When Peter found out he had HIV, he thought all hope for the future was lost.
He was 13. His father had died from HIV the year before. His mother, through whom he was infected with HIV at birth, decided to tell him his status because he was struggling to take his medicines every day when he didn’t know why he was taking them.
Peter thought HIV meant the end of his story.
“There is nothing for me but death,” he said. This was what he heard at school, at church, in the whispers in his neighborhood. This was the only story Peter knew.
Through the AMPATH HIV care program in Kenya, 15,000 children receive HIV care and medicines that keep them alive, healthy and growing into adulthood. But they need hope too.
Peter found that hope in a support group at his clinic that was for kids just like him.
“The group became my family,” he said. “The only place where people understood the burden I was carrying, the only place where I had friends who believed that I could go far, that I could live.”
Support services for children growing up with HIV do what medicines alone cannot do. They change children’s lives by offering safe places to talk, build friendships, and learn to cope with their illness.
The Pocket Square Project is a perfect pairing of fashion and philanthropy.
The pocket squares are made by hand from traditional African kitenge cloth by Kenyan artisans, many of whom have HIV themselves. With unique patterns and colorful designs, they enhance any formal or casual outfit.
How you dress tells your story. These pocket squares tell an even bigger story. All proceeds directly support children’s HIV services through the AMPATH HIV care program in Kenya. They make it possible for Kenyan children to understand that HIV is just one part of the beautiful story of who they are and who they will become. They change children’s lives by offering safe places to talk, build friendships, and learn to cope with their illness.
We started The Pocket Square Project because we wanted to help children living with HIV know that this infection is not the end of their story.