East Africa Aid Foundation

Our mission is to provide an opportunity, a helping hand, for those who have little-to-none to live by and learn with. We are a not-for-profit organization founded to assist with the collection of charitable donations from interested parties, multinational corporations, and healthcare organizations to fund educational & healthcare projects in multiple locations in the East Africa region.
May 13, 2013

Support for Secondary School Students

Our Students
Our Students

HVU is supporting a number of orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) in the region to pursue their primary and secondary education. We believe that with the proper education the children will grow to attain a profession or a skill that will help them sustain themselves and their families which are in much need of their support.

   Our OVCs in need of support for eduction:

            What makes them vulnerable?

  • All except one are lost both parents due to HIV/AIDS endemic.
  • Though they are not HIV positive, their other siblings are HIV positive and are receiving treatment (ART) and as such the care burden and treatment needs have stretched the families’ socioeconomic well-being, with education now being considered a second priority to spend on.
  • The care takers for these OVCs are themselves living with HIV and receiving care and treatment

Justification for support on educational fees:

  • Need opportunity for education attainment so that they can in future have improved life for themselves and also be able to contribute to the well being of their siblings especially those with HIV.
  • Helping them with examination fees will enable them to sit examinations and advance to another education level and thus keep in school which in turn helps to reduce the trauma and social stigma that is usually suffered by orphaned children.
  • Similarly by getting chance to remain in school, these young people are able to keep focused on education and thus avoid the sociocultural environment/circumstances that make them vulnerable to HIV infection
OVC Student
OVC Student
May 13, 2013

UKUN Volunteer Diary (Week one)

Micu at UKUN
Micu at UKUN

My first week at volunteering at UKUN project, I gained an insight what it is all about and the challenges that lie ahead of me. (March 2013)

UKUN (Uhakika Kituo cha Ushauri Nasaha) is a non-governmental, non-political & non-profit organization based in Bagamoyo district in the coastal region of Tanzania. The mission of UKUN is to contribute to the primary prevention of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Bagamoyo town; to support palliative care services for people living with HIV/AIDS and to improve the quality of life for the district’s Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC)’ (UKUN Website 2013).

 There are 97 villages around Bagamoyo district that UKUN has been concentrating its projects on. I was told that one of the big challenges to UKUN is how to access them all cost efficiently.

 Having visited Bagamoyo town many times before I can to know many people who have volunteered at UKUN and helped with their field work. Debbie Fair Ellis, and Tarek El Shayal (of the East Africa Aid Foundation) are couple out of many that have helped prepare me for my volunteering task.  I am a nurse from my profession and want to be part of the Home- Based Care programme to improve the quality of life for people living with HIV. I also hope to educate and raise awareness to the people in Bagamoyo about HIV, TB and malaria prevention.

Prior to my travels I started a fundraising campaign where I collected sponsor money from UK and Finland and will donate $500 in total to UKUN. This money will be used to help this project from its financial crisis and anything that is needed for the patients.

UKUN will be changing its name to People’s Health Initiatives (PHI) because it is helping in other areas now including prevention of Malaria and other diseases. In the past UKUN had plenty of donors and was running various projects. Also Cross Cultural Solutions (volunteer organisation) was sending volunteers regularly to work in UKUN. Now almost all donors have gone, having moved into other things, and there has been a rapid decrease in available finance. Now there are no projects running, all paid staff have left and Cross Cultural Solutions are having a ‘dry season’ with no available volunteers. As a consequence of that they have stopped their Bagamoyo programme completely. Not having enough volunteers does not help any of the projects in the community.

 That is not all; one of UKUN’s key volunteers sadly died. He was a local man who was mainly doing home care for the severely ill HIV patients. He was also running a football club for children, was a translator for foreign volunteers and was involved in local politics. He was very much loved and respected and Charles is grieving for him too.

 This first week was spent with Charles around orientating me to UKUN and writing a grant proposal..  He told me about the past, current and future possibilities for UKUN. We also visited Bagamoyo District Hospital, where he introduced me to all ‘important’ staff. 

 UKUN clinic does rapid HIV testing with counselling that is free to anyone. Charles does this. There is only Charles there at the moment (and me) and Samira comes to clean in the mornings and deals also with small errands. We have to report monthly to Bagamoyo Hospital HIV centre (CTC) of how many people were tested (age, gender, HIV status) and how many were positive. Last month (Feb 2013) eighty people came to the UKUN clinic for the test and 4 of those were found HIV positive. If the person has a positive result they will be referred to CTC Bagamoyo Hospital to take a sample of blood and send it to the lab for kidney and liver function and CD4 count. That result will determine whether the patient will start ARVs (Antiretroviral Therapy). The recommendation is to start treatment if person’s CD4 is below the 350 count.

 If it has been decided that the patient will go on ARV therapy he needs to arrive with a supporter to pick up his medication from the CTC. A supporter is usually any family member or otherwise close person to the patient. The supporter will be helping the patient with adherence to the therapy e.g. by giving reminders. Adherence to ARV therapy is vital for it to work and no adherence can have worse consequences than not taking the therapy at all. Patients have monthly appointment to be seen in CTC by a Doctor.   

 We finished writing a proposal for the grant for ‘Positive Action for Children Fund’, which has a deadline next week Tuesday. I was actually learning to write one as this was my first one ever but we managed to send it off on time. So my days were mainly spent in the office working 10-12 hour days!

Next week I will visit the home care clients as they are the main work I planned to come here to do!

I am looking forward to be working with UKUN in the upcoming weeks.

Apr 2, 2013

Nutritional Support Program Progress Report

Partial Project Funders/Partners: Mildmay Uganda

Background and Goal of the Project:  HIV/AIDS has continued to pose a significant public health and development challenge for Uganda and many Sub-Saharan countries. The impact of the disease has been mainly felt through the escalating morbidity and mortality that disproportionately affects women and men during the prime of productive life. The consequences of the epidemic cut across all spheres of the community thus far. It has imposed a severe and unsustainable burden on the meager family resources, as funds are diverted from other areas to AIDS care and treatment services.

HIV/AIDS has depleted the country’s labor force, reduced agricultural output and food security, and weakened educational and health services by depriving families and communities of their most productive population all causing untold suffering to both individuals and families. The numbers of cases for vertical transmission of HIV are on the increase and many children born with HIV pose a significant challenge on treatment outcomes.

Parents affected with HIV find it hard to cater for the nutritional needs of their HIV infected children more especially if both the parent and children are on ART treatment. Without proper nutrition for children infected with HIV the whole treatment program and PMTC is particular is bound to fail.

HVU through partnership with project Mildmay tries to support both HIV infected and affected children within households with nutritional food supplements so as to promote good health among HIV infected and affected children, but also as a way of ensuring success of the treatment programs for both children and parents.

Project Approach: All children in the household are supported with nutritional supplements but using the HIV infected child or children as the index child to provide entry into the household. The rationale for including all children is to control stigma and discrimination that may arise.

The HIV positive index child/children are enrolled from the ART clinic when they come for treatment or medical examination.

Current Target: 160 children

Enrollment so far: 98 children from 31 households

The Challenges: Many children who are HIV positive but not tested remains in the community and as such cannot access treatment and care. In the same way we cannot find then at the ART clinic for enrollment into the nutrition program.

The Needs: More funds to intensify community mobilization for HIV testing care and treatment of HIV positive children. Also more support to see that more families are supported with food supplements.

A donation of $50 USD can buy food supplements packages for a family of 4 people for a month.

Prices in Summary:

$11 provides a vulnerable child with meals for an entire month

(Almost $0.30 a day)

$33 provides a vulnerable child with meals for three months

$63 provides a family with meals for an entire month

5 kg sugar

10 kg beans

10 kg maize flour for food

10 kg maize flour for porridge

3 liters cooking oil

$150 provides a family with food for three months

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