Feed, Educate, Empower Acholi Women and Girls

by The River Fund
Acholi Girls
Acholi Girls

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. Mentorship of the students by mentors and the project leader
2. Provision of sanitary towels to the beneficiaries.

1. Mentorship of the students.
During school term III, the students were mentored by their mentors and project leader. These mentorship meetings focused more on guiding the students on what career they intend to undertake after their secondary education. As a result of the meetings, 3 of the 9 girls in Ordinary level intend to become teachers and plan to join primary teachers’ college after UCE results are out while the other 6 plan on continuing to Advanced level in their Secondary Education as that will give them clearer path on what career they can undertake in life.

2. Provision of Sanitary Pads.
As term III begun, the girls were supported with sanitary towels. This is key in promoting their personal hygiene. Each student received 03 packets meant to take them for the whole term.

Achievements.

• Of the21 students being supported, 09 sat for Uganda certificate of education (UCE), 04 are now in their final year at Primary Teachers’ College and 08 are in their final year of Advanced level in Secondary Education.

• 21 girls supported in Career guidance by the academic masters in which subjects they must concentrate on to achieve their desired careers.

• 21 girls supported with Sanitary towels; 3 packets each for term III.

Way Forward.

• Continue supporting those already in the program.
• Provide a full package for the girls being supported. This package shall include tuition fees, scholastic materials such as books, and pens in addition to sanitary items.
• Where funds are available enroll more 10 girls in the program.

Testimonies.

I am forever grateful to the River Fund and Global Giving Team for their support towards my education.Thank you so much in changing my life and bringing hope in my life through the financial support in paying my tuition fees for the past 03 years. Through hard work and determination I will complete my year two (final year) in primary teaching this year. I look forward to becoming a blessing in many other lives through my teaching profession. I am so humbled of your love and support towards my education and many other disadvantaged girls from my region. May God continue to bless you and the works of of your hands.
Joyce- Kitgum CORE Primary Teachers’ College.

The favorite thing about this sponsorship is that I have been given an opportunity to better my future by continuing with my education and reduce on my chances of dropping out of school an opportunity which other vulnerable girls do not have. I want to be a role model for other girls and a leader too. My desired goal in life is to study Law at the University and become a Lawyer which I believe will put me in a position to support many lives. For this I am forever grateful to the River Fund and the Global Giving team for your financial support towards my education.
Orsula – Archbishop Flyn Sec. School Pader.

Conclusion.
Girls’ education is an investment which should be taken up by every parent or nation. The challenge though is that some parents are unable to support their daughters in school due to poverty and many other constraints. Yet investing in girl’s education means her future is secured in terms of income, delayed marriage, having fewer and healthier children as well as she becoming a change agent for her society. To make this possible, a lot still needs to be done. This however requires funding support for such vulnerable girls to enable them achieve their dreams in life.

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

Joyce
Joyce
Orsula
Orsula
Students pose for a photo after receiving T-shirts
Students pose for a photo after receiving T-shirts

*The River Fund met with the Project Leader and many of the girls in September at our annual site visit.


Secondary Education Support for Vulnerable Girls (Funded by Global Giving) through

www.riverfund.org

River Fund HIV/AIDs Family Support Women Association, Kitgum.

Report Period: August – October 2016

Activities carried out this quarter.

1. Meeting of the students by the project leader
2. Provision of sanitary towels and T-shirts to the beneficiaries.

Achievements.

• Of the 20 students being supported, 09 are now sitting for Uganda certificate of education (UCE).

• 20 girls supported in Career guidance by the academic masters in which subjects they must concentrate on to achieve their desired careers.

• 20 girls supported with Sanitary towels; 03 packets each for term III.

• 20 girls received T-shirts(01 each) from the Organization.

• Follow up meeting held with the students who were encouraged to concentrate on their studies especially those now sitting for the final Examination of UCE.

Challenges.

• Some of the girls reported late to school his term due to difficulty in receiving scholastic materials and other basic necessities like soap, sugar from their parents; items which the Association has not included in the package for this year. In addition, some of the girls were not at school during the time of visit despite their fees having been paid since they had to return home for things like soap, books and other grabs.

Lessons learnt.

• Close involvement of the teachers is key in project success as they help in providing guidance and mentoring to the students.
• Close monitoring and follow up at school by project leader is key in fostering mentorship of the girls

Conclusion.

Term III begun well with 80% the supported students returning to school within the first week of new school term. The project leader made follow visits and held meetings with the students and mentors in their respective school.
We are so thankful to Global Giving and the River Fund for this support. We could not have done this without all of your help!

Students sharing a light moment during the visit
Students sharing a light moment during the visit
Girls at Teachers College receiving sanitary pads
Girls at Teachers College receiving sanitary pads
Display of different foods during the training.
Display of different foods during the training.

Empowering Acholi Women and Girls Project
www.riverfund.org

Report compiled by Aloyo Innocent Jessie, Project Leader: River Fund HIV/AIDs Family Support Women Association, Kitgum.
Report period: May-July 2016

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 and life threatening diseases, through educating and empowering the women and girls on HIV/AIDs Long Term Survival Skills, sponsorship and mentorship of girls in schools, economic empowerment and livelihood enhancement for self-reliance through seeds provision, training in kitchen gardening andsupport to malnourished children through provision of trainings in nutrition, 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.

Activity 1. Training of care givers of mal-nourished children on essential foods and how to prepare them.
The training which was conducted on 11th June 2016 for the purpose of empowering the care givers on how to care for and feed malnourished children was successful with a total of 35 caregivers in attendance. The table below gives the illustration of ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS, THEIR FUNCTIONS AND LOCAL DIETARY SOURCES.

SPECIFIC ROLE (NUTRIENT) DIETARY SOURCES
1 Cabohydrates,sugar and starches Provide energy and promote body functions Cereals such as maize & rice.
Starchy roots such as cassava, sweet potatoes, irish potatoes, and yam.
Starchy fruits such as matoke and bogoya
Cane,ripe fruits and honey.

2 Fats and Oils Provide a concentrated source of energy
Form part of essential structures of body cells. Cooking oil, cooking fats(including ghee,kimbo,and cowboy) and blue band,margarine.
Fatty animal food such as meat, chiken,milk and fish.
Oily vegetable food such as grounduts and soya beans.

3 Protein Promote cell growth and repair Plant sources: Legumes and pulses such as (beans,cowpeas,garden peas,pigeon peas and groundnuts).
Animal Sources: Milk and milk products like yoghurt, and cheese, meat and meat products, poultry and poultry products, fish and fish products.

Activity 2. Follow up of the students being sponsored both at Secondary schools and Institutions.

All the 20 students being supported were visited from their schools. In the meeting with them, the students expressed appreciation towards the support being rendered to them. They explained that due to the support, they are able to continue with their studies and as such, all those in S.4 have registered for their final exams (Uganda Certificate of Education) which starts in October and those at Primary Teachers’ College have successfully completed their first round of teaching practice.

Achievements.

Demonstration on how to prepare a complete meal for the children was done with preparation of different dishes by the trainers and participants.
Turn up of caregivers was more than the expected number.
Active participation and interaction by both and between participants and trainers.
Follow up of students being supported was successful.

Challenge.

Food shortage at the households leaving the members to have a meal a day.
Inadequate food stuffs for demonstration as the care givers were tasked with the role of carrying the items from their households.

Ways Forward.

There is need to continue training the caregivers on providing a complete meal for their children with the use locally available foods as done in this training.
More caregivers need to be involved despite the little resource envelope.
Provision on both food and non food items to promote healthy feeding and hygiene at the household level of the children being supported.
Need for constant meeting with students to encourage them strive ahead in the education.

Conclusion.

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

Beneficiaries during the follow up visit.
Beneficiaries during the follow up visit.
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!

A mentoring meeting with beneficiaries.
A mentoring meeting with beneficiaries.

RIVER FUND HIV/AIDS FAMILY SUPPORT ASSOCIATION, KITGUM.

Project Name.

GIRLCHILD EDUCATION PROJECT

Project Area.

KITGUM DISTRICT, KITGUM TOWN COUNCIL, AMIDA, LATANYA SUB-COUNTIES.

Project Period: November 2015- January 2016

Contacts:
ALOYO INNOCENT JESSIE
+256(0)774-002070
Email: jescaopoka@yahoo.co.uk

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.

Lessons learnt
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.

Challenges
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.
Recommendations
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.

 

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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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