Update on Empower AIDS Widows – Save a Community ProjectBy Onyango Joseph, Executive Director, RARUDO.
We give thanks to our beloved donors, friends and well-wishers for their support which is contributing a great impact across the three districts Tororo, Busia and Bugiri where we operate.As we strive to save a community, we realize that the level of infections and illness associated with HIV/AIDS is dramatically increasing poverty levels.The increasing number of people living with and households affected by HIV/AIDS shows an increase in the number of widows, widowers and orphans. It also indicates that households spend more time on caring for the sick; that their medical costs are greater; and that their expenditure on inputs was reduced.Migration is also increasing: some people are moving from the rural to urban areas in search of greener pastures, while others, seeking a cheaper life-style, are moving back from the towns to rural areas. At the same time households have a deteriorating dependency ratio with a low number of healthy adults to people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), children and elderly people.
RARUDO recently requested for food assistance to be distributed to PLWHA and their household members in order to reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS on agricultural production which threaten particularly the vulnerable people.The programme reaches directly 203 households and indirectly approximately over 800 and over 700 Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC). In every household of 203, each has at least an average of 4 to 5 dependants who benefit from our service indirectly.PLWHA receive appropriate care while remaining in their own homes with their family members.Food has provided a useful nutritional input to households, increasing the health and well-being of beneficiaries.Food has also acted as an economic transfer, reducing the economic burden on households caused by increasing expenditure on medical care and the loss of an income-earner.
Upon our request, we received funding support from The River Fund worth US $ 6,500 equivalent to UGx 15,340,000 at a rate of US $ 1.00 = UGx 2,360.The total 15,340,000+123,000 + 432,000 (income of local proceed) = 15,895,000 and was spent as detailed below
1. Medication for 40 AIDS patients 26,000x40 = 1,040,0002. Soya millet flour 5kg x 2,800 x 203 = 2,842,0003. Unrefined maize flour 10kg x 2,200x203 = 4,466,0004. Soya bean 2kg x 3,200x203 = 1,299,2005. Beans 5kgx2300 x 203 = 2,334,5006. Soap 1 bar x 4,500x203 = 913,5007. Salt 3kg x1,000 x 203 = 609,0008. Sugar 3kg x3,300x203 = 2,009,7009. Transport (for collection, grain milling and distribution) = 112,000 Total expense UGX. Shs. = 15,625,900B.C/f = 269,100
In conclusion The increasing impact of HIV/AIDS on agricultural production systems threatening rural, urban and national food security, the agriculture sector needs to be at the forefront of concern. Our existing HIV/AIDS programmes require agriculture sector-based interventions to mitigate the devastating effects of the disease in rural areas, the actual HIV/AIDS situation in specific localities determine the linkages between the epidemic and agriculture more specifically; the following major aspects should be taken into account:• Impact on local food production and income of rural households; • Farming systems that are highly vulnerable to HIV/AIDS; • Impact on cash crop production • Impact on farm households and rural communities.Much thanks and love to our dear friends at the River Fund and Global Giving as well as the teams and staff at large and all our individual well wishers and donor organizations that have made our progress an outstanding one.
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