Pat Akehurst discusses how the Kadoma link helped those with HIV/AIDS [Text only]

'We set up the aromatherapy session for people with AIDS and HIV, and that was set up as a memorial...'

Stevenage Museum

We set up the aromatherapy session for people with AIDS and HIV, and that was set up as a memorial to somebody called Joyce Ramsley who was the secretary from the beginning and did so much to set up the link. Anybody who knew Joyce knew about the link. She was involved in lots of, lots of other things, but the link was her final thing and she died very unexpectedly unfortunately, just as the aromatherapy session was being set up. We had an ecumenical group come over from Kadoma. People working with I think nine different churches and they put us in the picture as to what the impact of AIDS in Zimbabwe and in Kadoma in particular and said we really need help here.

And on of the visits arranged for them was to a place, ah I have forgotten the name of it now, where they do aromatherapy treatment. And they met people who were working in Uganda at that time treating AIDS patients and they said if you could send us something like this you know because obviously we couldn’t supply drugs and things like that you know it wasn’t in our remit so to speak even if we could have afforded it, but we could set up this aromatherapy training. So somebody, two people went over from this country and we funded them and they trained about 20 students over there. Some of them were nurses, had the medical background, some of whom worked in a community, had that sort of background. Some of whom spoke excellent English, some of whom didn’t. But they all mucked in and helped one another through their exams and they got proper, you know, training and they have now started training more people in Zimbabwe.

They have also expanded and gone into homeopathic treatments as well, because they feel that’s something they can grow the herbs and so in Zimbabwe and something cheap that they can work with. So we are very proud of that and Joyce couldn’t have asked for a better memorial to her. And that again was very moving, when the students passed their exams and graduated, they invited us to send a group over, which we did for their graduation ceremony. Oh my word that was some ceremony there was dancing and singing you name it all in the local hall, community hall. And they had a tree of, a metal tree as it were of candles and as part of the ceremony they lit the tiers of candles for, had different meanings but there was one right at the top and they asked Leslie Ramsley, Joyce’s Husband, to light the candle at the top in memory of Joyce and there just wasn’t a dry eye then you know because it was so moving.

This page was added on 16/04/2018.

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