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 17, 2015

End of Year Quarterly Report

Children at little HEARTS Orphanage
Children at little HEARTS Orphanage

Dear Donors, Friends and Well-wishers of "little HEARTS orphanage" running with the kind support of The River Fund.

Once again time has come to say Namaste and thanks to all of our kind hearted people around the world for your support throughout this year. Now we are at the last days of 2015 and looking forward to enter into New Year 2016!

At the last week of November we had terrible rains for 5 days and floods. Three Districts including Nellore covered with waters everywhere. All the lakes, canals, roads and lower side houses completely filled with waters. Rescue teams from NDRF arrived with boats to rescues people who are in waters and helicopters dropped food and water packets. All the schools and colleges closed for a week days. Highest rain fall recorded after 50 years of Nellore District history. No power for one and half day in town. These 3 districts look like seas! Lot of damage for farmers, business people and poor people.

I am happy to submit the last Quarterly Report to Global Giving through the River Fund and I hope we have achieved something better than last year. Since last year we have fixed goal to give more importance and educate girls. In this process, this year we sent Padma to continue her studies by joining B.Sc. Nursing at St. Joseph’s Nursing College which is in Nellore town and just 2kms. away from "little HEARTS orphanage" where Padma was raised.

After grown up boys left LHO to further studies, we gave admissions to new kids. At present we have 15 girls and 25 boys. To help and improve their education appointed another tutor to teach especially English and Mathematics. Now LHO looks like real little hearts with little ones. The mothers/fathers of new kids are also like old kids with different backgrounds like poverty, illiteracy with drinking habits. These children are becoming burden to their mothers to feed because these mothers work as agricultural labourers or maid servants or work in small shops with little income. Usually, 99% of children are having single mother at least with not less than 3 kids.

Because of cost of living cost of all the food items including vegetables are now very high. We need nearly Rs.75,000 to run LHO.

Ramu is now very busy with his 3rd year Civil Engineering and appearing for IInd semester examinations. Anil is now final year of Intermediate. Ramu has become a role model to boys and they want to become Engineers and Padma is a role model to girls. All the girls want to study B.Sc Nursing! Anil is also interested to join in a local Engineering College after the successful completion of Intermediate.

Whatever we have achieved so for, it's all because of your love, kindness and financial support. Without your kind support we cannot achieve anything.

We feed the children with milk every day and on Tuesday and Friday we serve food with egg curry and every Sunday we serve chicken or fish. The children cannot get this nutritious and healthy kind of food when they visit their villages for summer holidays.

Children at LHO are really lucky because we are paying and providing everything for their food, education, shelter, medical and safety. At least once or twice in a month we receive delicious donated food items by the local people because LHO is on the main road side. Almost all of our children came from villages and children eat more and more food because they always do something physically and energetic.

In this connection I request all of our donors start donate more from this holidays and giving season to meet the expenses of LHO.

Hope to talk to you all once again in my next New Year first quarter GG report through the River Fund with more news!

We wish you all Merry Christmas, Happy and Prosperous New Year 2016 Greetings and Blessings.

C.P.Kumar
HEARTS

Nov 17, 2015

Quarterly Report

Child with NS being supported to sit by her mother
Child with NS being supported to sit by her mother

Background

The River Fund HIV/AIDs Family Support Association is a Community Based Organization (CBO) founded in 2007 by committed and motivated women to contribute towards improving the quality of life of persons infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, through educating and empowering the women and girls on HIV/AIDs Long Term Survival Skills and sponsorship and mentorship of girls in schools, economic empowerment and livelihood food security enhancement for a sustainable development for self-reliance through seeds provision, training in kitchen gardening and support to malnourished children through provision of trainings in provision of nutritious meals, and provision of basic items like soap, sugar, cooking oil, salt.
The organisation envisions a just and caring society where people yearn to help one another and realize that every human being is connected to one another for a change in the world with values such as: sharing, Love, Non-Discrimination, Humility, Peace, Non Violence, Justice, Inclusiveness, Service, Dedication, Honesty, Transparency, and Compassion.

Activity. Follow Up of families of Children suffering from Nodding Syndrome.

During the month, visits were made to families of children suffering from Nodding Syndrome. This was to provide counselling and emotional support to the families. During the visit, another of issues were raised by the parents as discussed in the body of the report.

The state of the children is still wanting due to the absence of mobile clinic which used to deliver of drugs to the parishes closer to the children, many are getting frequent attacks, wasting and very weak conditions which are made worst with the lack of adequate food in the household. As compared to those children at the center in odek who are well fed by the center management, the children at home are not improving due to poor nutrition and inadequate food where they usually have one meal a day.

With the cause of the syndrome not known to the community, there is stigma from families that do not have children suffering from the syndrome. This is evidenced by parents refusing their children from playing with children suffering from the syndrome and not touching them whenever they get attacks when they are together. This is one practice that is making it difficult for children who could engage themselves in games with healthy children to stimulate their brain development.

Due to enrolment in medication that was being provided by the government, there has been some slight improvement for the children who were constantly monitored by the health workers although there is always a relapse in cases where they miss out on drugs due to stock out from the health centers where they get treatment which forced the children to sometimes go without drugs for a month or for as long as there was still no drug. For example one Abapi died last month from Tumangu Village in Akwang Sub-county due to constant attacks (seizures). Many children’s conditions are worsening due to lack of drugs. The children have stayed for three months now without receiving drugs as there is no longer mobile Van distributing drugs as before at the distribution points. The last time they received drugs was in July and since then no medical worker has gone to see the children let alone tell the parents why there are no drugs. However, there are drugs at the Health Center e.g. in Akwang Sub-county where parents have to move with their children to the health Center which is 7 Miles from the Village. Due to this distance, some parents have stopped getting drugs for their children leaving them to go without drugs thus worsening their conditions. Despite their failure to get drugs from the health Centre and even provide for their children, some of the parents blame this on the government as one of the mothers had this to say.

‘’In the past, the government had promised to support parents whose children die due to the syndrome by providing for the burial arrangements but nowadays that is not happening. Even when your child is very ill, you have to transport the child to the health center on your own account despite the government giving an Ambulance for transporting these children to the Health Centers. Last week, one of the girls suffering from the syndrome was very ill and could not talk, her father had to hire a transport means to pick her from home to bring her to the treatment centre at Government hospital. This condition leaves us parents with no other alternative but rather pray that they get better even without drugs. We have lost hope and all we have to do is struggle since the child is yours not any body’s’’ laments a mother of a Nodding Syndrome victim from Tumangu.

If only we had enough food, we would at least try to feed them despite their condition but this is even difficult now with lack of food coupled with the bad weather this year that has not enabled us to have any good harvest to feed our families. These children are now moving around the village and with the rain, we are more worried of them falling in water and dying when we are out in the fields. Sometimes we are forced to lock them inside the huts but you cannot do this all the time. We pray the government supports these children with food like they used to do before as it would relieve us from so much work of providing for the families.’’ She laments.

Due to this thinking, some parents have abandoned their children. A case of one Akello note her real name from Tumangu Who got but when she fell in fire as she got an attack was deserted by her relatives only to be supported by a VHT member who took her to the treatment Center and nursed her till she was discharged recently. This is a sign that parents are tired of fending or supporting these children.

To enable proper care and support, the parents request for counselling services to be provided to the community especially those who live together with families of children suffering from the syndrome to enable them understand the mode of transmission and why they need to support such children.

There is further need for provision of food to the families of children suffering from the syndrome to improve on their nutrition which is very key to enhancing their growth and improvement.

Where possible there is need to set up a center like that in Odek in Gulu to help care for these children in providing education, medication, counselling, and food so as to give more time to their parents to work in the fields in order to provide enough food for their households. Hope for Humans had consulted with the community in Tumangu to identify four(4) parents (two males and two females) who would help in taking care of these children once the center is established but up until now, this has not yet been dome and even the constructed Health Center is not operational. There are structures but no drugs and health workers yet.

Challenges.
With no funding yet for this activity, it has not been possible for us to conduct any other activity rather than the one reported on.

We are so thankful to global Giving and the River Fund for their untiring support. We could not have done this without all of your help!"

Oct 27, 2015

Quarterly Report

Children at school with teacher and no desks!
Children at school with teacher and no desks!

Project Report for Educate 600 Orphans in Rural Eastern Uganda
By Onyango Joseph: Executive Director RARUDO.


Background Information
Rayland Rural Development Organisation this year 2015 is marking 15years of existence since its inception and various achievements are realized these include Educational Support to Orphans and other Vulnerable Children (OVC), Empowering Women and Youth through Skills Training, Carrying out the Long Term HIV/AIDS Survivor Skills, Awareness and Prevention.
As an NGO we are so grateful for our certificate to be renewed by the National NGO Board and also to permit us to operate country wide for another period of 36 months (3 years).
In this we commend the government of the republic of Uganda most especially Ministry of Internal Affairs for having trusting in our organisation to serve her people. This gives us great confidence to work with all diligence and reach out to many needy population as per the availability of resources.
We shall continue to provide support to the orphans who have lost their parents or guardians and enable them to fit into the society.

ACTIVITY REPORT:
Education
Knowing very well that School-related costs are the major obstacle for children in abject poverty to access education, we are continuing to work for and vigorously demand for orphans educational rights and attain high standards of education for all Ugandan children providing them other necessities of life on regular basis so as to become better people in great nation and be able to serve their families and the society.
I take this opportunity to say that our candidate class children O’Level and A’ Level have started doing the end of year exams we have 248 candidates have started the final exams and other 352 are sitting for promotional exams.
I therefore humbly request our dear Donors, partners and well-wishers at Global Giving, The River Fund, friends from local and Global to join me as we wish our children great success in their Examinations.

Challenges
During our visit to school this quarter to see how the children are faring at schools we found that environment our children studying in is not all that good, most classes has no school desks (furniture) the children sit on the floor. The numbers of children per teacher is outnumbering, each class has over 120 instead of 35 per teacher as recommended by ministry of education. This would contribute to poor academic performance, poor hygiene at school.

Needs
Based on our findings during the visit, there is great need to scale out the resource base to create better way of providing these children with better learning environment.
There is need to have these children in one central place, in this we propose to build a primary and kindergarten school where we can take close care and support while at school.
School uniforms and scholastic materials are the basics a child needs to enable them study.

Conclusion
I give my sincere regards to all our donors at Global Giving, The River Fund, Uganda government, local leaders and all well wishers for supporting our cause of bringing hope to the vulnerable community we serve most especially the young generations.

I remain yours faithfully,
Onyango Joseph
Executive Director
RARUDO

Children at school.
Children at school.
Primary Seven candidates preparing for exams
Primary Seven candidates preparing for exams
Renewed NGO certificate
Renewed NGO certificate

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