Mothers with mama kits, donated by Delivering Hope
Hello family, friends, and supporters!
We hope this message finds you enjoying the first few days of spring. We want to thank you all for your support so far this year. So far, 2015 has been great for GlobeMed at Columbia as we have added around 12 new members to our chapter, and strengthened ties between members who have already been with us. As a chapter, we have sent members to our national global health conference in Evanston, Illinois, hosted our bi-annual Gala, and put together many events that both raise awareness about our project and help fundraise for our project on campus. We are thrilled to share recent updates from GWED-G below.
First, we are excited to highlight that GWED-G’s work regarding youth, mama kits, and GlobeMed’s project was featured in the Daily Monitor, a national Ugandan newspaper. Pamela Angwech, GWED-G’s founder and leader, was recently awarded for her work with women’s rights. Additionally, GWED-G, as a leader in movements for gender equality and women’s empowerment, has been involved in a number of collaborations – with several organizations for international women’s day on March 8th, with the French embassy, with the UN, with Mount Sinai in New York, US on their global health curriculum, and with Straight Talk Foundation on developing youth IEC (Information Education and Communication) materials. This outreach and collaboration is very exciting to hear about, as it means that more people than ever are hearing about all that GWED-G does.
As for what GWED-G has been working on specifically, we’d like to relay to you a few important updates. As always, these updates deal with integrating different facets - 146 people were tested for HIV/AIDS through voluntary counseling and testing (VCT), 35 pregnant mothers received antenatal testing, 20 mothers benefitted from family planning outreaches, 18 babies were immunized, and 215 community members were involved in discussions on issues surrounding HIV/AIDS through awareness sensitization campaigns. Following up since our last message, mapping of the beneficiaries for this year has been concluded. More mothers have been included in our project - in Coke, we now have 87 HIV-positive mothers, as is true with two other groups, and our original Palema group has 300- all exceeding our capacity set at 50 mothers per group. While there are limits to the number of mothers we can fully accommodate, we can still overcome those limits through your kind donations. Additionally, we have been reaching out to our secondary beneficiaries through awareness and sensitization campaigns and working to continue education to prevent reinfection for the babies.
A new facet of our project which was recently implemented, the Gender Based Violence initiative, has taken off and we are focusing on bringing awareness of gender based violence to women living with HIV and their spouses, including the youths. This is so crucial not only because in itself, gender based violence is shocking, and deeply harmful, but also because it can have dire consequences in terms of physical, mental, and emotional health. In fact, women who experience gender based violence are three times more likely to have an unwanted pregnancy, HIV, or another sexually transmitted disease than those that do not.
More about our collaboration with Straight Talk Foundation: their trainings are for officers working around reproductive health rights and aim to strengthen audience participation during sensitization sessions. Some suggested methods are to make the participant have room to talk, consistently review current methods of outreach, and expose the participants to new knowledge while they are in groups- to have a two sided conversation. As always, HIV/AIDS is a sensitive issue and it’s not enough to focus solely on one person; it is important to involve the family/relatives as well, which GWED-G does, and to cater towards each respective participant age group.
As you can see, both GWED-G and GlobeMed at Columbia finished 2014 strong! We are grateful for your support in 2015 so far and would like to celebrate the successes we have achieved together. However, we still have a long way to go until the people of northern Uganda fully exercise their right to health. We ask for your contribution to and continued support for GlobeMed at Columbia’s project. Feel free to visit our GlobalGiving page, Wordpress, Tumblr, and Facebook pages or follow us on Twitter.
GlobeMed at Columbia