Restoring hope to families affected by HIV/AIDS in rural Uganda.
In April, Rev. Ezra received Mark Sevier, an American Peace Corps volunteer assigned to KIDA for one year. Mark is charged with educating KIDA's clients in better sanitation and safe water treatment, an important issue in the community. Mark has been working hard ever since presenting lessons and visiting homes. He has offered his expertise in microfinance, development and business management as well. His parents recently visited him and promptly donated 98 mosquito nets. After Mark demonstrated their use for prevention of malaria, they were immediately distributed to the guardians of children with HIV.
FRIENDS OF RUWENZORI TEAMMATES RECENTLY RETURNED FROM KITOJO. While seven "Friends" were participating in Western Uganda's non-governmental organization called KIDA, KIDA director Ezra Musobozi hosted Kabarole District dignitaries at a special ceremony to commemorate the Friends of Ruwenzori for their financial support of the newly expanded 4,000 square feet clinic building. The mission trip included dental care for people who have no dentist. For details on the Friends mission, click on "2009 Mission Trip" on left menu.
JANUARY 2009 KIDA UPDATE
Thanks to a generous challenge grant and a successful fundraising effort by the Friends of Ruwenzori, the Kitojo Integrated Development Association has purchased a splendid 15-passenger van equipped with new seats and seatbelts! Now the KIDA drama group will ride safely to its HIV-prevention production venues. Clients who require hospital care can be transported more comfortably to Fort Portal. Pictured here is the new van being received by overjoyed KIDA members at their clinic.
The Green and Yellow Festival is Coming November 15, 2008!
Click on "Green and Yellow Festival" and "Auction Preview" bars at top for details!
"Positive Living" takes on many forms in the KIDA community. Here are some recent examples:
The children who are HIV positive have a peer group and learn how to live normal lives with HIV. KIDA (the Kitojo Integrated Development Association) gathers them together, along with their caregivers, four times a year for a Saturday seminar. Pictured here are the younger children with toys brought by the Friends of Ruwenzori mission team last February. You can't keep these kids down!
A recent adult seminar stressed healthy eating and introduced the benefits of garlic to help boost the immune system. In the same seminar, participants practiced composting to increase the yield of healthy vegetables.
KIDA recently installed another water tank to collect rain water, a technique called "rain water harvesting. This photo shows the backside of the KIDA clinic and community center. KIDA is ready for the current rainy season, now beginning.
Other news: KIDA, the NGO Uganda partner of the Friends of Ruwenzori Foundation, just this month received their micro-finance certificate from the government of Uganda nine months after beginning the cooperative rural community bank. The "Kitojo AIDS Care Co-operative Savings and Credit Society Limited", has become a legally recognized micro-finance institution in Uganda and boasts 180 active members. Congratulations KIDA!
Kitojo Integrated Development Association (KIDA) just began its fifth year of offering VCT on the first Friday of every month, providing access to HIV testing and counseling to rural people near Rwaihamba. Personnel and equipment come from Virika Hospital in Fort Portal, approximately one hour away by vehicle. Many walk long distances to KIDA’s clinic, now expanded in size. The 4000 square feet of space can better accommodate the crowds of people that seek not only testing and counseling but treatment by a physician as well. On June 6, 2008, 100 villagers were tested and 70 received treatment.
Marjorie and Fausta register villagers for HIV testing.
*PLWHA stands for “people living with HIV/AIDS”
KIDA recently held a meeting of the members of KITOJO AIDS CARE SACCO at the expanded KIDA center. SACCO stands for Savings and Credit Cooperative Organization, a local initiative program promoted by the government of Uganda to empower the poor by providing a mechanism for savings and micro-credit loans. Since the three PLWHA training workshops held last fall, 190 clients have made deposits and are thus jointly owners of the savings and fund. They elected a committee that will approve applications for small business loans. A member of the Uganda Parliament was present at this meeting that was chaired by KIDA’s full-time microfinance manager, Deogratium Mugisa. Friends of Ruwenzori committed $4,000 this year to augment the loan fund. This program does much to restore hope and self-sufficiency to the vulnerable people infected with HIV.
KIDA microfinance members hold a meeting.
More news to come!
The Kitojo Integrated Development Association (KIDA) recently began a program to improve nutrition and increase income of rural Ugandan villagers affected by HIV/AIDS. Under the direction of an organic gardening instructor, KIDA purchased seeds and farming implements. A group of men and women then tilled the soil and planted ten different vegetables adjacent to the KIDA clinic. After learning these valuable organic farming skills, the classmates organized ten cooperative home farms in the places where they live. They took turns maintaining the KIDA garden and cooperatively maintained their own gardens. As a result of their hard work, their families will enjoy greater health, and they can sell the excess produce at the market. The abundant harvest is here! This is just one example of an empowerment program operated by KIDA for rural people to help them get out of poverty and fight the devastating HIV/AIDS epidemic in the foothills of the Ruwenzori Mountains of Western Uganda.From Rev. Ezra Musobozi, director of KIDA:“I have to thank the Friends of Ruwenzori for supporting us financially, without which our work here would not be possible. God bless your hearts, brethren. I write this sentence literally with tears of joy running in my eyes as I contemplate what would have happened to this community without your support and love. Thank you so much.”