August 6th, 2012
It has been almost 7 months since I lived in this village, but I am no close to master the Chichewa language. My vocabularies are very limited, I only know how to say thank you, ask the patients’ about their complaints or as simple as how to apologise to the families of my patients whom I can not save…
…
But there is one thing that I am proud of, that I could sing a song in Chichewa. That is a simple song that at first I didn’t even know the meaning, and for that I should thank three women - three great women I met and work together in this landlocked country in Africa.
This three women, just like any typical Malawian, with dark skin and a smile that always on their faces, politely greet me in the morning in front of our maternity ward. They have been there far before the warm sun starts to shine. Greeting the patients one by one, they ask about their conditions and the babies’. No, they are not doctors nor nurses. Some of them only graduated from elementary schools. But their ability and dedication are far beyond their education levels.
Everyday at 8.30 am has always been a pleasure for me, when these three women began to lead a chorus of mothers and expectant mothers who visited our health centre to sing songs.
…
“What is the song that you sing about actually?” Out of curiosity, I asked Chifundo, one of those three women. I raised my voice in order to be heard, when the women sang together. There was no music, only with rhythmic clappings accompanying their beautifull voices.
“It’s a song about family planning and sexual and reproductive issues,” she answered me while clapping her hands following the melody, still with a smile that seems never faded.
I was suprised! Knowing that the song are full of education and moral messages, I was more suprised since I had realised that each and every day they sing a different song.
“There are nearly 20 songs that we always sing together, and all of them are to encourage women” Chifundo continued to explain to me. They sing together to support each other, and that is the moment that they can leave their family problems behind and spend some time to appreciate themselves, even just for a couple of minutes.
…
There is one special thing about these three women, that they are the ones that the pregnant women who found themselves HIV-Positive to seek advice and support in the first place.They always become an outlet where these women can share all their burdens and worries. A place where these women confess their fear - the fear of the future that seems grave suddenly; the fear of diseases caused by the HIV virus that now resides in their bodies, the fear of stigma by society or even from their husbands, and on top of that, the fear of transmitting the deadly virus to their little babies…
But all those fear and worries seems fading away, when warm hand grips and soothing sounds of this three women touched me and the patients. “Don’t worry, we 3M will always support you…”
Yes, we call them 3M. Three HIV-Positive Mothers…
…
The sentence is not only a sugarcoat. I regularly find that the 3M walk for up to 10 kilometers off the beaten track to visit the villages which cannot be reached by cars and sometimes even too difficult to be reached by bicycles.They do this in order to find out the conditions of these HIV-positive women when they do not come on a routine visit to the clinic. Sometimes they pass the forest to reach these women’s husbands and talk to them, removing all doubts in their mind and encouraging them to accept the conditions of their families.
They demonstrate that there is a hope, a hope for pregnant women not to transmit this deadly virus to their babies. A hope that the future is still there for them to reach, that stigma will never prevail if they accept themselves and believe that being HIV-positive is not the end of everything. They are real examples, because the 3M are HIV-positive women who manage to survive and have children who do not suffer from this virus.
…
…
Indeed live is never an easy journey here but somehow these three women teached me something which will linger forever. That no matter what happen in live, no matter how difficult the road to pass by, we will never walk alone…

It has been almost 7 months since I lived in this village, but I am no close to master the Chichewa language. My vocabularies are very limited, I only know how to say thank you, ask the patients’ about their complaints or as simple as how to apologise to the families of my patients whom I can not save…

But there is one thing that I am proud of, that I could sing a song in Chichewa. That is a simple song that at first I didn’t even know the meaning, and for that I should thank three women - three great women I met and work together in this landlocked country in Africa.

This three women, just like any typical Malawian, with dark skin and a smile that always on their faces, politely greet me in the morning in front of our maternity ward. They have been there far before the warm sun starts to shine. Greeting the patients one by one, they ask about their conditions and the babies’. No, they are not doctors nor nurses. Some of them only graduated from elementary schools. But their ability and dedication are far beyond their education levels.

Everyday at 8.30 am has always been a pleasure for me, when these three women began to lead a chorus of mothers and expectant mothers who visited our health centre to sing songs.

“What is the song that you sing about actually?” Out of curiosity, I asked Chifundo, one of those three women. I raised my voice in order to be heard, when the women sang together. There was no music, only with rhythmic clappings accompanying their beautifull voices.

“It’s a song about family planning and sexual and reproductive issues,” she answered me while clapping her hands following the melody, still with a smile that seems never faded.

I was suprised! Knowing that the song are full of education and moral messages, I was more suprised since I had realised that each and every day they sing a different song.

“There are nearly 20 songs that we always sing together, and all of them are to encourage women” Chifundo continued to explain to me. They sing together to support each other, and that is the moment that they can leave their family problems behind and spend some time to appreciate themselves, even just for a couple of minutes.

There is one special thing about these three women, that they are the ones that the pregnant women who found themselves HIV-Positive to seek advice and support in the first place.They always become an outlet where these women can share all their burdens and worries. A place where these women confess their fear - the fear of the future that seems grave suddenly; the fear of diseases caused by the HIV virus that now resides in their bodies, the fear of stigma by society or even from their husbands, and on top of that, the fear of transmitting the deadly virus to their little babies…

But all those fear and worries seems fading away, when warm hand grips and soothing sounds of this three women touched me and the patients. “Don’t worry, we 3M will always support you…”

Yes, we call them 3M. Three HIV-Positive Mothers…

The sentence is not only a sugarcoat. I regularly find that the 3M walk for up to 10 kilometers off the beaten track to visit the villages which cannot be reached by cars and sometimes even too difficult to be reached by bicycles.They do this in order to find out the conditions of these HIV-positive women when they do not come on a routine visit to the clinic. Sometimes they pass the forest to reach these women’s husbands and talk to them, removing all doubts in their mind and encouraging them to accept the conditions of their families.

They demonstrate that there is a hope, a hope for pregnant women not to transmit this deadly virus to their babies. A hope that the future is still there for them to reach, that stigma will never prevail if they accept themselves and believe that being HIV-positive is not the end of everything. They are real examples, because the 3M are HIV-positive women who manage to survive and have children who do not suffer from this virus.

Indeed live is never an easy journey here but somehow these three women teached me something which will linger forever. That no matter what happen in live, no matter how difficult the road to pass by, we will never walk alone…