A photo and reflection on her experience on SKIP Project by Sarah Hopkins-Weaver
Although this may look like a simple group photo taken whilst on the 2015 project in Zambia, understanding the series of events leading up to this photo completely changes its concept and meaning.
Firstly, let me introduce you to Eunice, the women wiping her eyes, stood under the tree in this photo. Eunice was one of our two translators for the four weeks that we were in Zambia. She was the first woman in Zambia to act as an advocate for those living with HIV, like herself. By herself she has helped to drastically reduce the stigma linked with having HIV, as well as successfully lobbying for the provision of free anti-retroviral therapy in the Livingstone area. She is one of the most strongest, influential and inspiring women I have ever met. However, on the day of this photo, Eunice had a moment of pure emotion. She led the rest of the Libuyu Women's group for women who are HIV+, in singing to us visitors the national anthem for HIV. And she broke down and sobbed. The song was about how so many people from across the continents are affected by this disease, but how together as one united world we will eventually beat it. Personally, I have never watched a grown woman wail, overcome with her personal suffering and loss, but also her belief and positivity for the future. But it was the most moving thing I have ever seen. This photograph is taken just after this moment - we are joint in prayer, praying for the world.
This is why we go to Zambia. This is why we teach children about sexual health, and how to prevent the spread of HIV. This is why SKIP Cardiff exists. Because, together, as one world, we can overcome HIV