November 06

John and Dayna in Uganda – NGOs go above and beyond

Red_Ribbon.svgOver the last few months I have settled into our newer offices here in Muyenga. It is interesting in that you never know who will walk in for a visit or a request for support.

Lately, some motivating guests have stopped by and been led to me for assistance. It turns out that NGOs are often “customers” to other organizations. There are requests for aid that require evaluation. Here are a few of the requests that I have fielded for the organization in recent weeks.

Radio Event – World HIV/Aids Awareness Day
Dembe FM is a local radio station here in Uganda. One of their DJs stopped by to inquire about having our organization participate in an event designed to “giving hope to those that are infected and affected by the HIV/AIDS scourge and also create awareness among the Youth”. The event that this station is organizing will coincide with Awareness Day, and will be located at a secondary school, with a theme of “come out of the dark, light a candle”. It was explained to me that the event came about after the staff at the station interviewed listeners about why they are reluctant to take an HIV test (answers: Stigma, did not feel they could afford medicine if tested positive, did not think any follow up would occur, etc).

The event that this radio station wanted support for is going to have:
o Voluntary testing and counseling
o Those found positive will be attached to a Health center near them for free medication.
o Testimonies from the affected and infected will be presented
o Performances from different schools and Universities
o Presentations from organizations spearheading the fight against HIV/AIDS
o Bonfire that starts at 7pm till Late in remembrance of the departed.
o Launch of the Aids Song by local talent
This is a great event and I am proud that we are going to be a sponsor.

The Market Vendor AIDS project
Development Initiatives International is a locally registered NGO that is working on this Market Vendors AIDS project. The MAVAP is an initiative that addresses HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention, care, and support in market workplaces. There are many open air markets in this country, and market communities are part of the informal sector community in Uganda. HIV services are still very limited. The vision for MAVAP is healthy and productive market communities, and they promote safer sexual behavior, HIV/STI counseling and testing, and look to increase access to treatment and care. They utilize peer educators for implementing the project at the grassroots level. My colleague is working with them.

Community Empowerment for Village Development (CEFOVID)

Dayna was at the office the day that a very nice gentleman stopped by to discuss having Marie Stopes Uganda participate in an amazing event that he put together himself! He is a hospital administrator who started his own charity and is doing fantastic work.

The main goal is to contribute to increased access to comprehensive free services, home based care and support to severely vulnerable people in Lubya Parish and the surrounding villages. They concentrate mainly on increasing care and support to people affected by vulnerability in order to mitigate the effects of the epidemic, strengthening the coping of people living with HIV/AIDS, improving access to food, clothing, education and health among families/households, infected and affected by HIV / AIDS.

The mission of CEFOVID: To challenge and respond to the causes and consequences of vulnerability, poverty, lack of awareness and skills with a commitment to mobilise communities by giving them the tools they need to overcome their challenges and live a self sustaining life with dignity. Awesome!

His organization is having a Heath Day Event, and I am so proud that Marie Stopes Uganda will be in attendance. Some of the day’s activities:

• Mass HIV Counselling & Testing (HCT)
• Safe Male Circumcision (SMC).
• Family Planning.
• Cervical Cancer Screening
• De worming.
• TB screening, testing and treatment support.
• Testimonies Social/Economic life.
• Music Dance and Drama.
• Youth Friendly Services.
• Exhibition.
• Minor treatment.
It is a fantastic feeling to know that this NGO not only does great work in their core competencies in reproductive health, but also is willing to help in other areas.