Mr Petrus Hailulu, in April 2013, with Namibia Red Cross volunteer, Elina Nengola. Photo: Alexandra Peard, NRCS
Today, Petrus Hailulu, a 38 year old man from Onehanga village in the Ohangwena region, stands strong before me and smiles with the bright, warm eyes of a man who is happy to be alive. Just two years ago, this would have been a very different picture. Mr. Hailulu suffers from both HIV and TB and when Namibia Red Cross volunteer, Elina Nengola began visiting him under the Namibia Red Cross’s home based care program in the Ohangwena Region, he was so weak he could not walk and could barely see.
Mr. Hailulu’s wife is also HIV positive and they have two daughters as well as two orphaned children under their care. When Elina first started visiting Mr. Hailulu, his wife had moved to Windhoek for several months to find documentation for the orphans so they could be registered for the Government’s Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) grant. This left the weak and sickly Hailulu looking after four children. Speaking of this time in his life, Mr. Hailulu says, “I was hopeless for life. But now, I feel like I have been revived from death.”
Today, Mr. Hailulu says he feels strong and fit to play soccer and it is thanks to the support and care from Namibia Red Cross home based care volunteer, Elina Nengola.
Mr. Hailulu explained that during the worse times of his sickness, Elina was the only one who came to visit him. He says his transformation is due to the care and psychological support he continues to receive from Elina and the monthly contribution of $300 he receives from a good Samaritan via the Namibia Red Cross.
In 2011, the Namibia Red Cross shared Hailulu’s story with national newspaper, The Namibian. As a result, a private Namibian citizen contacted us and arranged to give Mr. Hailulu a monthly donation to help him improve the quality of his and his family’s life.
Mr. Hailulu thanks the Namibia Red Cross Society for the support they have provided to him ranging from nursing, feeding and counselling. “This support has meant I can resume a normal life”, said Mr. Hailulu. “So now, I want to join other Red Cross volunteers so I can help others like me resume normal lives,” he said. He is part of a gardening project in Onehanga, where volunteers grow maize on a plot of land donated by the headman, who is also a part of the project. The group saves the money they make from selling their crop so it can be used to help vulnerable people in their village.
Tate Petrus Hailulu is a living example of what can be achieved when Namibians reach out and help their fellow Namibians!