Two Members of the Tenderfeet Family Pass Away


We’ve had some very sad news recently at Tenderfeet. Two dear members of the Tenderfeet family have succumbed to HIV/AIDS.

Susan Wanjiku was the house helper for Mama Margaret. At any given time, there may be 10 children staying at the small house Margaret lives in, which means there is so much cooking, cleaning, and washing that needs to be done.

Susan was a sweet and quiet woman in her thirties. She had acquired HIV through her husband who passed away.

I stayed in Margaret’s house for two weeks this year, and was fortunate enough to spend time with Susan during that time. I always enjoyed her smile and kind spirit. I think she got a chuckle or two out of my strange American ways of doing things. The world needs more gentle souls like Susan’s.

The other member of the Tenderfeet family that was recently lost was a young boy named Clinton Rwoti. He’s the boy in the front row of the photo, he has the red jacket and is on the left.

Clinton became a Tenderfeet student in 2006. The photo of him was taken in January of 2007. When I visited in September of 2007, he was already missing a lot of school because of his health.

Whereas a lot of young people that are HIV positive respond to the ARV drugs, Clinton unfortunately was often struggling with his condition.

His family fled Kibera during the 2008 post-election riots and settled in a rural community.

When his health recently became much worse, he was taken to Kenyatta National Hospital, but they could not save him. He passed away in the hospital.

Margaret was informed through a friend after Clinton’s untimely death, and didn’t know until it was too late he was in the hospital. She was heartbroken to see such a precious young person taken by this horrible disease.

Almost every child of Tenderfeet has been affected by HIV/AIDS in one way or another, many lost one or both parents to the disease, and some are even infected themselves. Our hope is that through education and love we can fight the disease on behalf of wonderful people like Susan and Clinton, so that the next generations will not know the suffering and tragedy that this generation has faced.

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