KWETU Connectors background
This is how it started
Barry and Eva were at a conference in South Africa in 2006, the theme was “Stigma for people suffering from HIV”. It took hold of us, so how could we make a difference with our skills? Once back in Sweden, we contacted Oasen and became members. During the years with Oasen in Sweden, we developed African catering for the pleasure of many.
Oswald found an opportunity in 2012 to do a feasibility study in Rwanda, then we met ANSP + which has since been our trusted partner in “the land of a thousand hills”. We represented HIVSverige through MyRight, we started a project in 2013 that lasted until 2015.
In 2016, we formed the association KWETU Connectors and took our own steps through a new feasibility study in 2017 aimed at the most vulnerable HIV-positive people in Rwanda. Several project applications led to a collaboration with Pharmacists without Borders in Sweden through the “Cross border” project.
In 2019, the first feasibility study was conducted in Kampala, Uganda to empower young LGBTQI men & women with HIV. A 1-year pilot project was the result that will be completed in 2021.
In 2020, before the pandemic struck, a feasibility study was conducted in Kibuye, Rwanda to investigate why so many girls do not complete the compulsory 9-year school. The result was an approved development project starting in 2021!
This is only the beginning! (Barry quote)
Eva and her husband Barry created Kwetu Connectors. Together they were a powerful team with great joint commitment. Eva the explosive and Barry the pensive. Eva was the contractor and project manager. Barry the stylist and realist. Together a dynamic duo with a big heart and care. They became involved in HIV, not only from the medical aspect but above all they wanted to work with the social consequences HIV had for the victim. Stigma and difficulties in earning a living. They became involved in the groups most affected by HIV in Africa, first in Rwanda and later in Uganda. It was HIV-infected men and women who sold sex and LGBTQI people. Extra vulnerable groups, discriminated against and stigmatized in healthcare, by family, in working life and by society. That did not stop Eva and Barry. On the contrary. They realized early on that the only way to deal with HIV is to work inclusively. Find forms of self-sufficiency, find forms of self-sufficiency other than selling sex. Eva and Barry worked tirelessly and always inclusively. Never judgmental.
This is the end of their teamwork, but this is just the beginning.