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.
Dec 22, 2014

End of Year Story

Joseph and his team ...
Joseph and his team ...

A short story of our meeting with The River Fund in 2002 to date

The River Fund is a unique organisation that is passionate about helping the needy people and basically passionate about Africa, Uganda in particular.

A lot we have achieved from The River Fund that is beyond expression but just a brief story.

My story begins in late 1997 when I was depressed seeing the suffering of my people, young and old engulfed in poverty, tortured by diseases and being filled with the passion and search for a friend who would help me stand and reach the needy population I found The River Fund, this was in the year 2002 after I established a CBO with name Rayland Rural Development Organisation (RARUDO) in 2000 which is now a registered NGO.

At that time whenever I go home I meet young children most of them orphans, school dropouts asking me to come back with to Kampala look for jobs, study in good school and have better living, some time I could meet old women, AIDS widows and generally poor young women asking for help but I could not do much since I was also handicapped.

In 2002, 25th of August I first met the Director of The River fund and through her organisation many young children’s lives have greatly changed through educational support, health and social Economic support.

Many young women have acquired skills in agriculture, tailoring, cottage industry that has greatly transformed their lives.

The River Fund contributed towards our establishing office structure and a training center this was between 2006 and 2007, provided access to clean safe water to poor families.

The River Fund also introduced to us The Long Term HIV/AIDS Survivor Skills which we participate in three year training, training over 35 AIDS counselors on this note we have seen many lives of Person Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWA) changing drastically. I remember in 2008 during a training there came a lady with her baby in our meeting in dying state, the River Fund ushered her to love and kindness, this woman and the baby’s lives were restored and are alive to date “this is so amazing” .

The River Fund has continually supported our Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children, AIDS widows, young women, and persons with disability (PWDs).

I personally fell so ill early 2014, suffering from Diabetes, also developed kidney problem but with the river fund kindest support early this year I had early intervention and now this condition is in control.

There are a lot of many more stories but I conclude by saying Long live The River Fund Long live Global Giving!

May God bless you,

Onyango Joseph

Executive Director RARUDO

Nov 20, 2014

Final Report

Unfortunately, last month The River Fund made the difficult decision to retire this project on Global Giving.

The project leaders live and work in a very rural area of E Uganda. Please look at the map below. They were just not able to reliably send in quarterly reports. Transportation to a town (Busia) with an internet shop is expensive and often reached on the back of a 'boda boda' motorcycle.

The project leaders as well as the women and children the project serves have no regular electricity. They have no running water and many must travel a distance to carry water for cooking and bathing. Malaria is endemic. HIV continues to have a strangle hold on this population which is near a border town. The border towns across East Africa were the original AIDS highway and that devastation is still felt.

Women, especially widows, face sexual exploitation, polygamy, extreme poverty, poor medical care, destruction of families by HIV/AIDS and domestic violence.

This project has helped women and families develop stronger families and healthier children who stay in school. They have reached deep into rural areas, training women and men in HIV/AIDS long term survival skills and the network is growing.

Even though this project is deactivated on GG please know that we have not abandoned them. They are still a part of our network of E Uganda programs that The River Fund will continue to fund and support.

If you would like to continue to support this project, you may do so by donating to either of the following projects. Both of the projects below support parts of Empower Rural Women - #2175.

 Empower AIDS Widows - Save a Community (#1015)

Educate 600 Orphans in Rural Eastern Uganda (#12259)

Nov 18, 2014

Fourth Quarter Report 2014

Demonstrating types of food
Demonstrating types of food

1. Long Term Survival Skills Training.

Recognizing that food insecurity and low nutritional status can be a causal factor as well as a consequence, deliberate programme for capacity building and empowerment of PLHA (People Living with HIV/AIDS) in terms of skills building for better feeding and positive living are urgent for self reliance and advocacy for their food and nutrition as well as treatment rights. In line with this, the River Fund Kitgum conducted training on long term survival skills and better feeding approaches for PLHA.The training participants were both men and women living positively as well as care givers and parents of HIV positive children who are being supported in education by the Association. The training looked at the table of health, and explained the food groups for wellbeing of a person. A total of 47 (Male 05: Female 42) Participants attended the training.

The Objectives of the training were

  1. To empower the PLHA on positive living for better health and long life.
  2. Demonstrate and explain the importance of better feeding for healthy living.

The training explained how one can provide a complete meal with the use of the local available foods that are grown in their backyard without spending any or much money to acquire them.

It further explained why as a PLHA it is important to live a fruitful and productive positive life. The illustration of table of health was used to enable the participants to understand the important aspect of health. The table of health explains the relationship and interdependence of health on the nutrition (top) to the four legs of the table (one representing the mental health, another the physical well being, spiritual life and the fourth the social relations and support a person has and gets).All the five aspects must be accorded equal consideration for one to have a longer life.

Findings:

Despite the many community education and sensitization carried out by government and other civil society organization implementing HIV/AIDs projects, many PLHAs still express wrong notions that one can get cured of HIV citing situations that some people have been tested to be negative after taking ARVs for many years. This thinking is reported to be encouraging behaviors that increase the spread of the HIV virus and behaviors that discourage positive living like excessive alcohol consumption, engaging in extra marital affairs/having multiple sexual partners, and failure to adhere to drug intake.

2. Community sensitization outreach programme.

With the need to reach more people, the group conducted sensitization and education to 8 chapels within Christ the King parish in Kitgum.A total of 624 people(Male 297: Female 327) were reached. This was purposely done to provide information and education the Christians on HIV/AIDs, Positive Living and proper feeding to revitalize their health. Being a group formed by women from within the church well aware that many people are getting infected and affected by the virus due to the lack of information on prevention and other educative messages in place in the parishes and chapels, the Association believes that with extensive engagement in community education and sensitization and with the use of referral mechanisms, many people will be able to receive better health services and attain improved health. The initiative must therefore be conducted at different levels to ensure that as many people as possible are reached.

Findings:

  1. Alcohol abuse is on the rise and this is limiting the community from carrying out productive work that can support their livelihood and wellbeing of those affected by HIV/Aids.
  2. Married couples are facing difficult situations especially with the lack of home based care services and counseling to encourage men to open up and take HCT
  3. The youth and children living positively lack the societal support to promote positive living. This is leading to increased risky social behaviors and lack of guidance on how they as youth can live for long with the virus.

 Challenges:

Transport to the chapels was a challenge due to distance and lack of transport means. The group members depended on hired transport means which was expensive.

Conclusion:

The findings from both the training and the outreach illustrates the need for further community engagement and education to encourage more people to come up and test for HIV and if one is positive to encourage adherence to treatment and doctor’s advice to promote positive living and long life.

We would like to thank our donor for the continued partnership in providing service to the needy community of Northern Uganda. Without this support, the activities mentioned would not have been carried out.It is our wish that the partnership continues to strengthen the approaches to contribute to the mitigation of the impact of HIV & AIDS on the people we work with and for.

Facilitator explaining the uses of the foods
Facilitator explaining the uses of the foods
The community listening to the facilitator
The community listening to the facilitator

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