Pippa's Place helps Kenyan youth affected by AIDS epidemic
© Darrell Cole – Amherst Daily News
Dr. Pippa Moss (centre) speaks to Ann Sherman from the Royalty Rotary Club near Charlottetown, P.E.I. and Amherst Rotarian Brian Trenholm after speaking to members of the Amherst Rotary Club on Monday about Pippa’s Place – a home for orphaned and unwanted children in Kenya.
AMHERST – Dr. Pippa Moss is trying to bring peace to the world in her own little way.
The Tatamagouche-based child psychologist has helped create Pippa’s Place in Kenya – a home that allows come of the children left alone after the that country’s AIDS epidemic grow in safety and good health until they are ready to be independent.
“When I move on to whatever comes next after life, I hope to be able to look back and say that I was able to leave the world a slightly better place than when I first came here. That’s what I hope to do with Pippa’s Place,” Moss told members of the Amherst Rotary Club on Monday. “Even if I had a huge home with 2,000 children in it, it would be but a small drop in the bucket. We have to accept that we can’t do much, but let’s do what we are doing well and make sure these children have a loving home, food, clean water and a chance at life that has been taken for granted. Let’s make Pippa’s Place a centre for peace building within the community.”
Thirty-five years ago, as a teenager, Moss first sponsored a child when she brought home her first pay cheque. That first child, Ndungu, always kept in touch with her and when his first daughter was born, she was named for Moss.
Little Pippa was not a healthy baby and by age five months was diagnosed as being HIV positive, probably having been infected at the hospital where she was treated.
From the original goal of keeping Pippa alive, her parents have reached out to other children left orphans by the AIDS epidemic to provide them with a loving home and a family.
“Unlike our little Pippa, these children have no aunty to send them money for a healthy diet and medications,” she said. “They don’t even have parents. Some call all women ‘Mummy’ and all men ‘Daddy.’ There are thousands of these children cared for in orphanages with no hope of a normal life, until HIV runs it course and they die.
“This is the face of AIDS in Africa. Driving through a town or city in Canada we see schools, in Kenya we see orphanages.”
Moss said the goal is not to set up an orphanage, but a true home where children are adopted and become full family members.
The second goal is to educate others to care and live peaceful lives together.
To do this, Pippa’s Place has aligned itself with the Fundy Peace Foundation in New Brunswick.