Having surpassed our original annual fundraising goal by a whopping $11,000, we are looking forward to expanding our project past the original projected figures. We want to thank all of our donors who made this our most successful fundraising semester ever! Without your generous contributions, we could never have made GWED-G's dream a reality.
GlobeMed at Columbia recently had a Skype call with Pamela Angwech, the Executive Director of GWED-G to discuss the progress of our project and we have received some exciting news! Although GWED-G has not yet received all our funds, the staff has gotten started on many of the initiatives that our project outlines. They have officially formed Positive Men's Unions in three parishes in Gulu, so we are halfway to the expected six groups that will be formed by the end of the project. These groups have started participating in HIV/AIDS education and awareness with GWED-G staff, with the next workshops set to focus on HIV prevention. According to Pamela, the men are enthused about being chosen for this group. This enthusiasm to learn will hopefully spread amongst other community members.
GWED-G has also began recruiting Community Health Workers (CHW) for a Village Health Team. These CHWs will undergo intensive trainings in order to strengthen their abilities in counseling, follow-up, and treatment. Staff members have also chosen students to participate in youth groups focused on reproductive health and other important health issues in their communities. Like the Positive Men's Unions, the enthusiasm of the students in these youth groups will hopefully spread among the school communities.
These HIV/AIDS awareness initiatives currently being implemented have begun expanding into new villages in which GWED-G has not yet had the opportunity to work. They are excited about the prospect of establishing a center for testing and screening so people will have the proper privacy, and the money that we raised from our GlobalGiving campaign should arrive in Gulu via wire transfer in the very near future.
Since we met our original fundraising goal, we want to expand past the original initiatives that our project outlined. Pamela expressed her desire to add income-generating initiative to our project. Income-generating projects such as providing goats, teaching beekeeping, or making crafts would allow men and women to follow-through with what they have learned in GWED-G trainings. GWED-G teaches expectant mothers about nutrition and health, but mothers often don't have the means to access this nutrition and healthcare. Giving them a method of generating income would allow them to prosper and have good health. Having enough income to acquire nutritious foods is essential to the health of the HIV positive patients. Without good nutrition, those afflicted with HIV will have a hard time battling the disease. Taking on this project would mean we would need to raise an additional $5,000. We are confident that we can achieve this goal eventually, but the discussion with Pamela is still open. Income-generation is extremely important in these communities, so we hope that we can support them as much as possible.
Our chapter has been very busy at Columbia coordinating fundraising and awareness-raising campaigns for GWED-G. View our quarterly report from these past few months to check out how we raise money outside of GlobalGiving. The report profiles events such as World AIDS Week, Trivia Night, and GlobeMed HillTop Global Health Conference at which over 100 students from 14 different colleges came together for a series of lectures, discussions, and panels.