Mbooni is a picturesque landscape forming part of Makueni County. The area is mainly hilly, providing a unique aura and tranquillity, for visitors. Subsistence farming is mainly practiced with maize, beans and mangoes being the most preferred crops by locals.
Tucked in this wonder is a vibrant self-help group named Kitundu cha Mataa. The group was founded in 2004 to support people living with HIV to adhere to medication, support orphaned children and promote HIV prevention through condom distribution. The membership of the group who served as community volunteers included people living with HIV from the surrounding communities.
Seventeen years later, most of the members of the group are of advanced age. “We are no longer young. We take longer time to navigate the difficult terrain, and meet communities’ members, collect condoms and distribute. More than 10 years ago the 5 km walk to collect condoms for distribution was an easy task. Today most of the members have a daunting task to climb unfriendly terrain characterized by hills and slopes. ” “Chairman, Kitundu cha Mataa
The group calls out for younger people to join the community spirit of volunteerism and support the County to end AIDS as a public health threat. The challenge faced by Kitundu cha Mataa is not unique to the group. Most of the community led organization are faced with the challenge of attracting young people to serve as volunteers for continuity. The groups are also faced with funding challenges. The members of Kitundu cha Mataa are now engaged in tree planting and poultry farming for self-sustainability.
The solutions for attracting young people to join community volunteer groups lie in their active engagement and innovative solutions.
Makueni County is among the counties whose HIV programme outcomes has been excellent. The County is focused on ensuring people living with HIV achieve viral suppression to lead a healthy life.