Sister Florence Muia has been a member of the Assumption Sisters of Nairobi, Kenya for nearly thirty years. She has a diploma in Social Work from the Government Training Institute, a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences (Anthropology and Sociology) from Catholic University of Eastern Africa and a Master's Degree in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois (USA).
In 2003, Sister Florence founded Upendo Village, a ministry catering to women and their children living with HIV/AIDS. Upendo Village provides shelter, basic healthcare, nutritional supplementation, counseling and job skill training to those who seek their services. Upendo is the Swahili word for love.
Sister Florence recognizes the interconnectedness of several issues relating to HIV/AIDS. She cites drought and poverty as leading to malnutrition which further negatively impacts persons living with HIV/AIDS. She also acknowledges the role that gender plays and the vulnerability that women face due to the many ways in which they are economically disadvantaged.
Sister Florence was nominated as one of one thousand woman worldwide to receive the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize for her dedication to the fight for prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS.
Information on HIV/AIDS in Kenya, end of 2003
Adult* HIV prevalence rate:
Adults living with HIV: 1,100,000
Adults and children living with HIV: 1,200,000
Women Living with HIV: 720,000
AIDS deaths (adults and children): 150,000
*Adult statistics for persons 15-49 years old
**statistics from deaths that occurred in 2003
The official website for Upendo Village, a project of the Assumption Sisters of Nairobi.
The official website announcing the one thousand women worldwide that were nominated for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.