Where We Serve – Uganda
Following the model of our long term partner, Rayland Rural Development Organization (RARUDO), the alumni of our HIV/AIDS Survival Skills Training have organized into partner associations based in underserved rural Eastern and Northern Uganda -- Rural Women's Empowerment Network (RWEN); Rayland Rural Development Organization (RARUDO); The River Fund Women's Association Kitgum.
Rural Women's Empowerment Network (RWEN)
Our partner in East Uganda since 2002, The Rural Women’s Empowerment Network, is teaching HIV/AIDS Long Term Survival Skills in school workshops and in monthly meetings with support groups for persons testing positive with HIV. They are also working in five rural locations to empower women through micro financing, cooperative farming projects, and craft making. The profits are used to help children with uniforms and school fees, the elderly and infirm with basic needs, and to continue community counseling of HIV/AIDS clients. They are also working with child headed households in goat raising, school and agriculture. Everyone is receiving training in best practices for HIV prevention, nutrition and sanitation.
Since 2002 we have partnered with the Rayland Rural Development Organization (RARUDO), a farm coop of about 100 mostly women-headed families which is working toward economic sustainability. Trainers from the women’s workshops have reached thousands of rural women and men, and are seeing more HIV prevention, better family nutrition, and better preparation for antiretroviral treatment. Everyone is receiving training in best practices for HIV prevention, nutrition and sanitation.
Members with disabilities are speaking in schools and other forums to instruct others with disabilities about their rights and abilities. RARUDO built a vocational training center, started a cottage industry making clothing, opened a bakery, and set up a program breeding dairy goats for child-headed household which is now on its fourth round of providing goats.
While assisting their long-term development, we continue to offer short term help to the many orphaned children in their community.
The River Fund Women's Association Kitgum
Our recent visit to the River Fund Women’s Association of Kitgum found an organized structure of four different groups presenting educational workshops on HIV/AIDS Long Term Survival Skills to the villages of the two local districts. Along with their presentation, they weigh and measure infants for malnutrition and give special nutritional counseling to mothers.
Future plans are to expand the Survival Skills workshops to 20 more villages within their travel range, and to add cooperative kitchen gardens and micro-financing to the program. Funds are needed for transport, umbrellas and raincoats for travel in the rainy season and seeds to share with workshop participants. Everyone is receiving training in best practices for HIV prevention, nutrition and sanitation.