When Village Schools was founded in 2005 it was never our intention to get involved in any sort of medical work. We had a clear purpose and calling to build schools in villages. As we worked on building and opening our first school of Madisi we could see hundreds of people every day working incredibly hard to make bricks and carry foundation stones, but what we could not see were the hundreds of people who did not have the strength to work as they were dying in their homes – HIV/AIDS was silently ravaging this community. While it is true that the drugs (ARVs) are freely provided by the US government, the reality is that the people who need the medicine could never walk the 30 miles to the government clinic and they could never afford public transportation. We use donated funds to provide medicines that ward off the many opportunistic infections that so often accompany this disease.
What began as sending a few people a month by car to the government clinic turned into sending dozens of people every week, and eventually – through the Lord’s provision – the construction of an HIV/AIDS clinic. It is staffed by a number of our graduates who went on to nursing school and they are helping over 1200 people receive free treatment.
We are daily encouraged by the health and well being of so many in the community as a result of the free service the clinic provides. And we love to see so many of the students and teachers at Madisi who volunteer their time to help our three nurses run everything smoothly.
The clinic is a small fraction of what we do as an organization but it is half of where our heart is. It is the clearest representation of the culture of service towards one’s community we work to build at each of our schools.