Moureen's legacy is alive in Walvis Bay.The legacy of Moureen Katjitako, Aids-activist who died earlier this year, is a strong presence between the walls of the Walvis Bay Walvis Bay (wôl`vĭs), municipality (1991 pop. 12,100), W central Namibia, on Walvis Bay, an arm of the Atlantic Ocean. Walvis Bay is Namibia's most important port and the terminus of a railroad from the hinterland. Multi-Purpose Centre in Kuisebmond, Walvis Bay. It is evident in the memories of the support group she started, and in the realisation of the dreams she had for herself, for the group and for the many people living with and affected by HIV HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), either of two closely related retroviruses that invade T-helper lymphocytes and are responsible for AIDS. There are two types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is responsible for the vast majority of AIDS in the United States. and Aids in the region. To the support group members she was a friend and continues to be a role model and a hero who encouraged them to Live their lives to the fullest with a positive attitude.
Says Claudine Chipuka: "She was the one who taught me about Aids. She was my teacher and I will always miss her. What she did, not only for me, but for the support group as a whole, will be to the benefit of many." Tessa Tessa
childlike young woman who thinks herself wedded to Tito and obeys his command to tell nobody of their supposed marriage. [Br. Lit.: George Eliot Romola]
See : Naïveté Haufika describes Moureen as her saviour. "If it wasn't was·n't
Contraction of was not.
wasn't was not
wasn't be for Moureen, I would have been dead. She gave me the will to continue and urged me to lead a positive and healthy life. I was very sick, but I started to fight. She told me 'you are still somebody, you can still do things! She gave me hope."
To Pamela Pamela
sweet maidservant who chastely repels disgraceful advances, marries her aristocratic pursuer, and attempts to reform him. [Br. Lit.: Richardson Pamela]
See : Virtuousness Jantjies she was everything. "I have very fond memories of Moureen. Her confidence and laugh is something I will always treasure." Claudine, Pamela and Moureen had a special corner at the Centre where they felt comfortable to share their dreams and fears with each other.
Gabrielle Gabrielle is a woman's name, originally the French feminine form of Gabriel, which meant "man of god" in Hebrew.
Persons named Gabrielle:
tr.v. mo·ti·vat·ed, mo·ti·vat·ing, mo·ti·vates
To provide with an incentive; move to action; impel.
mo any new-corners." To Herlyn Uiras the confirmation that she was HIV-positive came like a death sentence. "I thought I was going to die right away. I knew nothing when I joined the group. Today I know more about the disease and I've I've
Contraction of I have.
I've I have
I've have got Moureen's example to live by."
It was through Moureen that Anthony Plaatjies, the only male member of the group, decided to go public with his HI V-status. "I will remember her as a hero. She was the first woman in Walvis Bay and in the Erongo Region Erongo is one of the 13 regions of Namibia. It comprises the Swakopmund magisterial district up to the Ugab River and includes Walvis Bay, Omaruru and Karibib magisterial districts. This region is named after Erongo mountain, a well known landmark in Namibia and in this area. to go public. She gave me encouragement and moral support to choose the same route. Through her I learned that you could still dream your dreams. You must believe that every day you will get a little better and be a strong and healthy person."
"Moureen's dream was to start this group," says close friend Claudine. "From the start she was open about her HIV-status. She wanted to form a group where people could relate to each other and be part of each other's lives. Each person comes here with his or her own feelings. Beverley got us the office, she was also Moureen's teacher and they were very close. A lot of people with HIV get rejected and don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. where to turn. This group is a family and a support system for many, as it was to Moureen."
Members are in no way forced to go public with their status, the choice remains with them. "You have to decide from your own heart, nobody is forcing you to do that," explains Tessa Haufika who made her status public. "If you do decide to go public, you first get counselling. You decide where you stand and how you will handle it."
Many of the group members have decided not to go public, a wish that is respected by the rest of the group. "They want to be part of the support, but don't want to stand on a platform and say 'Hey, look at me, I've got Aids.' Those who decide to go public have their own reasons," says Beverley. Anthony explains that men generally do not want to admit they are HIV-positive. "They are shy about it but a lot of people have supported me. They say I'm a man for standing up and educating people about Aids."
The Walvis Bay Multi-Purpose Centre plays an important role in the lives of the members of the support group in many ways, as it did in the life of Moureen. Members participate in the day-to-day running of the centre, and can thereby earn an income. "For example, we don't appoint cleaners," explains director Beverley Figaji. If one of the support group members wants to do it, they get remunerated re·mu·ner·ate
tr.v. re·mu·ner·at·ed, re·mu·ner·at·ing, re·mu·ner·ates
1. To pay (a person) a suitable equivalent in return for goods provided, services rendered, or losses incurred; recompense.
"We also have a workplace program on HIV-Aids, through which trained outreach Outreach is an effort by an organization or group to connect its ideas or practices to the efforts of other organizations, groups, specific audiences or the general public. educators are remunerated for visiting companies to speak to the employees about how they deal with living with HIV and Aids. Group members are also actively involved in the Centre's holiday programmes."
One of Moureen's dreams was to start a gardening project at the Centre. This project has now been launched in partnership with the Walvis Bay Municipality MUNICIPALITY. The body of officers, taken collectively, belonging to a city, who are appointed to manage its affairs and defend its interests. and the Danish Government and has two components. One is the Green Project, which will use computers to provide environmental awareness and education to learners. The second is a vegetable garden being developed in the back of the Centre, which will benefit the support group.
"The products will assist members with the balanced nutrition they need," says Beverley. "If there is a surplus, this will go to the catering project or to assist with the soup kitchen run by the private sector twice a week."
Since the Centre opened 18 months ago, thousands of people have made use of the facilities for training, workshops and meetings. The support group has provided catering for these events as another means of generating income. "Through this we are also challenging the stigma stigma: see pistil.
mark of Cain
God’s mark on Cain, a sign of his shame for fratricide. [O. T.: Genesis 4:15]
scarlet letter facing people living with Aids," Beverley emphasises.
"We tell the people attending our events that the support group has prepared something to eat, and you don't find anybody rejecting the food. This demonstrates that HIV-positive people It may never be fully completed or, depending on its its nature, it may be that it can never be completed. However, new and revised entries in the list are always welcome. are still an active part of our community."
The Centre cannot provide treatment for members of the support group or other people living with Aids. "They themselves are advocates for access to treatment, and they use the group to lobby government for their right to affordable treatment," says Beverley. The main focus of the Centre is therefore to promote healthy and positive living with access to good nutrition, and the gardening project will play an important role in this regard.
Negative reports in the media following Moureen's death have angered members of the support group. Says Goldine Seibes: "We sometimes had our differences, but these stories about her after her death make me sad. We want to remember the good things that we shared, and the stories are hurtful hurt·ful
Causing injury or suffering; damaging.
hurt and won't bring her back."
Beverley was in England when Moureen got sick and needed to be hospitalised. "We communicated via e-mail and I encouraged her be strong and to try and subdue sub·due
tr.v. sub·dued, sub·du·ing, sub·dues
1. To conquer and subjugate; vanquish. See Synonyms at defeat.
2. To quiet or bring under control by physical force or persuasion; make tractable.
3. the virus by accepting it. She waited for me before she went to Okakarara to her mother. When I saw her on my return I was shocked. She must have lost about 15 kg and she walked slowly.
It felt like my heart was breaking. We sat in my office and talked about death. She said she was ready to accept death and that she was proud of herself that she had been able to fight the virus up to then."
In Moureen's absence one of the group members took over her role in the support group. "Somebody had to step into the leadership to make sure that the group would continue and grow. Renate Hoeses agreed to do it and has continued to lead the group since Moureen's death," Beverley explains.
While Moureen was in Okakarara, the group kept in contact with her although this was sometimes a difficult task as her mother's house was a distance from the phone booth.
"We sent messages that we were trying to visit her, but faced the problem of finding money for fuel and accommodation. We knew that she missed us, and thought that if we could go and see her, she would be encouraged to get better and come back. We applied to the relevant authorities for assistance but were not successful."
Beverley was at the World Aids Conference in Barcelona when Moureen died. "I returned to Windhoek the day before the funeral. I had to represent the group at the funeral as time was too short to collect members from Walvis Bay and take them to Okakarara."
After the funeral After the Funeral is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie and first published in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1953 under the title of Funerals are Fatal , Moureen's family asked Beverley to wind up her affairs in Walvis Bay. Beverley made sure debts were written off and Moureen's flat was given up.
Moureen's family also received money from the Centre as a contribution towards her funeral expenses.
The support group members feel that if Moureen had stayed in Walvis Bay, they could have given her more support. "She would have died surrounded sur·round
tr.v. sur·round·ed, sur·round·ing, sur·rounds
1. To extend on all sides of simultaneously; encircle.
2. To enclose or confine on all sides so as to bar escape or outside communication.
n. by her friends," says Claudine. "Through the projects at our Centre we will continue to keep her memory and her dreams alive," adds Beverley.
The Positive But confident Support Group can be contacted at Tel (064) 200219.