These are the principal projects that the Trust is seeking to fund in 2017. Please click on the links for further details. Any contribution you can make, however small, will help!
Training in Hygiene, Basic Horticulture and Small Savings Schemes
EHTU trustee Lois Pollock has developed much needed short training programmes to help communities improve their health and hygiene and to run community small savings schemes. Each day's training on average costs the Trust about £200.
LATEST NEWS: Lois Pollock writes about her itinerary and plans for her 2017 trip:
At the end of September, I will be travelling to Uganda to undertake an arduous teaching programme - arduous because I will be criss-crossing the country from the capital, Kampala, to Soroti, Serere and Ojama in the east and then north to Lira. After a few days back in Kampala, I will be off again to far western Uganda to a remote village near Fort Portal close to the “Mountains of the Moon” or, properly, close to the Rwenzori Mountains and the border with Rwanda.
In Serere, Dr Denis Omiat, who was supported by me and later by the Trust to complete his degree in medicine, is now Chief Medical Officer for a large Health Centre. He has asked me to train staff in effective counselling skills for adolescents to enable them to make the right decisions around sexual practice, relationships and family planning. It is a countrywide requirement that health centres have staff available to provide this educational role but there are many challenges. Adolescents don't easily talk about sex or sexuality other than with their peer group and their views often diverge from those of the professionals with whom they come into contact. In Uganda sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, are very common and particularly among young people in the age range 15 - 21. Young people are cautioned to abstain from sex as the best way of staying free of infection but this is not the most effective message to be handing out to young people.
I am aware from previous work I've done with professionals on this subject that I have first to try and get them to own their own prejudices and attitudes to sex and sexuality before I can move on with them in devising effective ways of engaging with young people.
In a village near Lira, in northern Uganda, I will work with a group of 60 - 80 men and women at the invitation of Anna Okullo who has successfully grown the savings group I was able to help get started three years ago in Naguru, a Kampala slum. (That savings group has branched out into a number of small successful businesses with about 30 women actively engaged in it, and we started a Child Friendly Houses project there 18 months ago after I had trained the women in basic understanding of sexual abuse and domestic violence). Anna is very keen to initiate a project in her home village and she has asked me to focus there on health issues – a basic health programme to encourage the community to adopt a different attitude to safe water, to hygiene and to nutritional improvement. We will demonstrate tip-taps that can be made by every family and set outside their latrines for safe washing of hands; the importance of using only boiled water if they have no access to safe drinking water; the importance of developing a project to provide reusable sanitary towels for women and girls - particularly for girls so that they don't miss days from school every month. Anna has also asked that I talk about HIV transmission and the importance of being tested and of using condoms.
While I am in Lira, I will also visit Edmond, a student the Trust supports through a generous donation from someone here in the UK: Edmond is now doing his A-levels and hopes to get a place to study medicine in two years’ time. He has sickle cell disease but I put him in touch with Dr Omiat and his condition has been stabilized and he is now managing his disease more effectively. Edmond's mother has an AIDS diagnosis - she contracted HIV from her late husband who had not told her he was positive and it was only after he died that she discovered her status. Unfortunately, Lilly has also been diagnosed with cervical cancer. However, with support from her sister Anna, she is being treated for both diseases and the use of anti-retrovirals controls her AIDS. The Trust supported training for her to learn how to sew the reusable sanitary kits and she now makes a living from selling those in Lira and to local schools.
Back in Kampala, I will catch up with one or two other projects supported by the Trust - Hope for Women, and a savings group in Entebbe, before I travel to Fort Portal. This will be new work for me with a community that do not place much importance on education for girls and where health standards are poor. I am preparing a similar programme to the one I will deliver in Lira and it will be interesting to see what comes from this training venture and how it will be carried forward after I have left.
There is much preparation I have to do, much gathering of resources for the different groups and a lot of reflection on my part on how best to deliver it all in the most effective way! I will send a follow up bulletin when I return at the end of October.
Once again, thank you all for your support.
Coming soon: the Brown Paper Bag Food Project
Food in paper bags for the disabled homeless in Kampala.
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