- Dec 20 The focus of Maarifa, a faith-based psychosocial support program for youth living with HIV, is shifting from Kenya to the world via open-sourcing on the internet. The Steyn's, will relocate to the US in January to follow God's call in new directions.
Jessica Hasslen first went to Kenya in 2001 as a volunteer with a Minnesota based non-profit organization and God has led her to a continued relationship with the people of Kenya and specifically to fill an important gap in the services offered to youth living with HIV.
Jessica is the program director of Maarifa, a psychosocial support program for youth living with HIV. Maarifa is a Swahili word that means, “a plan to overcome a difficulty.” She partners with the Health Ministries Department of African Inland Church (AICHM) to bring life skills, emotional and spiritual support to young people ages 10-21 living with HIV. The framework for the Maarfia program is called The Armor of Positive Living and is based on Ephesians 6:10-18, “The Armor of God.” It uses the word SACRIFICE as an acrostic. For each letter in the word a piece of armor and a key word having to do with HIV are attached. For instance, S stands for Self-acceptance it represents the Breastplate. A stands for Adherence it represents the Shield. C stands for Choices it represents the Helmet and so forth. The Maarifa curriculum was completed in March of 2015 and the first Maarifa class for youth living with HIV was taught in April of 2015. AICHM has plans to roll Maarifa out nationwide.
Jessica married Daniel Steyn in November of 2014. He was very brave to join her family that already consisted of two Kenyan foster daughters, Judie and Millicent and a Kenyan foster granddaughter, Tamara. Daniel will be a tentmaker with Globe, and continue working for Intel. They live in Nairobi, Kenya.