Empower AIDS Widows - Save a Community

by The River Fund
Mar 30, 2011

March 2011 Update

Bugiri Women
Bugiri Women

Rayland Rural Development Organization quarterly updates 2011

I greet you all on behalf of Rayland Rural Development Organization and take this moment to thank you all for your generous contribution towards our programme. Your social contribution is creating big changes and development to lives underprivileged families here in Uganda. With your continuing support, the  Organization providing  access to more than social economic empowerment, enhanced health and education to the underprivileged  women and children in Tororo, Busia, Bugiri and Kitgum as well. We enable women to provide nutritious food for their families preventing common diseases like malaria and other illness and ensure brighter future for their children.

In support of Economic Empowerment
The involvement of beneficiaries in income-generating activities has had a positive impact on community perceptions and is helping to restore their self-respect, their dignity and their ability to contemplate an alternative future. The project has created social ties between beneficiaries, and different groups, trying contribute to improved social cohesion. We are already creating a legacy that replicates itself beyond the boarders with the help of friends like you. We have DIRECTLY reached to more than four hundred (400) women plus their families and OVC (orphans and other vulnerable children) over 700 - a total of 1,100 people and INDIRECTLY BENEFITING over 3,000 across three districts. 

With the recent donation of US $ 9,000 it has enabled us give women improved maize, Soya beans seeds, vegetable seeds for their own gardens with aim of diversifying nutrition at household levels, local chicken projects for eggs. We have also given out more 22 goats for milk to the 22 OVCs this is the third round we are doing this. We bought three new sewing machines for women in Bugiri. The women we serve in Tororo, Busia and Bugiri and Kitgum are an inspiration- they are proud, motivated, and willing to work on overcoming conditions of extreme poverty despite of inadequate resources /funding.

In the Support of HIV/AIDS
Cross-cutting effects of HIV/AIDS in RARUDO target areas include: growing number of widows, orphans and extended families struggling to meet the needs of these vulnerable members, poor health which limits production and productivity in AIDS-affected households, limited access to productive assets and economic means by women and OVC, lack of education for OVC, more so for those living  with HIV, denial of access to services and information, domestic violence, stigma and discrimination, weakening and/or breakdown of families and traditional community  social support networks and structures, loss of individuals in whom  families, government and businesses  have invested heavily and on whom they depended for leadership, direction, and continuity of future generations. The overall adverse effect has been insufficient human, social and economic development, which ultimately exacerbates the HIV/AIDS problem. It is therefore on the above background that The Empower AIDS Widows-Save a Community project engaged in changing the lives of beneficiary communities, and contributing to the improved livelihoods of women, children, and person living with HIV/AIDS, persons with disability through Empowerment, Trainings, Counseling, Care and Support. These have been made possible with support from our loving donors like you through our partners The River Fund and Global Giving.

The priority area, the project executed is the Long Term HIV/AIDS Survival Skills which has provided bridging support to the People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWAs) in most parts of The Eastern and Northern Uganda mainly Tororo, Busia, Bugiri and Kitgum. In December 2010 we conducted a one day Long Term HIV/AIDS Skills workshop for newly reached 25 women of Amonikakinei in Buteba Sub-county -this place is in the borders of Tororo and Busia District. Your support of February this year 2011 enabled us to provide unrefined maize flour mixed with soya bean to the PLWAs these include 30 from Tororo, 29 from Busia and 11 from Bugiri, domestic basic needs to 45 elderly women and their families. Provide some septrin to the PLWAs (Medication).     

In support of the Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC)
These groups always lack the human and financial support to adequately respond to the Social, Educational, HIV/AIDS problem hence some are forced to live on the streets or under exploitative conditions of labour, sexual abuse, prostitution and other forms of abuse. Children in Child-headed households (CHH) have to fend for themselves and support their younger siblings. Some of these children are infected with HIV either through mother-to-child-transmission (MTCT) or through defilement or through commercial sex work as they struggle to make ends meet. Your generosity has enabled RARUDO to support OVC with scholastic materials, uniforms and other utilities like sanitary care for girl child. Currently out of 500 OVC 270 from Tororo is benefiting, in Busia 150 out of 300 OVCs and 130 out of 209 from Bugiri.

People with Disabilities (PWD)
WDs are vulnerable and often face double discrimination and high stigma because they are disabled and some are living with, HIV/AIDS. Few PWDs access HIV/AIDS and Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) services because of, distance to health facilities; there is limited suitable forms and channels of HIV/AIDs information dissemination, education, communication and counseling from existing HIV/AIDS service providers which do not take into consideration the needs of PWDS especially those with hearing impairment, the visually impaired, the deaf blind, those with learning difficulties and those with mental illnesses. Limited access to information leaves them ignorant on preventive measures like abstinence, behavior change and other safe sex methods if they indulge in sex. Discrimination and stigmatization of PWD at HIV/AIDS service centres and at the community not only increase vulnerability but also results in self-stigma which draws PWD away from service points. At the same time, misconceptions that PWDs are sexually inactive and hence free from HIV/AIDS lead to susceptibility to rape and defilement exposing them to HIV/AIDS.

RARUDO integrated these groups in its programme and there were 48 PWD in Iyolwa Sub-County. PWD often suffer from poverty due to low levels of education, high stigmatization and discrimination as well as the limited capacity to engage in income generating activities. RARUDO is providing support to this community by providing them with improved seeds, nutrition support and skills, health education to empower their ability to have resources to deal with economic impact of HIV/AIDS and other related vulnerability.

As I conclude, I thank entire community members, board members and local partners for their tireless efforts and cooperation toward the success. My appreciation goes to the donors, International partners and friends for the good work done towards realization of some the organization objectives.

Yours sincerely,
Onyango Joseph
Executive Director, RARUDO

Children (OVC) receiving uniforms and books
Children (OVC) receiving uniforms and books

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Organization Information

The River Fund

Location: Sebastian, Florida - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.riverfund.org
Project Leader:
Joseph Onyango
Executive Director
Kampala, Uganda

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