100X Development Foundation

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Winnie's Footprint

Winnie's Footprint

The statistics. In Malawi, 1 in 10 adults are living with HIV, and women are more than twice as likely to contract HIV. 52% of pregnant women and 120,000 children (age 0-14) are HIV+.

The story. As with every story, Winnie’s began far before she drew her first breath. She was born to an alcoholic mother that did nothing to prevent the transmission of HIV during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. At first glance, it is very easy to invoke criticism; however, as we look closer, the picture that so quickly forms in our minds begins to blur.

Winnie’s mother is 16 years old. She is the daughter of a prostitute. She is the third “wife” of a man twice her age. She is HIV positive. She is an alcoholic. She is a reflection of what 100X is fighting to prevent – a young woman who stares into her future and sees only darkness. A child with no hope.

We first met Winnie on the day that she was brought in to Lumbadzi Clinic for a wellness checkup. During her exam, it was quickly apparent that Winnie’s family was not equipped to care for her. Her mother, already in despair, had left her to return to the bar, her father was detached, and the aunt caring for her considered her a burden. When Mtendere Village was mentioned, there was no hesitation to allow us to care for her. After confirmation from the social welfare office, Winnie legally joined the Mtendere family.

For three months, we had the great privilege of investing in Winnie’s life and we cherish every moment. For three months, we fought hard for her life, but on September 21, Winnie Kate, passed away from complications resulting from her HIV status.

Looking at the circumstances surrounding Winnie’s birth, our team is reminded that there is so much that needs to be accomplished and we are pressing forward.

To honor Winnie, we have established the Winnie’s Footprint fund to provide pregnant and nursing women with proper nutrition and education on healthy pregnancy practices, as well as the resources necessary to prevent them from transmitting HIV/AIDS to their children during pregnancy and breastfeeding. This will ensure that children like Winnie are given a fighting chance.

Despite the heartache that the 100X team feels from this loss, we are encouraged by the knowledge that He that has begun a good work will complete it. Although short, Winnie’s life was not without purpose—she has stirred our hearts and strengthened our resolve.

If you would like to donate to Winnie's Footprint, please visit our giving page and select "Winnie's Footprint" from the designation menu. Thank you for your kind support in honor of Winnie!