This week, the four of us began working on our long-term project that we will be doing for the rest of our time at Kitovu Mobile. On Monday, we met with Stephen, the head of the Orphans Dept., and Charles, the deputy director, and discussed what exactly we would be doing for the remainder of our time here. After talking it over for a while, we decided that the most effective way that we could create a long-term working relationship with Kitovu Mobile would be to make a survey for the surrounding communities pertaining to sanitation/hygiene, since that is what the money GlobeMed fundraises is used towards. This meeting ended fairly early in the day which left us with a good amount of time to mess around for the rest of the day. Peter and Tyler went to a soccer field in town and played soccer for about 3 hours with some local children, and Madeline and Eileen ran some errands and hung out in the room.
On Tuesday, Stephen picked us up from our hotel and drove is out into the villages where we will be conducting our surveys. One aspect of Kitovu Mobile’s many outreach program is called the Village Health Teams. These VHT’s generally consist of about 10 people who live in the village and conduct sanitation related trainings for the rest of the village. On Tuesday, we met with these VHT’s and discussed our plans for the survey with them and asked if they would be willing to distribute the surveys to the village. We met with two groups of VHT’s on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, we pretty much did the exact same thing, but in different villages. Overall, we estimate that the VHT’s will be able to distribute the survey to about 2000 different households in five villages.
On Thursday, the four of us constructed our survey. This took us about 2 hours and for the rest of the day we did laundry, went to the internet café, and hung out in our rooms.
However, on Friday, we did something completely unrelated to Kitovu Mobile. The GlobeMed national office asked us if we would be willing to go visit a brand new partner organization that will be partnered with Arizona State University’s chapter of GlobeMed next year. We agreed, and so we set off to the bus park in the morning. Since we were going to a more remote location of Uganda, a town called Lyantonde, we were not able to take one of the bigger and more reliable “coaster” buses and we were forced into accepting a smaller private van, which the drivers at the bus park called a “special”. The drive took about an hour and a half and once we arrived, we met up with the founder of the partner organization, named Michael. Michael is only 29 but he has already started an up and growing NGO in which his organization provides computer related training for farmers and also offers agricultural and health education for the surrounding villages of Lyantonde. Our experience here was very positive and we were very impressed by Michael and his organization. Finally, after a seemingly endless bus ride back home, we reached Hotel Zebra at about 8:30 pm.