scrummy cake makers! Can you bake some of your most tantalising sweet treats (or savoury if your a health freak) for Born Positive? Sell them on at school, uni, work or even at a bake sale, event or social gathering…

This is such an easy and fun way to raise funds for our good cause. You can even get your own kiddies involved and explain that their cakes are Baking a Difference for other children in Mozambique.

Make sure you send us pictures! We’d love to see them and share them!

Where will the money go?

We are currently tying to raise enough money, £3,500 to be exact, so that we can buy a second hand vehicle. The work we are doing with children in rural areas of Mozambique is expanding and we simply cannot continue without our own transport.

We have a fundraising page online here www.gofundme.com/vehicle-for-orphans where you can read more about this project. Once you have sold your cakes, you can simply pay the money safely and securely onto this page. Easy peasy!

More info

Please get in touch and tell us your plans, we’d love to know about them and can help you with information about Born Positive, posters, displays etc. And don’t forget to send us your pictures!

Tweet them to @Bornpos and hashtag #bakingadifference

Facebook them to facebook.com/born.pos

Email them to ahulme.marketing@gmail.com

Thank you! Amy Hulme xxx

Chairman and Co-Founder

February Success Story!

Mama Alzira's home, in Mahelane village - Mozambique

Mama Alzira’s home, in Mahelane village – Mozambique

Sustainable Solar Energy for our Families!

We are SO excited about this project. Having spent many days with rural families in Mozambique (and living with one for three months!) we know all to well how lack of electricity can impact a family, those that can afford it inside their homes are forced to spend around 30% of their very low income on electricity bills. But for the most, who cannot afford it at all, life can only happpen in daylight hours – can you believe that in this day and age only 15% of the population in Mozambique have access to electricity!!! (stats from World Bank)

On to our good news – this is a success story after all!

We contacted the wonderful people at Betta Lights, a company who design and manufacture high quality solar solutions. They have very kindly offered to donate one of their Betta Two lighting and phone charging systems to Born Positive free of charge!

With the help of their up and coming branch, Betta Lights Mozambique, we will be installing the donated unit into Mama Alzira’s home in Mahelane village in March. Alzira cares for her 4 children as well as her orphaned niece and nephew. They currently live in a one roomed bamboo house with no electricity (pictured above).

Betta Two unit from Betta Lights

So what will the Betta Two unit actually provide?

  • 1 x 5 watt solar panel
  • 1 x 6 volt 4Ah lead crystal battery
  • 2 x LED lights with cabling
  • A controller with built-in cell phone charger and switches for the lights

In simple terms, this easy to use piece of genius kit will provide a light bulb in two rooms (in Alzira’s case, one inside the hut and one outside to light up the cooking area), light switches to easily and safely turn the lights on and off and a mobile phone charging connector. The battery will provide up to 10 hours of continuous lighting time and the charge will be replenished in 2.5 hours of sunlight – the battery has a 10 year life expectancy.

All this with a one off investment and the almighty power of the sun!

We cannot wait to install the Betta Lights unit into Alzira’s home and see the difference it makes to the family, of course we don’t just want it to end there! After trialling the first unit and meeting with the chiefs of the community we hope to work on a much larger scale to get these solar solutions out to all the families, caring for orphan and vulnerable children that we can reach.

Thank you so much Betta Lights for your donation!

www.bettalights.com

Help us reach more children!

We need your help to buy a second hand vehicle for Born Positive…

An example image of a Ford Bantam.

An example image of a Ford Bantam.

One of the major problems we continue to face in Mozambique is transport, we have to use extremely unreliable public buses to reach the families who live in rural villages. In hot weather and with heavy loads of food to deliver the work is unbearably hard and three times as long!

We have identified many more vulnerable children who need our help and as our work expands we urgently need to purchase a second hand vehicle – with our own means of transport we can reach a minimum of 10 orphan and vulnerable children by the end of 2015.

The vehicle we would like to purchase is a second hand Ford Bantam which we will buy second hand in South Africa. The cost for a reasonable quality Bantam is approx 60,000 Rand, or approx £3,500. Click here to view prices on Auto Trader South Africa.

Donate online now!

Simply click the button below to make your secure online donation. Thank you!

Striving for Millennium Development Goals

United Nations Development Goals.

United Nations Development Goals.

Having reviewed the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, we are pleased to show how Born Positive intends to allign our own goals, mission and vision in Mozambique:

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the eight internation development goals that were established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000. All 189 United Nations member states at the time and at least 23 international organisations committed to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

The goals and Born Positives allignment are as follows:

MDG 1 – To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Born Positive addresses the issue of hunger as a result of poverty by providing this monthly delivery of essential food items and hygiene nessessities to rural families who are caring for orphan and vulnerable children. We also look for ways in which to reduce dependancy in the long run e.g. helping the family to grow their own crops or develop an income generating initiative.

MDG 2 – To achieve universal primary education

Born Positive funds the cost of pre-school and primary school education for orphan and vulnerable children who are being cared for in rural families, we also fund the adoptive siblings within the families who are also to poor to go to creche or school.

MDG 3 – To promote gender equality and empowering women

Born Positive empowers women in rural areas, who are often the head of their home, by giving them our support, encouragement and upliftment to care for orphan children (nephews, nieces, grandchildren etc) as well as their own. We fund young children to attend creche in their villages which allows the women (who are often caring for a lot of children) enough time to take care of their home and chores during the day. We also look for sustainable income generating inititiatives so these women can begin to sustain themselves.

MDG 4 – To reduce child mortality rates

Born Postive contributes to reducing child mortality by supporting the well-being of extremely vulnerable children. Most of which are affected by HIV and are living in extreme poverty in rural areas, there guardians are usually elderly grandmothers who simply cannot afford to give them a nutritional diet and access to the health care and medicines they desperately need. We provide these children, who have serious health risks, with nutritional food, transport to medical facilities and funding for medicines.

MDG 5 – To improve maternal health

Born Positive does not currently have a focus on maternal health, but in the future we would like to work with communities to address maternal health issues – particularly HIV transmission.

MDG 6 – To combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases

Born Positive works to combat HIV/AIDS by ensuring affected children recieve the care they need, we strongly believe that an educated HIV positive child is a sensible HIV positive child. Where possible we also appeal for donations of mosquito nets to protect rural families for the threat of malaria.

MDG 7 – To ensure environmental sustainability

Born Positive addresses environmental sustainability by providing solar solutions to rural households, allowing them to have access to lighting, phone charging and cooking through the power of the sun.

MDG 8 – To develop a global partnership for development

Born Positive recognises the importance of global partnerships, we have plans to implement a zero-tolerance corruption policy which is our contribution to a fair, non-discriminatory financial system. We are also open for opportunitites to partner with other NPO’s/NGO’s and companies who share our values.

For further information, questions or suggestions please comment below or email Amy Hulme at ahulme.marketing@gmail.com.