Sheila’s Story

 

Sheila’s life fell apart when her husband died, leaving her HIV-positive with five children. On the Honduran island of Roatán, decent jobs are hard to come by for everyone, and nearly impossible for people living with HIV. Fortunately, Sheila found Familias Saludables (FamiliasSaludables.org), a small nonprofit that provides food, clothing, emotional support and educational opportunities to her family. Familias Saludables relies on contributions from generous donors to assist HIV-affected families, and to prevent the spread of the virus through education, testing and an infant formula program.

ChangeStream Media (ChangeStreamMedia.org) is a Seattle-based nonprofit that uses digital storytelling to spread important ideas and support innovative grassroots organizations in disadvantaged communities around the world. In spring of 2012, we spent two months on Roatán, interviewing Familias Saludables’ clients. We were inspired by their perseverance in the face of extreme hardship, and impressed by the breadth and quality of services that Familias Saludables offers.

Thanks to Sheila Dilbert for sharing her story, and to Valerie Nelson and Trudy Hilton of Familias Saludables.

Vocals and guitar by Deborah Prieskop, director of Steel Pan Alley, Roatán’s not-for-profit music school (SteelPanAlley.com). Songs include “Venezuela,” “Yellow Bird,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “Jamaica Farewell.”

Thanks to Fred Mackowecki and Valerie Nelson for sharing still photographs.

Thanks to ChangeStream Media volunteers Michelle Kozlowski and Hannah Whitmore, and to Dave Riley of Amigos of Honduras.