A mentoring meeting with beneficiaries.
RIVER FUND HIV/AIDS FAMILY SUPPORT ASSOCIATION, KITGUM.
GIRLCHILD EDUCATION PROJECT
KITGUM DISTRICT, KITGUM TOWN COUNCIL, AMIDA, LATANYA SUB-COUNTIES.
Project Period: November 2015- January 2016
ALOYO INNOCENT JESSIE
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 focused areas of intervention include; Training People Living With Aids (PLWA) 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 and Educating the rural women and girls-providing sponsorship to secondary School going girls.
This year 2015, with support from Global Giving and The River Fund in Florida, the Association has managed to support 20 Secondary School going girls in their education.
Activities carried out include:-
1. Mentorship of the beneficiaries.
To enable the mentorship to be successful, with the help of the school administration, two teachers per school were identified to have close interaction with the students being supported by the project during school times. The teachers organize monthly group meeting with all the girls to enable them discuss together what possible challenges they face that may interfere with their performance and education.
In this session, the discussion dwelt more on what ways forward for the girls especially in this long holidays. This question was meant to provoke the girls thinking to go beyond just being holidays makers by involving themselves in social events that may otherwise have negative impacts on their lives but rather to encourage them think of helping their parents on productive activities that in the end will support their education and lives of people in their households.
In the meeting the girls who turned up for the session expressed their desires to continue with formal education especially for those in senior three while those in senior four awaits the outcome of the UCE results which shall inform their next education strategies either to continue to Advanced level or branch to institutions such as nursing schools, primary teachers colleges or any other institutions that they may meet the requirements.
Mentorship is very important for the improvement in the performance of students at school because it provide an avenue for opening up by the students about the challenges they are facing that if not handled may interfere with their studies. During mentorship meetings, the volunteers explore the students challenging situations now that they are on holidays and talk about it with them to find out the best way of handling the difficult situations. The problems vary from disco dances that are always organized by traders within the different sub-counties, parents leaving the children alone to look after their siblings when they go for social events such as funerals.
With the difficult financial situations and peer influence some girls may fall victims of situations like teen age pregnancies if not constantly monitored and supported by their guardians and parents.
Due to far off distances from the Kitgum Town, not many beneficiaries were able to come for the meeting(mentorship) since this requires them to meet transport costs and feeding when they are away from home being holidays period. Only those within Kitgum Town attended the session.
Organize meetings with parents of the girls to discussion the ways forward for their daughters who sat for Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) to decide on whether to continue with secondary or join institutions for those who may not wish to continue to Advanced level education.