burial

Project Harambee provides assistance with burial expenses to those in need.

In a country where the average wage is $1/day and families still are stigmatized if HIV status is known, there is no money for burial at the time of need.  When an HIV patient dies, the government will (with no charge) unceremoniously place the body in a mass grave.  This is without dignity, reverence, or respect for the bereaved family.

However, the hospital will hold the body of a loved one in the mortuary for three months.  The family may then apply for a permit allowing them to move from house to house and request donations from friends and neighbors for funeral expenses. We encountered many, many families who were forced to do this:  one a very young couple who had just lost their 6-year old child to HIV/AIDS.

While family members try to raise funds for a funeral, there is a meter ticking in the mortuary.  An additional charge accrues each day the body lies there--additional burden for the family and an inhumane assault on human dignity.