Dear Global Giving Friends and Donors,
I am so sorry for the late report, but I just returned from a fantastic site visit to our projects in Uganda. Along with two other volunteers, we visited all of our rural projects and all of the small groups associated with the projects including a very grueling trip to Kitgum. Everyone is doing amazing work with very little. We continue to support childrem, mostly orphaned or other vulnerable children, including child headed households, widows, disabled people and the old and alone.
The Acholi River Fund Women's Association group is facing very difficult situation daily. Thankfully, the war is over and people have returned to what was left of their homes. There are many land ownership issues currently left over from nearly 20 years of people not being at home. During the war, Kitgum and the whole Acholi region had many many international NGO's living and working in the area with support for all facets of life ... from World Food Program rations and food to help with PTSD for returning child soldiers. There were programs for women and girls, more medical care etc. At the present time almost every NGO has left Kitgum which has had a profound effect on the people. First, many people were employed directly or indirectly as hotel and restaurant workers, drivers, aids etc. The hotels are now empty as are the restaurants.
In spite of this, the group has continued to support woman headed groups in and around very rural Kitgum. Please note that the drive just to get to Kitgum takes 3.5 - 4 hours to travel about 70 miles depending on whether in the rainy or dry season. Many of the groups gardens are a mile or two from the road as in the days when people (mostly women) tended their gardens during the war to avoid rebel fighters. Often, there is no electricity in town.
The River Fund women help to support six groups of 10 or more women in the region.
They are so grateful for the help of all of our faithful donors, as am I.
RIVER FUND HIV/AIDS FAMILY SUPPORT ASSOCIATION, KITGUM.
Project Name: LIVELIHOOD SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS (PLWAs).
Project Area: KITGUM DISTRICT, KITGUM TOWN COUNCIL, AMIDA, LATANYA SUB-COUNTIES.
REPORT ON ACTIVITIES THIS QUARTER.
Support of groups in VSLA (Village Saving and Loan Association) component.
The VSLA Component :
Members formed self-selected economic groups and manage them by setting own rules and regulations using theframework of the component guidelines. However, in these groups, the beneficiaries have all been identified and supported earlier with goats.
The groups have a management committee of 7 members selected by the group.
Transactions for savings, loans and emergency/insurance are carried out on a weekly basis.
All group transactions are witnessed by all the members during the meeting.
Benefits of the VSLA component:
Activities carried out:
Sharing out of the goats by groups:In two (2) groups from Pongdwongo and Alango parishes which received the goats in 2011, they have nowshared the goats among the members since the numbers have multiplied. Each member received a goat and in another (Pongdwongo Parish), they have more than the number of the members which excess are being kept by the chairperson awaiting delivery sine two of the goats are expecting to deliver soon.
Our major challenge has been means of transport. We hire motorcycles to take staff to the field for group supervision and monitoring which is quite costly for the Association’s meager resource.
The Association is currently looking for another office space as the one being occupied is now taken by theschool in which the Association had been offered space.
CONCLUSIONS: River Fund HIV/AIDS Family Support Association would like to thank all its supporters; Global Giving andthe team, JAYA Canterbury-Counts and all who have endeavored and continued to support those in need. With the support,10 groups have so far received goats, 5 groups of the 10 received VSLA activities kits, and more attention is focusing on the children and households affected by the ‘mysterious’ Nodding Disease inthe districts of Northern Uganda.
We however can’t do much without knowing what our donors feel about our project and or how we can makeit better and unique from what we are offering now. Please do post your comment.
Key focused areas of intervention include; Training People Living With Aids (PLWA) 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.
In 2011, the Association identified the most vulnerable household of women living with HIV/AIDs and supported them with 10 goats (5 goats) per group to boost the economic wellbeing and household nutrition. Two women groups were supported with a total of 20 members, 10 per group.This year 2012, 7 more groups have been enrolled for support. 1 for children living positively and 6 groups for women. This report is on activities carried out this quarter (September-December, 2012) in the 6 parishes of Amida, Kitgum Town Council Sub-counties and Dure in Pader district. Activities carried out include:1. AssessmentThe identified beneficiaries are bundled into groups of 10 members each making a total of four (4) groups. Home visits were made to ascertain their level of need and to verify their treatment numbers. As such, all identified beneficiaries are enrolled in ART. Some are still on septrine while others are now on full complete ART.All the formed groups have files opened for them at the River Fund Association office in which each group’s members list, report and activities are filed for record purposes. To differentiate them, each group has identified their group’s name. Here are some names of the groups. Kati Woko Con Ber group from Dure, Nge Yot Komi group from Oryang Ojuma, Walegu Lacwec group from Lamola, and In kono group from Koch.2. Support to the beneficiaries.All the 40 beneficiaries, formed into groups were given goats for them to rear and share among themselves when the number increases from the 5 that they have received. This is aimed at building the asset base of the households to boost their household income. The idea behind group formation is also to enable the beneficiaries to support each other in times of difficulties and emotional breakdown. Below are the pictures of the groups that have already received the goats from the Association.
3. Village savings and Loan Association component.To enable them stay in close contacts with one another, the groups are also being supported in Village Saving and Loan Association (VSLA) activity. The group members sit every week to make their saving contributions in their specific groups and locations. The group leaders manage their activities and report to the office at end of every month. This will enable them to save for any eventualities and support one another not only emotionally but also materially.No startup capital is given to the group to boost their saving. River Fund HIV/AIDs Family support Association however provides guidance and the equipments required for the activity. As such, all the groups will be given cash boxes and all its tools for record keeping and management of the group finances.As they conduct their weekly meetings they also have the time to share with one another their challenges and other concerns that other members would be able to help them out of it.Challenges.The number of HIV positive client is over whelming the little support that the Association is able to give. This therefore leaves out many who are equally vulnerable and in need of support.Lack of transport means. The distance to be covered by the association’s staff is wide and far apart leading to a delay in reaching out or monitoring of the groups. The Association is also hiring a motorcycle on a daily basis to facilitate the movements. This however is costly given the little available resources.Way Forward.1. Realizing the danger and the alarming increase in number of young positives (children and youth HIV+) the Association is in the process of registering young positive groups to enable them to open up and start living hopeful lives. They will also be receiving counseling services among other supports.2. The Association is purchasing cash boxes for the women groups already supported with goats as a way of encouraging a culture of saving among the women and to strengthen the economic wellbeing.
RIVER FUND HIV/AIDS FAMILY SUPPORT ASSOCIATION, KITGUM. ACTIVITIES REPORT.
Project Name: FEED THE CHILDREN (HIV+ AND MALNOURISHED CHILDREN)
Project Area: KITGUM DISTRICT, AMIDA SUB-COUNTY.
Project Period: JULY-SEPTEMBER, 2012
MRS. ROSEMARY OPOKA (MRS) ALOYO INNOCENT JESSIE+256(0)772-875216 +256(0)774-002070Email: email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
ACTIVITIES 1. Assessment and Identification of HIV+ and Malnourished children.Assessment and identification of HIV+ children for enrolment in the feed the children project. 10 children were identified from Amida sub-county from the villages of Akworo, Oyuru and Ganglela.The children ranged from ages 2+ to 13 years. All children identified are on ART treatment and they are receiving the treatment from either Kitgum Government hospital or St, Joseph’s hospital. They all have their ART No. and treatment No. Findings of the Assessment of HIV and childrenThere are a lot of children on drugs that are not followed up by the counselors. As a result some are not taking the treatment seriously. A case of a 13 year old boy in Amida sub-county, Kitgum District who has abandoned taking his treatment 10 month ago citing verbal abuse from fellow children in school and stigma.Action point; Have home base care service to follow up these children.The households of these children are in economic hardships since most of them are being taken care of by grandparents and are overwhelmed by the so many dependants they have to fend for.Action point; Enroll their households in to a livelihood project to enable them work together to support their householdsSome of the children assessed suffer from malnutrition and poor health. Some have swollen faces/body due to the reaction to the treatment.Action point; organize training for the caretakers on long term survivals skills and nutritional sessions to enable provide balanced nutrients for these children.2. Support to the households; All the 10 household, were formed into a group and given goats for them to rear and share among themselves when the number increases from the 4 that they have received. This is aimed at building the asset base of the households to boost their household income. The idea behind group formation is also to enable the beneficiaries to support each other in times of difficulties and emotionally.
3. Training of caretakers on Long Term Survival Skills (LTSS) and feeding of HIV+ Children.Training of the caretakers on LTSS and feeding of the children. The caretakers have been trained on LTSS (Long Term Survival Skills) by members of the River Fund HIV/AIDs family Support Association who have were trained as TOT (Trainers of Trainers) and have rendered such trainings to other women and caretakers before.In Attendance were caretakers of the children identified for support (10 in total). The training was held at the River Fund offices at Christ the King Parish, Kitgum from 21-22 September 2012. The two days training objective was to empower the caretakers with different skills in providing for the children with the use of the local available foods in the home.They were trained on how to provide a balanced meal for the children without necessarily looking for help from outside the home or food supplement support. 4. Monitoring of the beneficiaries in Alango and Pondwongo Parishes.The beneficiaries in Pondwongo are carrying on with the VSLA (Village Savings and Loan Association) activities. They are supporting one another emotionally. The challenges they are faced with are the death of the goats. To date, the total number of goats alive are 11; 05 given by the Association and 06 produced kid goats. The total number of death is 06 since receipt of the goats.In Alango Parish, there are 08 goats; 05 given by the Association and 03 produced kid goats. The group members are not cooperative and this is making the management of the goats difficult. Some members have as a result suggested that the remaining goats be shared out to enable each person to look after her own.The vegetable seeds distributed were grown in their nursery beds and later transplanted. Most have need eaten by the women and some sold for cash to complement household income. The women are further keeping some for seeds production for further planting. The leaves however are continued to be eaten.
PROGRESS REPORT.Name of Organization: RIVER FUND HIV/AIDS FAMILY SUPPORT WOMEN ASSOCIATIONProject Name: LIVELIHOOD SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS (PLWAs).Project Area: KITGUM DISTRICT, KITGUM TOWN COUNCIL SUB-COUNTY.
Key focus areas of intervention include; Training People 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 this quarter (April-June, 2012) in the parishes of Pondwongo and Alango in Kitgum Town council sub-county.
ACTIVITIES.1. Training on Management and best practices of rearing goats.The River Fund this quarter has been able to train 20 people in livelihood (goat rearing) on management of goats to curb down on the previously reported death of goats. The women were taken through the feeding, disease identification and control. They were further taken through the different ways of rearing goats from which the women anxiously supported the semi intensive system of rearing goats. In this system, the goats are tied out during day to graze and later in the day they are brought back inside their shed for the night. The group can also source for the feeds and feed the goats from their pen without letting them out of the house. The second component of the training was on vegetable growing. The groups were trained on how to prepare nursery beds for their vegetable seeds before planting in the mother garden. The facilitator took the participants through pest and disease control they were trained on variety of seeds; cabbages, carrots, sikumaweeki, amarranthus, okra, egg plants, tomatoes onions, garlic. The groups are encouraged to practice kitchen gardening (grow vegetables) to improve their nutritional supplement and to complement their household income from the sale of the vegetables.
2. Distribution of Vegetable seeds and Goats.The groups trained received varieties of vegetable seeds. Each group received seeds worth one hundred thousand (100,000=) Ug.shs from the River fund HIV/AIDS family Support Association.
Each of the groups also received a male goat. This will increase the number of goats received to 5 per group from last year.
3. Construction of goats’ house.The groups that received goats last year were constructed goats houses. The houses are to accommodate 10-15 goats each when the goats multiply from the 5 that the groups received in total. 4 given last year and 1 male-goat this year per group. The idea behind the house construction is to enable the goats to multiply faster and to avoid attacks from stray dogs as was the case in the previous report. The houses are made from local materials which are relatively cheaper and easy to get. This can also be acquired by the groups in case of the need for repair in future. The hut was erected by the group as shelter for their goat before the construction of the new goats’ shed pictured below.The land was given by a member of the group as their contribution towards the success of the project.
ACHIEVEMENTS.1. Vocational Skills trainingThis is a new project that has just been introduced this year. The group has been able to start bead making. The bead making is yet to begin fully pending procurement of materials for the project work.2. An office space has been established. With the help of the new Parish Priest, Fr. Anthony Nyeko, we have been able to open up an office at Christ the King parish in the former Guilio Pastore primary School. The office is currently being run by 2 staff; a Programme Coordinator and an office Assistant.3. Contact with the District.We have also opened up a file with the district at the District Community Department. This is to help in coordination and publicity of the Association.
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