Gaudentius was born in 1968 and got married shortly after finishing school. Unaware that her husband was having a relationship with another woman, Gaudentius had four children, the eldest of whom suffered from mental illness.
When her husband died in 1998, Gaudentius’ children dropped out of school as her husband’s family was forcing her out of house and home. She was also being blamed for his mistress dying from HIV months later.
Shortly after, Gaudentius discovered she was also HIV positive. At the thought of death and leaving her children behind, she became depressed and blocked out the outside world. “I did not want to eat or go to church or to meet any other people. I lived a lonely life,” Gaudentius said.
When Gaudentius was invited to the FXB meeting in her village, she chose not to come and had asked her son to attend for her. Her family was eventually chosen for the FXBVillage program.
While her children went back to school, Gaudentius was given medical and nutritional assistance as well as capital to start a small business. With her newfound inspiration and appreciation for life, Gaudentius made her children her top priority.
“I decided to do something that would help my children, even after I was gone. That’s when I started to rebuild my hope for the future,” she said.
Through the FXBVillage program, Gaudentius was able to grow her business, pay rent regularly, renovate her house and ultimately improve her family’s quality of life. Her children are now in high school.
“Being HIV+ is no longer a death sentence for me. I’ve realized that being a widow and HIV positive shouldn’t make me ashamed. I thank God and FXB for how far I’ve come.”