Chip Lyons, President and CEO
I've just returned from an inspiring trip to Kenya, where two living symbols of the work of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation came together in really poignant ways - Jake Glaser and the Kwamo Health Clinic and Dispensary.
The Kwamo Clinic and Dispensary resides in Homa Bay County in western Kenya, which at 25.7% has the highest HIV prevalence rate in the country. Located at the "end of the road," in an exceptionally difficult to reach spot, Kwamo employs two nurses who manage with grace, caring and skill to serve the varying health needs of their communities with very little funding and limited supplies. Each day these nurses do it all--counseling, testing in itiation of support for women, children and families in need. Four short years ago, this would not have been possible But with support from EGPAF, through the generosity of CDC and USAID, they are truly making a difference.
Jake Glaser accompanied me on this trip to Kenya and to Kwamo. As you know, Jake is Elizabeth Glaser's son--a strong, healthy, charismatic thirty year old man. Seeing Kwamo through Jake's eyes was especially gratifying. While there we met with dozens of adolescents living with HIV. Jake connected with these young Kenyans in deep and meaningful ways, sharing his personal stories and reminding them that their lives don't need to be defined by HIV. They responded in turn with real appreciation to Jak'es message about living a long and healthy life while HIV positive--an image that is not often ready available in their part of the world.
As 2014 comes to a close, I am reminded of the great progress that the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation has made, due to friends like you. Earlier this year we celebrated the milestone of reaching 20 million women with services to prevent their children from beocoming HIV infected--a truly remarkable achievement. Such a milestone is due largely to the determined efforts of health care providers at sites like Kwamo and across Africa. At the same time, there is clearly so much left to be done, in scores of high prevalence areas of the globe. But symbols of hope like Jake Glaser and the nurses at Kwamo provide us with a greaet sense of potential and possibility--and strengthen all of us, as we push toward our goal of ending AIDS in children, once and for all.
As you celebrate the holidays with friends and family this season, please know that the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation is grateful for your on-going leadership and looks forward to continuing to tackle these issues together in 2015--untll no child has AIDS.
With dep thanks and appreciation,