This project aims at increasing the economic productivity of youths in the community; and improve their livelihoods through sustainable income generating activities. It involves providing entrepreneurship development and capacity building activities to the youths and women in the community; rehabilitating youths involved in prostitution, drug abuse; and preventing others from engaging in such risky behaviors. Key project activities include cottage industrial skills training and business support.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
Uganda has a big youth population, majority of whom are poor, and are unemployed. Most of these youths have resorted to drug abuse causing high prevalence rate of mental illnesses. The female youths resort to prostitution as a quick way of earning money. The local authorities and the entire government have no welfare and strong rehabilitation systems to cater for the plight of these young people. It is only the police who are ever on the lookout for the jobless and loitering youths
How will this project solve this problem?
This project will solve the problem through: – Initiating a youth-led cottage industry program for the making and selling of bread, fruit juice, detergents, crafts, and other ornaments. – Starting a youth-led businesses development program that will see the creation of 150 girl-led businesses. – Carryout youth rehabilitation activities for 100 youths addicted to alcohol, drug abuse, and prostitution. – Entrepreneurship training and support activities of 500 trainees in the country.
Potential Long Term Impact
I. Job creation for 500 youths, increased their economic productivity, and improved their livelihoods. II. Increased the capacity of rural youths to survive the vagaries and effects of drug abuse and prostitution. III. Averted the effects of drug abuse among the youth IV. Reduced the vulnerability of girls to HIV/AIDS.
The Women to Women Group, and similar ones like it, were established by AICD in 2011 to alleviate the lack of toilet coverage, and to help educate people on key sanitation and community health practices. The Idea was to have the community members help educate each other. Having a system like this one increases the chances of educating the communities about key community health practices. If community members knew and lived with were the ones teaching the practices instead of the organizations, there would be a greater chance the people would be willing to learn because they would be more comfortable with someone who is in their exact situation. Also being close and interacting every day with those who they teach helps to monitor and control the progress of the sanitation and hygiene practices AICD tries to implement.
Two years ago when the Women to Women group was blooming, Jesica was selected by her community and AICD to become the first Community Promoter in her area. Her job, along with the other twelve women (who were also selected by the community and AICD this year at the end of May) in this area’s group, help to teach their surrounding communal blocks the hygienic practices of smearing a house to prevent Jiggers (which are caused by dust). Jiggers are tiny flies that dig into skin (usually feet) and feed off of blood, they are commonly found around animals in areas of filth, usually pigs. Sever cases of jiggers can leave people unable to walk until the flies are removed by tweezers or being soaked and killed off in hydrogen peroxide. Though there are few cases that rarely get to that stage, even one jigger in your foot can cause a restless night sleep.The process of smearing a house is a simple one that involves taking a mud and animal feces mixture to create a substance which holds moisture. This mixture is then smeared in the house to decreases dust in the household. To effectively decrease dust, the floor and the walls of the house must be smeared at least once a month, especially during the dry season. This process along with building a home with a base made of this mixture will drastically help prevent jiggers from hindering one’s life and their sleep.
|Jessica and her group were first trained by AICD on this process of smearing homes before they were able to go out and educate others. Though the education and the process of smearing is easy, the difficulty in their job is making sure everyone in the communities continues to smear after they teach them. The way they educate their fellow refugees on this process is through demonstrations. Each month Jessica and her group goes to a different block and helps smear four to five houses out of the twenty or so in the block in order to help teach the people in this community. This literal “Smear Campaign” is designed so the women can plan and promote the benefits of smearing in all of their surrounding communal blocks all year round. This type of campaign has already proven to be the most proficient in getting the word out and helping to preventing jiggers.|
Ever since 2011 when this group of twelve women have already had their own experience with jiggers and other sanitary diseases, parasites’, and pests. Like other community households they are helping to educate now, they too were ignorant of the practices to help prevent many of these sanitation issues, and many of them, if not all, have had complications with jiggers.
Ever since they had become apart of this group and learned these prevention methods, none of these ladies or their families have had any further problems with jiggers. Their success stories and their demonstrations have incited others to do the same thing in their homes. Ever since this group has been implemented the rate of jiggers has greatly decreased in the areas in which they have demonstrated.
Jiggers are not the only issue that these women have faced in this group. Being a part of this group, the first of its kind, and helping to teach others (they mainly teach other women) goes against many of the cultural norms that have been in place for generations. In most of the African cultures the males are the ones who construct the houses and are even the ones to smear the homes. However once the men construct the homes for their families, they often neglect or are ignorant of the importance of continually smearing the houses.
|The women’s role in the household has always been along the same lines of bearing and raising the family while taking care of their needs. If one of the children got sick or had jiggers, it was the responsibly of the females in the household to take care of the illness, the males have no part in the healing process since this is the woman’s job. However if the women are part of the healing process shouldn’t they be a part of the prevention process as well? That exact idea was the spark that ignited the idea for the Women to Women’s group. If women have to take care of the family then they need to be the ones to help prevent the disease, parasites, and pests. Fortunately for the women in these communities the men have accepted the women’s role in smearing as long as it does not interfere with their construction. Though the men in these communities accept only small roles for women, it is a great epoch for their future generations.|
The Women to Women groups in Kasese are not only a group of educators and preventers, but they are also pioneers. These trail blazers are brave enough to start fighting the old cultural norms and break down the social stigmas of their people, all while helping to educate and protect their families and neighbors. This inspiring group of women performs a very important duty in this community, but the most inspiring quality about all of these women is that they do not want to stop here. They wish to go one step further and learn farming, tailoring, and other trades from AICD so they can have more to teach to their community and prosper all together.
Stories of patients lining up for hours, absence of drugs, and quack doctors cheating patients seeking healthcare in Uganda’s health centers and hospitals have been occupying mass media headlines since early 2001. This was when cost sharing was abolished in public hospitals. Public health facilities in Uganda have totally failed to meet the expectations and healthcare needs of Ugandan citizens. This scenario is totally different to the lucky clients that are served by our health.
The health service delivery model at AICD is a provider-driven process whereby community members are supported to have unlimited access to high quality Medicare services. The robust community health care service that among other things conducts a series of healthcare outreaches, and sets up community health structures is the best approach that AICD adopted to increase the scale, reach, and impact of its health care services on to the community members.
Community health structures, that is, the community health volunteers, and safe motherhood promoters are charged with Community Information management, Health Promotion and Education; Mobilization of communities for utilization of health services and health action; Simple community case management and follow up of major killer diseases (Malaria, Diarrhoea, Pneumonia) and emergencies; and Care of the newborn and Distribution of health commodities. The help the clinical team based at the five health centres to receive well informed clients to receive appropriate clinical care and management of their diseases on time.
This is a very nice health system, that other social service providers and NGO’s need to adopt and support the people they serve to have a full access to quality healthcare in Uganda.