Welcoming our visit
Dear Global Giving Friends and Donors,
I am so sorry for the late report, but I just returned from a fantastic site visit to our projects in Uganda. Along with two other volunteers, we visited all of our rural projects and all of the small groups associated with the projects including a very grueling trip to Kitgum. Everyone is doing amazing work with very little. We continue to support childrem, mostly orphaned or other vulnerable children, including child headed households, widows, disabled people and the old and alone.
The Acholi River Fund Women's Association group is facing very difficult situation daily. Thankfully, the war is over and people have returned to what was left of their homes. There are many land ownership issues currently left over from nearly 20 years of people not being at home. During the war, Kitgum and the whole Acholi region had many many international NGO's living and working in the area with support for all facets of life ... from World Food Program rations and food to help with PTSD for returning child soldiers. There were programs for women and girls, more medical care etc. At the present time almost every NGO has left Kitgum which has had a profound effect on the people. First, many people were employed directly or indirectly as hotel and restaurant workers, drivers, aids etc. The hotels are now empty as are the restaurants.
In spite of this, the group has continued to support woman headed groups in and around very rural Kitgum. Please note that the drive just to get to Kitgum takes 3.5 - 4 hours to travel about 70 miles depending on whether in the rainy or dry season. Many of the groups gardens are a mile or two from the road as in the days when people (mostly women) tended their gardens during the war to avoid rebel fighters. Often, there is no electricity in town.
The River Fund women help to support six groups of 10 or more women in the region.
- provide goats to the most vulnerable families as an incentive for raising funds and to provide milk and meat
- taught about and provided seeds for kitchen gardens for improved nutrition
- micro-finance managed by each group so that a woman can "borrow" small funds
- counseling for those with HIV/AIDS including home visits
- provided training in: agriculture, animal husbandry, long term survival skills for HIV/AIDS
- taught mothers and group leaders how to prepare the most highly nutritious food for malnourished babies and children including how to measure and assess nourishment and good health
They are so grateful for the help of all of our faithful donors, as am I.
Long walk to the garden
Visiting a garden
On the road to Kitgum
Really cute baby part of the welcoming team!