Improving the lives of children affected by HIV & AIDS

Peter Thokozani Gondwe was Co-ordinator of HAWIP (HIV/AIDS at Workplace Intervention Programme) in Rumphi, one of Egmont's partners in Malawi. This interview appeared in our 2011 Annual Review. Peter has since gone on to found another organisation Life Concern, which focusses on reducing mother to child transmission of HIV, which Egmont began funding in 2013.

What inspired you to get involved with this kind of work? What motivates you?

My brother, who was a primary school teacher, died of AIDS after a long illness. I was the guardian caring for him and life was really tough for me because I had to care for my own family and his family, as well as spending much of my time in hospital with him.  And in those days ARVs were sold at a very expensive price that we couldn’t manage, even with what both of us were receiving as salary per month. He died in 2000 and his wife followed in 2002, leaving two children with me which was also an added burden. I am still caring for them; the elder is now in form 3 while the younger is in standard 7. 

This inspired me to do something that could prevent people from getting HIV, especially in the communities. I had passion to help when I saw old people caring for relatives who were suffering from AIDS and caring for orphans. I was always remembering the pain I had even when I had some income, so I wondered how do the old people cope without money?