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.
May 5, 2016

1st Quarter Report

Group photo after a meeting in Kitgum Uganda
Group photo after a meeting in Kitgum Uganda

Secondary Education Support for Vulnerable Girls
www.riverfund.org

Report compiled by Aloyo Innocent Jessie, Project Leader: River Fund HIV/AIDs Family Support Women Association, Kitgum.

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.
Activities carried out this quarter.
1. Meeting with parents of supported students
2. Provision of sanitary towels to the beneficiaries.
3. Payment of Fees for the beneficiaries.

Achievements.

• Of the 11 students who sat for Uganda certificate of education (UCE), last year, four have joined Primary Teachers’ College, one is to join Nursing School this April and 6 have joined A’ Level to pursue Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE)
• 9 students are now in S.4 waiting to sit for their UCE this year and 1 student is in S.3.
• 21 girls supported with Sanitary towels; 3 packets each for term I.
• Conducted a meeting with parents of the beneficiaries. The meeting streamlined on what the sponsorship covers and what parents of the students should do in-order to enable the girls concentrate on their education. It further highlighted on the roles and responsibilities of the school, parents, the students and the River Fund in supporting the students’ education. Parents agreed to contribute towards their children’s education.

Challenges.

• Transport to and from the project sites is yet another of the challenges being faced. River Fund does not have a reliable means of transport and hence relies majorly on hiring motorcycles to facilitate field activities.
• Increase in School Dues that can’t be supported by the limited fund for the project.
• Some parents are unable to provide for scholastic materials and some basic items like soap, sugar for their children leaving them to always go without to school. This to some extent keeps them going in and out of school to ask parents to provide them.

Lessons learnt.

• Close involvement of the teachers is key in project success as they help in the beneficiaries’ career guidance and mentoring.
• Close involvement and work with the parents and or guardians of the girls to help provide moral support and encouragement.
• Close monitoring and follow up at school by project leader is key in fostering mentorship of the girls
• Mentorship of the students is a key factor to their performance and moral education which should continue.

Conclusion.

Term 1 begun well with all the supported students returning to school within the first week of new school term. The project leader made and executive members made a number of school visits to meet with the students and mentors in their respective school.

We are so thankful to GlobalGiving and the River Fund for this support. We could not have done this without all of your help!

Apr 21, 2016

Quarterly Report

School children in Nambogo Village
School children in Nambogo Village

Empower AIDS Widows Save a Community


Our dear donors, friends and well-wishers we are pleased to present our quarterly progress report in this first quarter of the year 2016. Thanks for your support.

PROJECT STRATEGIES
The project focuses on empowering women and girl-child in rural eastern Uganda targeting three districts of Tororo, Bugiri and Busia. Empowering 5 Self Help Groups (SHGs) and educating them on aspects of Non-formal skills, agro-livestock (poultry, piggery and goats project), HIV/AIDS related activities including counseling, nutrition, care and support, OVC educational and basic support. RARUDO also intends to integrate cross cutting issues of environmental conservation in project activities of empowering women in the next quarter.

PROJECT ACTIVITIES
Sensitization and mobilization of women and youth for training.
Training Youth on non-formal skills (vocational skills).
Supporting needy children with scholastics, uniforms, and basic needs.
Purchase a variety of improved seeds for 5 women groups to mitigate food insecurity and tree planting to conserve environment.
HIV/AIDS counseling, nutrition, care and support for PLWAs.
Conducting planning, monitoring and evaluation of project activities.

PROJECT OUT PUTS
Women sensitized and mobilized into Self Help Groups.
The 5 Self Help Groups 3 districts in Tororo, 2 in Busia and 1 in Bugiri attained survival skills training on HIV/AIDS in the past quarter, counseling, nutrition and care in ongoing.
Women supported with goats, pigs and chickens

LESSONS LEARNT
RARUDO has learnt to value and appreciate the importance of networking with local governments and other stakeholders. This has helped to avoid duplication of work and wastage of resources. For instance, before selecting the sub counties and villages to support, we had to carry out a stakeholder’s analysis to know who does what where? We agreed to target villages with few service providers for our intervention so as not to duplicate resources. We thus work together with the local community leaders, the schools, churches, health departments.

CHALLENGES
Overwhelming numbers of impoverished people needing support. Limited funding as per demand. Even for the meetings and trainings that followed we always had more people than we had planned and budgeted for. This definitely put a strain on our budget.

There is a limited resource base for RARUDO which does not only make it difficult to meet the demands of the target areas of interventions but also the overwhelming requests from the general community.
Our current coverage is limited to 3 out of over 15 sub counties in Tororo, 2 in Busia out of 13 and 1 in Bugiri out of 11. Efforts to lobby from other sources to supplement support have not been very successful yet.
RARUDO is confined to support mainly women, Orphans, youth, girl-child, PLWAS the Elderly and persons with disability thus leaving very many other impoverished children like orphans due to others factor; child mothers, children with disabilities and those who have dropped out of school helpless.
Rise in costs of items and commodities due to fuel crisis and the global financial crisis. This mainly affected the feeding and materials costs.

WAY FORWARD
There is need to continue empowering communities through sensitizations and training especially in HIV/AIDs, guidance and counseling, non-formal skills, modern agriculture and Income Generating Activities management.
Enhance the capacity of the local community leadership and other existing structures so as to strengthen their participation in the implementation, ownership and sustainability of programmes.
Besides, there is need to vigorously diversify the income sources for RARUDO so as to increase the area of coverage and also include other aspects like formal education for orphans and other vulnerable children in school, HIV/AIDS affected children, human rights programmes geared towards protecting widows and orphans due to HIV/AIDs, among other programmes.

CONCLUSION
In a nutshell, RARUDO is a very unique programme in the eyes of many stakeholders and beneficiaries. Although the project is ongoing, it has tried to work hard towards the attainment of planned outputs and results. The programme is being implemented based on the project plan and has so far registered a number of results which are positive but were not devoid of challenges as stated above. The challenges however, form a basis for RARUDO to plan for scale up and for diversification of the funding sources so as to fill the gaps.

Our sincere thanks go to the local community leaders, school and church leaders and other actors with whom we have worked together in planning and implementation of most of the programme activities already carried out. Thank you our donors and thank you for your cooperation, insights and support that have helped us to make RARUDO more relevant and owned by the beneficiaries.

Yours sincerely,
Onyango Joseph
Executive Director,
RARUDO

Young women trainees
Young women trainees
Mar 15, 2016

Quarterly Report

Having fun and snacks!
Having fun and snacks!

Dear Donors, Friends and Well-wishers of "little HEARTS orphanage" all over the world,

Greetings to you all from "little HEARTS orphanage" of Nellore District of Andhra Pradesh State of India. We hope you are all well in health and wealth!

Recently, Mr. R from USA visited LHO and spent some time and asked few questions about children and their welfare.. Through GG he donated some money to LHO. He also promised in the near future he will do more for LHO through GG.

All the children at LHO doing well physically and mentally. This is final examinations period all over Andhra Pradesh State. All the children from 1st class to Intermediate are very busy in studies at LHO. They are studying very well and working more hours on studies to get good marks and ranks. As I told in my previous GG Quarterly Reports, after food and accommodation education is the most important to every child for bright future.

After food we are spending more money on education materials, tuition fee for Xth and Intermediate students. The Xth class children must pass examinations to go to college (Intermediate). At LHO 5 children including one girl appearing for Xth class final examinations which starts from 21st March to 2nd April. We hope they all will get very good marks and ranks to join college.

Anil who is studying IInd year Intermediate did all the examinations well so for. Today is the last examination for him. Like Ramu, Anil is also interested to join and study Civil Engineering. To send him to Engineering College from this year we need more financial support along with Ramu who successfully completed IIIrd year. He is having only one year to complete his Civil Engineering studies who is studying at Priyadarshini Engineering College, Nellore.

Padma is now studying first year B.Sc. Nursing at St. Joseph’s Nursing College which near to LHO. Tomorrow my wife and I are going to visit her. Every Second Sunday of every month they will be given permission to go outing. Yesterday Padma made a phone call from her college office land line and reminded me about fee. I also spoke with the office staff and enquired about the fee and told them on Monday I will be coming to pay college fee in instalments. We should pay Rs.36,000 each year. Like this we should pay for 3 years. We have already paid Rs.16,000 for Padma. Rest of the fee should be paid by us before this August for 1st year.

The rest of the children are studying from 1st class to IXth class. 3 tutors are regularly attending for every evening to help children homework and teach all the subjects. Every Sunday evening all the children will go to nearby Police Parade Grounds to play. They play from 3PM to 6PM. Local people donate Food and Biscuits at least once or twice in a month by celebrating their little ones Birthdays. Three full time and three part time staff are working for lower salaries. When compared with other institutions we are paying less salary. Our staff is demanding for raise in their salaries. I promised them that we will raise salaries from next academic year which starts in the month of June of 2016.

Beloved donors please donate more to meet the regular expenditure in addition to salaries of staff.

Kind regards

C.P.Kumar
HEARTS

Taking care of each other ... snacks help!
Taking care of each other ... snacks help!
Little girls playing!
Little girls playing!
Growing children are always hungry!
Growing children are always hungry!
 
   

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