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Children still grow up separated from their families in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
A Life Changing Experience – to Learn Beyond the Basics of Health
Story of Abdulla (name changed to protect identity of the child), 15 year old, Samarkand region
My parents are HIV-positive. My mother is alive, but my father died. I have been ill since birth and I spend a lot of time at the hospitals. Initially, I was told that I had some lung problems.
A year ago, my grandmother brought me to the Day Care Center for children and families affected by HIV. Soon after that, I was told about my HIV status. At first, I felt terrible. I thought that soon I would die, just like my father.
I could overcome my bad mood and felt good thanks to the experience at the Center supported by UNICEF. I also participated in the training organized by UNICEF in Tashkent. It was about the basics of health and support for those living with HIV. That experience opened my eyes to many things.
Now I understand that it is good to know my HIV status. I can take care of my health. The fact that I am HIV positive does not prevent me from helping my grandmother. I am the only child in the family helping her in everything.
Like other children I go to a school and I have favorite school subjects - history and geography. I love to read and have a keen interest in technology. I have decided to become an engineer or a railway conductor. I will enter the railway college first, and then, perhaps, the university in Jizzakh city.
The Day Care Center organized tours to Nurata and Sidarya for us, and I really enjoyed the camping trip. When I become an engineer or a conductor, I will be able to travel more.
There is a sports centre in our village, and many children from all neighborhood come there for sports. I took part in the regional competitions on Muay Thai (Thai boxing) and I won the third place and a bronze medal. Muay Thai makes me feel healthy and strong.
I have many friends in the sport centre. Now, I have also made friends at the Cay Care Center. But I get to visit this Centre only once a month, because I live 40 kilometers away from Samarkand and it is expensive to travel here. I will try to explain to my grandmother how important it is for me to visit the Center, and hopefully she will allow me to visit the Center more often.