The River Fund

The River Fund is dedicated to providing physical, emotional and spiritual support, to people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS and other life challenging illnesses and circumstances, as well as their loved ones and caregivers. We serve the poor, those who often are alone and in need - regardless of a person's religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender or age.
Jul 7, 2014

Quarterly Report

Tailoring graduate at her shop
Tailoring graduate at her shop

We apologize for the lateness of this report. Our project leader in Uganda has been very sick for weeks now. He is slowly improving and we hope he will be back to work soon.

I have talked with him and will do my best to give a project update.

Earlier this year, the project leader attended a training given by Samaritans Purse in mushroom growing etc. which led to a proposal asking for support in learning how to make bar soap, liquid soap, mushroom growing and candle wax, because they felt that the market of these products was readily available and many of the members are living day to day.

This proposal was rejected due to very high cost and what we felt were unrealistic outcome expectations as well as no long term ability to maintain the proposal goals.

This has led to a recommitment to and a focus on our core mission to help the very neediest help themselves and each other.

  1. In that vein we are continuing our practice of purchasing and distributing “good” and healthy seeds for home kitchen gardens and community gardens to share and to sell.  Better seeds equal better gardens which results in better nutrition for individuals and families.
  2. We are continuing in poultry raising and egg production. Goat raising helps orphans and other vulnerable children especially child headed households live better lives. By raising, breeding and selling goats, these children can better feed themselves and send siblings to school.
  3. Our amazing group of disabled members continues to educate others about the issues and prejudice they face daily. They have become more political and vocal. They are activists and provide a voice for the most vulnerable. Many support themselves by entertaining with song, dance, music and storytelling.
  4. Our trainers are sharing with small and large groups of men and women about Long Term Survival Skills for HIV/AIDS. The trainers were given a refresher course last August.
  5. Our tailoring program is going strong but we are in need of some specialized equipment such as a button hole machine. Our sewing machines are the “old fashioned” pump machines that can be used without the need for electricity.

One of the goals for the near future is connecting our tailoring shop to electricity which is now finally available in the village.

Thank you to all of our faithful and committed donors. Your donations truly make a difference.

Delicious & highly nutritious sweet potato garden
Delicious & highly nutritious sweet potato garden
May 27, 2014

May 2014 Quarterly Report

Pandwong Primary School kids with new supplies
Pandwong Primary School kids with new supplies

RIVER FUND HIV/AIDS FAMILY SUPPORT WOMEN ASSOCIATION is a Community Based organization established in 2006. Its office is situated at Christ the King parish, Kitgum Town Council, Kitgum district, Uganda. It has a total membership of 30 women who have volunteered to help sensitize and restore hope to the traumatized community (orphans, child headed families, people affected with HIV/Aids) as well as improve the nutrition of malnourished children.

Key focus areas of intervention include; Training Women Living With Aids (PLWAs) on long term Survival skills, Care of malnourished children through providing food stuff, Counseling of married couples on coping with the Aids pandemic situation in their families, Home visits of PLWA, Educating mothers on providing proper and balanced nutrition using locally available resources and Initiating livelihood and economic strengthening schemes for PLWA that do not demand too much energy. 

This report is on activities carried out in the month of April to May 2014.

ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT.

  1. Support to children in school.

25 HIV+ school going children were supported in fees, school uniforms and scholastic materials this second school term. The support is made for the entire school calendar. The children will be visited and talked to find out other challenges that might be affecting their performance in class. This will inform other intervention for supporting the children to perform better.

  1. Support to 25 extremely poor households with HIV+ Children with food items like sugar, posho, beans, and other items to boost their food stock in the house. This activity is one of the key aims of the Association which is to care for malnourished children through providing food stuff. Each household received 10 kgs of posho, 05kg of sugar and beans, and 2litres cooking oil. Many more children shall be identified for support to combat malnutrition and other opportunistic diseases which may result from malnutrition.

Lessons learnt.

Many children are incapacitated to access basic education due to poverty and health related problems. Most of them are orphaned and being taken care of by grandparents who cannot also provide for themselves due to economic hardships.

Provision of scholastic materials is essential but many caregivers prefer to receive support in fees other than books or uniforms saying they are not able to earn anything to pay fees which is considered too high for their level of income.

Households of elderly persons are more prone to diseases like malnutrition for the children due to their lack of energy to engage in activities that require much energy to earn income for food provision. This leaves the family to depend on a meal a day which is not adequate for proper growth for the children.

Plan for coming quarters.

  1. Conduct data collection on malnutrition and early childhood development. This will inform the project intervention strategies for effective service delivery to the beneficiaries. Instead of focusing solely on children, the program shall consider the entire family or household as the programming unit. Though services offered by implementing agencies varied, the focus here shall generally covered health and nutrition; education, vocational skills training, and life skills; household economic strengthening and psychosocial support;
  2. Train caregivers on cereal production and nutritional food provision. This is aimed at strengthening the capacity of families to protect and care for orphans and vulnerable children.
  3. Identify OVC (girls) for support in secondary education. Data collection done in three schools in the district indicates that many secondary school going girls are forced out of school due to challenges that they cannot overcome. Many cannot afford fees as most of them are orphaned to HIV/AIDs and the LRA conflict.
New school supplies
New school supplies
Children enjoying sunflower seeds
Children enjoying sunflower seeds
May 20, 2014

May Quarterly Report

Our children are growing fast!
Our children are growing fast!

Dear Donors, friends and well-wishers of “little HEARTS orphanage”

I thank God for giving me wonderful time to share good news with you all about our boys done very well in their 10th class examinations.

One of our boys Anil got 8.7 grade, Hari Prasad with 8.3 grade and Charan with 8 grade and stood School First, second and third respectively. My friend and their school teacher Mr.Madhu Mohan Rao informed me over the phone about their success and felt proud as their class teacher. These are all happened due to your kind love, donations and heartfelt support.

Hari Prasad belongs to Scheduled Tribe Caste. We are encouraging him to become a Doctor because it’s very easy for him to get a seat in government Medical College to become a Doctor in the future because of his Caste. In Scheduled Tribe Caste quota many seats are available and few boys and girls only go up to that level!

From this academic year the above 3 boys go to college. To send them to private colleges we need more financial support to make them as Doctor and Engineers. To send them to private colleges we need to spend more money to pay college fee, clothes, books, transportation etc.

In this connection I humbly request our Donors donate more money to send them to become Doctors and Engineers in the near future.

All the children at “little HEARTS orphanage” doing very well and showing all round performance. From this academic year we have plans to feed them weekly thrice with Eggs, Milk and Fruits and evening snacks everyday.

Life skills training has also been given to all the children.

I am happy to inform that Ms. Neeharika from GG who is from our State Andhra Pradesh Capital Hyderabad is going to visit “little HEARTS orphanage” in June. From her personal report and as an eye witness you would know more soon. LHO’s first and second floor needs to be painted soon.

Last month we have received an official letter from Women and Child Welfare Department of A.P government through Ms. Manjula, Legal cum Probation Officer of “Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS)” to take brother Sunil 10 and Venky 6 years old who lost mother and father left them on the streets and 10 days later we have received another letter from same department Women and Children Welfare through ICPS to take another girl Khadaramma, 8years old who is HIV positive girl and lost both the parents. As an NGO we should obey the government rules and regulations and we should not say never for their requests to take children for short stay or stay forever. Sunil, Venky and Khadaramma. We are giving extra nutrition to Khadaramma every day morning and evening with Milk, Egg and fruits. Now these 3 children are healthy, happy and playing all the day!

Again on 14th I received another call from Ms. Manjula, Legal cum Probation Officer of ICPS called and requested to take another boy for short stay who is lost from their parents from a village. We obeyed for her request and took the boy … after few days his parents came and boy joined with their parents happily who is from a village.

In the month of April, I was invited to attend and got an opportunity to share our work with government top level officers like Mr. Sreekanth, IAS, District Magistrate and Collector who is the Big Boss of all government, Labour, Police, Women and Child Departments when the ICPS conducted one day Convergence Meeting at Golden Jubilee Hall, Collectorate Compound, Nellore.

Before I close this quarterly report, once again I request our Donors donate more and give life to the orphaned, sick, disadvantaged and poverty stricken children at “little HEARTS orphanage”

Please see the attachment of Budget for this academic year which begins on 12th June and ends 23rd April every year.

Our sincere thanks to the Global Giving and the River Fund, U.S.A. for their continuous and long term support since 2005.

With kind regards,

C. Prasanna Kumar

HEARTS


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