Women

By Grace Loumo, AWARE Executive Director/Founder, and Teddy Curran, AWARE Technical Director. November 2011.

Growing acceptance of HIV/AIDS victims

In recent months, AWARE-Uganda continued HIV/AIDS counseling and seminars amongst the community; the result is that this has encouraged more positive living and changed attitudes towards HIV/AIDs victims.

Many more have come out and declared their status and the community has accepted them.

Dialogue on Climate Change encourages community

Local-to-local dialogue among the community on climate change, discussing what climate change is in the simplest terms –  that the community would understand with demonstration of the affected building as on photo.

The dialogue was so informative, and the community learnt a lot and how they can try and improve on the climate by planting trees, especially as our region is semi-desert.

Taking care of critical health needs

Maternity Centre

Training for home-based care was carried out to improve on the support and welfare of the AIDS patients and older persons, and to assist with the critical condition pregnant women and their babies after delivery.

Our maternity ward has continued to support the community, and more than 100 women have come and used the services; they have successfully delivered and gone home.

Unfortunately, MSF/Medicins Sans Frontiers (doctors without borders), has pulled out of assistance – especially with transportation of the women from the villages, and hence, the women have to find the way to the AWARE Centre. This will put the babies at risk and the mothers, too.

More than 100 pregnant women have benefited from the maternity ward at the Centre and have successfully delivered and returned home.

We have 20 women still at the Centre awaiting their due date. AWARE provides these women with accommodation, food, and medical emergency care, and as well,  the facility is only two minutes’ walk to the main hospital.

Community Health

 AWARE is working closely with the district health officers to ensure that the women are well cared for, and that they are in the conditions suitable for pregnant women.

In particular, the hygiene needs of people in Kaabong is overwhelming, with only 2% of toilet facilities and clean water availability.

After the training the  AWARE group had with project WASH (Water and Sanitation Hygiene), the group has started the construction of the demonstration pit latrine, providing step-by-step demonstrations. With the technical skill of construction aspect, they are able to relate to the work that is going on and will then go and build latrines in their homesteads and improve on their hygiene.

The women will require seed money to build and construct a pit latrine in their homesteads, (mayanttas), to improve their hygiene.

Children

The Early Child Development (ECD)programme, a government programme within the ministry of education, has continued to support our AWARE Community Nursery by providing scholastic materials and food. The enrollment has increased from 120 to 300 pupils for feeding and early education at the Centre.

Collaboration with district and community leaders in planning, sharing information, and technical assistance is provided, especially with personnel in the health department is still a major key area that AWARE has appreciated and contributed to information.

German Embassy supports Animal Traction Project

The Animal Traction Project was supported by the German Embassy, and a few of the representatives visited south Karamoja, where they have implemented other agriculture [projects] and constructed a slaughterhouse for the animals.

With a demonstration provided to all who attended, there was a garden bag project and two representatives of AWARE will be trained on garden bag production of agriculture. This will improve their lifestyles.

The women groups that received oxen, ox plough, and seeds, were so excited since they have been able to plant crops that will help them during the dry season. This empowered the women and has made their farm labour work easier and less burdened while they used their hoes to dig and plant.

Human Rights Programme results in more reporting of Domestic Violence

Our Human Rights Programme has continued through sensitizatizing the community on women and human rights, and more domestic violence has been reported to the authorities as a result.

The rights for women on land has been cleared, and now women can own land.  With the seeds provided to them, women can now plough their land  and will use it for income-generating, especially after the crops have been harvested.

Border peace meetings were carried out with security leaders and local community leaders with the Turkana [tribe]  to create a harmony among the neighbours.

Finance schemes help lift women out of poverty

 The women who benefited from the Finance Scheme have been grateful, and are slowly making their payments so that others can benefit from the scheme. 

The money is used for income-generating projects like poultry farming, cash crops, art, and carts in po- making and bed-making, and grocery shops; this will assist them in improving their standard of living and send their children to school.

Grassroots women meet to work together

A meeting with the Huairou commission grassroots women’s organizations with partners, organizations and individuals interested in supporting the advocacy work of grassroots women.

The network groups in Uganda met to plan, share information on HIV/AIDS, land issues ownership, and discuss progress to find out where they have failed and where they have succeeded

They further discussed the best solution for them to be able communicate with each other, especially since most of the groups are in the rural and grassroots areas where there is no internet network connections.

Ways to help them find seed money to buy solar electricity, internet connection moderns,   subscribe the network, and obtain medias of communications like computers, laptops, printers, etc., were also important topics.

Karamoja:  Empty promises, illiteracy, climate change, and lack of security

Politicians still make promises and they don’t deliver, or do little.   NGOS are left to continue the promises  – and with lack of facilitation and money, there is just so much our organization can do.

There remains a high rate of Illiteracy amongst the community. This has been a big hindrance in accepting and in understanding the reasons and cause of all climate change and development issues.

Climate change: the hazards of a hot and windy environment affects the efficiency of the implementation of the projects and workshops.

Security in Karamoja is still a big threat to any development, especially with the neighbouring districts intruding and stealing animals – killing them in the process, that causes fear among the people who are helping them to improve their lifestyle.