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Poverty Alleviation Projects

March 31, 2008

Dear Friends:

Welcome to your March 2008 report for The $10 Club.

Pelontle is a young woman of 25 living in Botswana who was diagnosed with HIV in 2004 and is on anti-retroviral drugs. Her mother died when she was very young; she was then abandoned by father and brought up by her grandmother. She has two children, the first one born when she was 15. Their father left. Pelontle has worked sporadically collecting rubbish but mostly finds it difficult to find work. Two years ago after her second child was born, she became very ill—increasingly weak with a persistent cough. She was diagnosed with tuberculosis and had medication prescribed by the hospital. Several months later she was still coughing, had chest pains, was vomiting and had to lie down most of the time due to extreme weakness and numbness in her legs. Symptoms also included night sweats and a very poor appetite. Her mood was low and she often preferred to be alone, not interested in caring for her children. After her first homeopathic prescription from the Maun Homeopathy Project there was a noticeable improvement in all her symptoms: the vomiting stopped, the cough reduced and she felt stronger. Within 6 weeks she was well enough to return to her own home and look after her children again.

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS estimates that between 260,000 and 350,000 people in Botswana live with HIV, including an estimated 14,000 children under 14. Approximately 120,000 children there have been orphaned by AIDS.

Botswana’s National AIDS Coordinating Agency notes that the highest HIV prevalence in the country is in the northern and eastern parts of the country. Maun, for instance, is a town in northern Botswana of about 50,000 people particularly affected by the AIDS epidemic.

Although anti-retroviral (ARV) therapy is free to Botswana’s citizens at 32 sites throughout the country, there is still a great need to attend to people suffering with the disease.

Hilary Fairclough, a British nurse and trained homeopath, started the Maun Homeopathy Project to treat HIV positive patients in Maun. Fariclough and the Maun Homeopathy Project use homeopathic treatments to relieve the ill-effects of trauma, shock, and grief among those impacted by AIDS deaths; improve physical and emotional health of HIV positive patients; and reduce distressing symptoms and side-effects of other AIDS treatments.

This month, 370 of us donated $3,700 to the Maun Homeopathy Project to fund their vital homeopathic medicines. This investment should provide enough medicines to treat up to 1,000 people in need! Thank you.

Homeopathic remedies are made from natural sources, mostly plants, minerals, and metals, which undergo a process of potentization. Homeopathy is safe medicine without risks of addiction, toxicity, or side-effects. It is a holistic system of healing which has been used globally for centuries.

In homeopathy, the person, not the disease, is treated. So, for instance, if someone is suffering from an itchy skin rash as a result of their antiretroviral therapy which is worse in the evenings and if this patient is also depressed and weepy, the homeopaths serving the Maun community might then offer the homeopathic medicine made from Pulsatilla nigrens (a plant from the ranunculacea family). This remedy will help to rebalance the body so that the skin rash is no longer produced.

The Maun project volunteers treat three categories of clients at their clinics (they also do home visits for those people who are too ill and poor to make it to a health center for treatment). They treat those individuals who are HIV positive but who are not yet taking anti-retroviral medicines. For them the homeopathy boosts their immune system and keeps them well for as long as possible. They also treat patients who are taking ARVs and who are suffering from side-effects such as skin rashes and sleeplessness, which homeopathy helps to reduce. Lastly, they treat those who are taking ARVs but still have troubling ailments such as persistent coughs, lack of appetite, depression and anxiety, numbness of the legs, or body pains.

The people treated in Maun are very poor and live in fear for themselves and their families. Fear of the misery that comes with AIDS. Fear of the loss that comes with AIDS. Thanks to the Maun Homeopathy Project, HIV positive Botswanans have a chance to feel well. They might be able to sleep at night in peace. They might be able to care for their families. They might be able to face a new day that otherwise would have seemed dismal. Thanks to you, 1,000 people have a brighter day ahead.

Saving the world, ten dollars at a time,

Adam M. Roberts
Founder & President

PS. Please send in your April contribution right away—I can’t do it without you!

The $10 Club is a nonprofit corporation registered in the District of Columbia.
Contributions are exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The $10 Club 2040 Tunlaw Rd., NW Washington, DC 20007 (202) 337-3123 adam@thetendollarclub.org