In our conversation with Nora on Wednesday, we asked whether PEP had improved the position of women in this community, and there was a definite “yes” in reply. Families don’t fight so much – husbands have realised they need to talk to their wives/not drink all the money away. Couples plan together and share ideas, and it’s accepted that all children should go to school – not just the boys… when girls has been seen as just aiming for marriage/housework… but can now aspire for more – including running their own businesses.
Anna is one of those who has benefitted from PEP. She had lost her husband, and was thinking that she would die. Feeling really sick, she went for bloodtests, which returned positive for HIV – she wondered where this could have come from as she has only ever had one husband. Requiring money, she set up a small hotel, but then got sick again and expected to die. The community rejected her, but then came PEP, and she felt that her job was to learn from people, so went back home. If you want to last in Uganda you need to be able to do something with your hands – her brother helped until her strength was back, growing SimSim and Cassava, and bought a goat. Her farm kept growing until she had 15 goats. PEP has given her the income to be able to educate 2 young boys, and although she feels sick again (so please pray for her health), PEP has made life better. She also prays for strength to stay as a widow to ensure that the infection isn’t spread.
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014; second edition in process) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.