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.
Aug 20, 2014

Quarterly Report

Dear Donors, friends and well wishers of The River Fund and “little HEARTS orphanage”

I am happy to inform you that Ms. Neeharika Tummala, GG representative of India had visited “little HEARTS orphanage” in the month of June.

All the children at little hearts orphanage are doing very well physically and in education. From this academic year we have engaged new 2 tutors to teach English and Hindi and Mathematics and Science subjects separately. Both the tutors are coming in the morning and evening to teach the above said subjects and now the children are slowly improving in English speaking! From this year children will have tutoring five days a week not six days.

Last week we received another request letter from Women and Child Department to take full orphan girl who has been infected with HIV whose name is Ammulu, 12 years old who is on ART treatment since 2 years. We took her and sent for all tests according to Government ART Center.

At the beginning of Back to School we bought Note Books, School Bags and other stationary items for all the children and costs nearly Rs.27,000 and also bought new mattress, Covers, Pillows and pillow covers and bed sheets. Each mattress, mattress cover, Pillow and pillow covers cost Rs.900/-.

Also bought Sports goods according their age and interests. At least one and half hour children should play. Saturday and Sundays are full play time to children and there will be no tutoring. Children should have play time to grow physically and mentally.

Surendra and Karthik are now in Xth standard and attending for outside tutoring for extra classes. We paid Rs.3,500/- to each to the Sreedhar Coaching Center. Next year also our children may stand in first or second of school ranks.

A new bi-cycle bought for Anil who is attending college from this academic year and which costs Rs.4,160/-.

Every day children are feeding with milk and snacks in the evening and Egg curry thrice in a week and Sundays Chicken/Fish.

Three full time staff and 2 part time staff are working at little hearts orphanage.

Please see the below to know about salaries of our staff.

Manager   Rs.6,000

Cook         Rs. 4,000

Assistant   Rs. 3,500

Tutor 1     Rs. 2,500

Tutor 2     Rs. 2,500

Before closing this quarterly report I wanted to say thanks and Namaste to all of our Donors, Global Giving and The River Fund and also continue to donate and support our work for the children of “little HEARTS orphanage”.

C.P.Kumar

HEARTS

Jul 7, 2014

Quarterly Report

Tailoring graduate at her shop
Tailoring graduate at her shop

We apologize for the lateness of this report. Our project leader in Uganda has been very sick for weeks now. He is slowly improving and we hope he will be back to work soon.

I have talked with him and will do my best to give a project update.

Earlier this year, the project leader attended a training given by Samaritans Purse in mushroom growing etc. which led to a proposal asking for support in learning how to make bar soap, liquid soap, mushroom growing and candle wax, because they felt that the market of these products was readily available and many of the members are living day to day.

This proposal was rejected due to very high cost and what we felt were unrealistic outcome expectations as well as no long term ability to maintain the proposal goals.

This has led to a recommitment to and a focus on our core mission to help the very neediest help themselves and each other.

  1. In that vein we are continuing our practice of purchasing and distributing “good” and healthy seeds for home kitchen gardens and community gardens to share and to sell.  Better seeds equal better gardens which results in better nutrition for individuals and families.
  2. We are continuing in poultry raising and egg production. Goat raising helps orphans and other vulnerable children especially child headed households live better lives. By raising, breeding and selling goats, these children can better feed themselves and send siblings to school.
  3. Our amazing group of disabled members continues to educate others about the issues and prejudice they face daily. They have become more political and vocal. They are activists and provide a voice for the most vulnerable. Many support themselves by entertaining with song, dance, music and storytelling.
  4. Our trainers are sharing with small and large groups of men and women about Long Term Survival Skills for HIV/AIDS. The trainers were given a refresher course last August.
  5. Our tailoring program is going strong but we are in need of some specialized equipment such as a button hole machine. Our sewing machines are the “old fashioned” pump machines that can be used without the need for electricity.

One of the goals for the near future is connecting our tailoring shop to electricity which is now finally available in the village.

Thank you to all of our faithful and committed donors. Your donations truly make a difference.

Delicious & highly nutritious sweet potato garden
Delicious & highly nutritious sweet potato garden
May 27, 2014

May 2014 Quarterly Report

Pandwong Primary School kids with new supplies
Pandwong Primary School kids with new supplies

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.

Key focus areas of intervention include; Training Women 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 in the month of April to May 2014.

ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT.

  1. Support to children in school.

25 HIV+ school going children were supported in fees, school uniforms and scholastic materials this second school term. The support is made for the entire school calendar. The children will be visited and talked to find out other challenges that might be affecting their performance in class. This will inform other intervention for supporting the children to perform better.

  1. Support to 25 extremely poor households with HIV+ Children with food items like sugar, posho, beans, and other items to boost their food stock in the house. This activity is one of the key aims of the Association which is to care for malnourished children through providing food stuff. Each household received 10 kgs of posho, 05kg of sugar and beans, and 2litres cooking oil. Many more children shall be identified for support to combat malnutrition and other opportunistic diseases which may result from malnutrition.

Lessons learnt.

Many children are incapacitated to access basic education due to poverty and health related problems. Most of them are orphaned and being taken care of by grandparents who cannot also provide for themselves due to economic hardships.

Provision of scholastic materials is essential but many caregivers prefer to receive support in fees other than books or uniforms saying they are not able to earn anything to pay fees which is considered too high for their level of income.

Households of elderly persons are more prone to diseases like malnutrition for the children due to their lack of energy to engage in activities that require much energy to earn income for food provision. This leaves the family to depend on a meal a day which is not adequate for proper growth for the children.

Plan for coming quarters.

  1. Conduct data collection on malnutrition and early childhood development. This will inform the project intervention strategies for effective service delivery to the beneficiaries. Instead of focusing solely on children, the program shall consider the entire family or household as the programming unit. Though services offered by implementing agencies varied, the focus here shall generally covered health and nutrition; education, vocational skills training, and life skills; household economic strengthening and psychosocial support;
  2. Train caregivers on cereal production and nutritional food provision. This is aimed at strengthening the capacity of families to protect and care for orphans and vulnerable children.
  3. Identify OVC (girls) for support in secondary education. Data collection done in three schools in the district indicates that many secondary school going girls are forced out of school due to challenges that they cannot overcome. Many cannot afford fees as most of them are orphaned to HIV/AIDs and the LRA conflict.
New school supplies
New school supplies
Children enjoying sunflower seeds
Children enjoying sunflower seeds

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