Mar 18, 2019

Supporting Rural LGBTQI programs

Dear our Valued donors

Thank you for helping us to provide support to the LGBTQI people from deprived communities. It is because of your support, we are able to organize monthly stipend, pay office rent and bills, and carry out monthly meetings to measure our progress.

Due to unavailability of basic health facilities, vast numbers of LGBTQI in western Uganda area either receive health care services or fail to acquire information to protect them from deadly diseases like STIs, HIV/AIDS etc. Since October Last year, through our office space, a total of 37 LGBTQ have accessed the MRF office space for our services, Out of this number, 6 were referred to The Anti AIDS Support Organization (TASO), an international HIV/AIDS care, Support and services referral center in Uganda with its branch in mbarara for ART services and regular checkups to monitor their basic health and progress, with your continued efforts and support towards our office space and programs, MRF will continually be able to accomplish its mission and vision. We couldn’t do this without your help.

Mike not his Real name, who didn’t know about his HIV status explains that had it not been his random visitation to MRF office, he could not have been motivated to test for HIV. He says he has been able to test because when he reached MRF offices where he read a couple number of HIV testing awareness messages, ICE materials, he talk to our adiministrator who refferred him to our partners for HIV testing and counselling, Today Mike is talking his ARVs medications well and he says there is an improvement since he started taking them despite a few challenges like lack of sleep, night mare scarly dreams, food to support his medication and some times evening fever. 

We need your Support to continue offering these life-saving services to the rural LGBTQ in western Uganda.

At MRF, every day is a celebration of the achievements we have made over the past years, especially the 349 LGBTQ people who have gone through our Cake baking, safety and security and HIV programs, and the potential of those who have started their own small scale cake baking businesses and have been seen as an example of improvement and effort. We celebrate family, friends, trainers, sponsors, volunteers and all the people who have been part of our projects during the last 2 years. We remain motivated to reach more beneficiaries in western Uganda and to continue making innovative and positive improvements in our processes and methodologies to increase opportunities for rural LGBTQ and communities.

Activites

We participated in a training organized by Human rights awareness and promotion forum (HRAPF) aiming at strengthening organization top management and organisations, since the training, MRF has been able to strenghten its systems.  

During our end February month meeting, we discussed challenges like lack of awareness about PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) a term typically refers to the use of antiviral drugs as a strategy for the prevention of HIV/AIDS, human rights violations, gender based violence etc. we were able to come up with solutions to the above challenges, MRF members agreed we carry out PrEP awareness workshops and dialogue meetings so as to increase PrEP uptake among the LGBTQ people in order to fight HIV/AIDS. In the comming months, We will launch a PrEP awareness fundraising and we will need your contiuned support and efforts to reach our target goal.

As per gender based violence (GBV) reports that publish on a monthly basis, there is a slight increase of gender based violations faced especially the transgender people because their sexaul orientation gender identities (SOGI), Rape, Physical assault were among the most noted violations. MRF is committed to continue responding to all forms of Violations. 

Thank you for the confidence that you have placed in us and the financial assistance provided, Mr. Raymond Twinamatsiko the Executive Director  says he is happy that MRF is offering quality sevices to the LGBTIQ+ people through its Office space which makes it easy for both him and staff to carry on, plan for the activites and offer services, he says that he is deeply grateful for all the help and support.

Dec 26, 2018

Supporting Rural LGBTQ services

Mbarara Rise Foundation is an engine to build rural grassroot communities and empower agents of change in our world. It is a space in which LGBTQ discover their value and ability to transform their environment and turn it into opportunities for growth.

Today we celebrate the achievement of all the 349 LGBTQ who have gone through our Cake baking, safety and security and HIV programs, and the potential of those who have started their own small scale cake baking businesses and have been seen as an example of improvement and effort. We celebrate family, friends, trainers, sponsors, volunteers and all the people who have been part of our projects during the last 2 years. 

We remain motivated to reach more beneficiaries in western Uganda and to continue making innovative and positive improvements in our processes and methodologies to increase opportunities for rural LGBTQ and communities.

Last week we had an engagement with United Nations Human rights office of the high commissioner aiming at enhancing and strengthening the capacities of the human rights to engage with international and regional human rights mechanisms and acquire skills for advocacy for us to raise human rights concerns national authorities.

With our partners Most at Risk Population Initiative (MARPI) a clinic which is dedicated to addressing the universal access to HIV/STI interventions among most at risk populations (MARPs) not limiting the LGBT community in Uganda that also focuses mainly at the prevention and control of HIV and other STI’s among the most at risk and vulnerable populations in Uganda and offering Other services that include Proctology which is a branch of medicine that deals with diagnosis and management of Anal Pathologies, supported MRF to carry out  a dialogue meeting to mobilize and sensitive our communities on anal STI’S, pathologies and other prevention and care services in mbarara district.

20 LGBTQ who participated in the program acquired information and knowledge on anal STI’S and management, pathologies, and care services. Participants (LGBTQ, MSM and sex workers) contributed the best strategies to use to acquire better quality health care services at regional-level.

 

We look forward to Share more updates in the coming months.

 Merry christmas and we wish you a happy new year 2019

Dec 26, 2018

Training Safety and Security for rural LGBTQ community

Training of 60 rural LGBTQ community members on their safety and security.

Dear Donors

Your response to our cause has been phenomenal; I am grateful and very excited about the coming year because of the lives that will be transformed because of your faithful partnership and generous support.

Unlike other projects I want to develop this reporting process into something more personal and more engaging. I want you to know that you matter to us.  

In 2019, we will be starting with a new program. Firstly, the new program to fight HIV/AIDS for the rural LGBTQ people. We piloted this program in 2018, all the bugs have been ironed out and so it’s full steam ahead in Jan 2019. The Community is so excited because the new program enables them to learn ways of preventing HIV/AIDS so as to achieve a 90-90-90 target. This is the outward display in fighting HIV/AIDS among the LGBTQ. 2019 is going to be a brilliant year, due to your support! None of this would be possible without funding, with ongoing support. You are making a difference in the lives of so many sexual minorities here in Uganda.

As 2018 closes, I just want to once again say thank you for your support throughout this year and for some of you who have been supporting us since November 2017 when we first started with Global Giving. I pray you and your family have a safe, peaceful and relaxing Christmas Season.

 "My name is bogere, I am 21yrs old from kizunji Village in mbarara district. Before joining MRF’s safety and security project I never knew what it means to put security first, I used to do wrong things that I shouldn’t do. I used to show off my sexuality, not setting strong passwords and get into fights with other people. My friends have always tried to make me a better person but with friends around I wasn’t a better person.

Since being in the program, I put security first. This program has changed me to be a good human being. It has helped me with things and taught me many good things. Thank you to everyone who brought such wonderful people in the world from MRF now I am a better person in the present and will be in the future.”I put security first”

 

60 rural LGBTQ recently participated in this program, 20 people were selected in each of the three districts.

On the 7th-8th December 2018 MRF carried out a two-day safety and security training in Ibanda District for 20 LGBTQ participants, including 7 transgender men and 4 transgender women, 6 gay men and 3 lesbians.

9th-10th December 2018 in Ntugamo District with 20 participants which included 6 gay men, 4 Lesbians, 5 transgender men and 5 transgender women.

13th-14th December 2018 in Mbarara district with 20 participants were also trained, they included, 2 bisexual men, 1 bisexual woman, 4 transgender men, 2 transgender women, 5 gay men, 6 lesbians.

MRF Finance manger Mr. Flavour Kamugisha and Programs Director Janet Mutesi organized the trainings in three districts.  

Topics and activities carried out during the trainings included an introduction to digital and physical safety, understanding rural working environment, Analyzing security incidents and threats, group work exercise on risk assessment to develop sustainable strategies, tactics and individual safety management approaches. Mr. Flavour, Miss Janet and Mr. Osbert who had been early equipped with skills, information and a training of trainees (TOT) from Defenders protection Initiative, supported participants in an open discussion where lived life insecurities and threats were shared.

At the end of the trainings which aimed at equipping rural LGBTQ community members with knowledge and skills necessary to enhance their personal and digital safety and security, participants promised to put their security first so as to create a safe working environment/space, Report any threats and insecurities so as to curb ways of responding to them. 

We are truly greatful to provide the LGBTQ community with information, skills and knowdelge and thank you for your Kind support. 

Happy Hoildays. 

Janet Mutesi

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