Today we started our work on our project after spending the past week and a half getting oriented with Kitovu and Masaka and observing the other branches of Kitovu. I visited schools and saw how Kitovu sponsors orphans and vulnerable children through school. They sponsor over 300 children in various different schools (primary through vocational training programs) and I was lucky enough to meet a few at each level. TJ went out with ART (anti retro viral treatment) and Eileen got to see the counseling and training branch of Kitovu in action.
Yesterday TJ and I went out with ART and helped pass out medication to patients. We went to a community gathering under a mango tree as well as doing a home visit for a particularly ill young boy and a second community visit. The experience was definitely touching and very different from anything I’d ever done, especially the home visit. TJ and I couldn’t believe how many bugs were in the bedroom, which doubled as a garage, we tried not to swat the bugs too much, it amazed me how the locals don’t even flinch as flies crawl all over them. Eileen spent the day visiting a farm school, a program Kitovu has for students who have dropped out of regular school to teach them how to make a living off the land.
Today the three of us visited two Self-help Groups (SHGs) and surveyed them to find out the needs of their communities. We plan to continue to survey more SHGs throughout our time here in order to help us put together a plan for the coming year and where we would like to focus our efforts. The SHGs were incredibly welcoming and wonderful. They shared reports with us that showed that since their formations in September they had already benefitted. SHGs are made only of women and there was an interest in both villages in creating similar groups for men. The SHGs focus on savings, sanitation and hygiene and solving other personal and community issues that come up. Kitovu provides some training for them to help them solve these issues and one of the things the SHGs asked for was more trainings which was great to hear that they were really appreciating the work that was being done with them and looking to learn more.
We’re looking forward to going to an opening ceremony for a well we helped to fund tomorrow!
We we hope all is well at home and we’ll update you more soon 🙂