Fighting Stigma: The Faith Based Approachint
Stella Nabukenya (not real names) a resident of Kinoni in Lwengo district was surprised to find her desk that usually accommodates five pupils deserted. That was in 2010 in her primary six. She remained lonely as her peers squeezed up on other desks.
Confused and shattered, Nabukenya thought that it was her rotting feet that had turned away the pupils. Surprisingly they were much better to the fact that she was wearing shoes. She dared to find out the truth. She slowly mastered the courage to get up and approach her colleagues to ask them what was wrong. But to her shock, every pupil pushed further away from her, like she had a contagious disease. Still puzzled at this new development, one pupil let it out, ‘’ olina siiimu, totusemberera ogya kutusiiga, genda eri, nemukibiina kyaffe tetukwagalamu’’ literally (you have AIDS, stay away from us, we don’t even want you in our class, you will infect us).
On learning this, Stella’s legs started to shake and her knees weakened. She felt dizzy and panicked wishing the ground supporting her shaking legs would swallow her.
Alas! Her long kept secret was out, pondering the next move, the shuttered Stella wobbled slowly, out of class, sat under a mango tree sighed and thought for a moment.