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ST FRANCIS RAKAI REACH THE HIV/AIDS WIDOWS IN UGANDA

TITLE: PROVISION OF SUSTAINABLE INCOMES AMONG THE HIV/AIDS WIDOWS OF RAKAI

Project Target Group

  • Widows.
  • Toddlers of widows.
  • Young school going girls.
  • The community at large

Type Of Organization:
St Francis Rakai Reach the HIV/AIDS Widow is a Community based organization founded and operated by the community. Mrs. Olivia Matovu, Mrs Nakachwa Maria Ssemakula and Mrs. Phyellister Nakamya Mukasa (all widows) basically founded it in 1998. Its mission is to achieve sustainable and manageable Income generating activities among widows.

Project Location:
Rural area. (See appendix for the map)

Budget Allocation:
Budget percentage dedicated to rural areas 100%
Budget percentage dedicated to capacity building 3%
Budget percentage dedicated to urban areas 0%
Budget percentage dedicated to HIV/AIDS widows and their vulnerable children 100%

Executive Summary/Project Purpose
To enable the HIV/AIDS widows of Rakai attain sustainable incomes through animal rearing and diet change through community mobilization especially of women.

Main Participants And Beneficiaries
St Francis Rakai Reach the HIV/AIDS widow, toddlers of the widows, women groups and the community are the main participants in this project.

History:

The association was started in 1998 with just 3 widows. This was after assessing the great pain through which rural women go after loosing their dear ones because of HIV/AIDS.

Many of the widows would die and are still dying without anybodyís awareness.

This is because HIV/AIDS drugs are not affordable to many, poor diets and lack of hope from the widows themselves.

They basically have no one to look after them after loosing loved ones because most of their children are basically toddlers. Some of the widows are chased out of their homes by the relatives of the late husbands.

For those who have school going children, school utilities, food and clothing become a big strain to a single mother. As a result many of the widows abandoned their homes and took on to the streets in urban centers to practice prostitution as a way of earning a living for them and their children, Something that has posed a great risk to the entire population because it weakens the HIV/AIDS widow then the families of the male partners with whom they get involved with.

CURRENT SITUATION

Currently the association has 53 women in the area of Manya Rakai. Expansion programs are underway to reach other HIV/ADIS widows but the resource for mobilization and training of the widows are still limited

Today much as we have tried to enlighten the widows on issues regarding the relevancy of condoms for men and women, we still have some who are even shy looking at them (the condoms), referring to their Christian faith that its abominable.

Many widows have been denied right in the property left behind by their late husbands by relative of the husbands, the effect of this has culminated into numerous street kids, sex working by the widows and their grown up daughters

The growing impact of women with HIV/AIDS is not a new issue for society, but it is worsening and the resources available to address it or develop new strategies are not in proportion to the numbers of people affected. Basically women are extreme problems such cultural beliefs and economical factors. The government has not come up with strategies of widows but its concentrating on political issues at the moment.

As a result of these beliefs, political factors and harmful practices, widows and their children are rendered invisible and subjected to numerous human rights violations including:

  • Violence in all its varied forms
  • Extreme poverty
  • Social and cultural exclusion and marginalisation
  • Oppression and neglect
  • Treatment as objects, commodities or chattels
  • Denial of access to education, health and basic services
  • Multiple obstacles to accessing justice systems
  • Denial of their autonomy and independence
  • Denial by financial institutions to lend small loans to HIV/AIDS widows among others.

Specific Issues to be addressed:

  • Encouraging HIV/AIDS widows to share experience thus get knowledge on how to continue life with HIV/AIDS.
  • Teaching HIV/AIDS widows on diet improvement so as to keep a strong body that can resist illnesses resulting from HIV/AIDS.
  • Help them educate their grown up teenagers on condom use when they are to get involved in risky sexual behavior.
  • Advocacy for widows to get free ARV from HIV/AIDS research organizations.
  • Getting medicine for HIV/AIDS widows to treat the accompanying diseases to HIV/AIDS such as fever, running stomach, strong headache, skin rushes among others.
  • Encouraging group works among widows say farming to achieve higher incomes to sustain life and their children.
  • Form a one voice of widows right from the local councils villages and to the national level in future
  • Exposing the risks of HIV/AIDS to the teenagers of the HIV/AIDS widows and making HIV/AIDS an open secret

Achievements:

  • Through sharing of experiences some HIV/AIDS widows have lengthened their lives they are now living positively and optimistic of the future, this has been evidenced by HIV/AIDS widows desiring to start up small-scale businesses.
  • The widows have also been able to visit each other especially those who get down due to some illnesses and they have gotten hope of continuing to live from each other.
  • We have managed to convince widows to discuss issues concerning HIV/AIDS with their children openly and as such rates of early pregnancies, mortality rates, abortion in these homes have reduced drastically.
  • Widows are now involved in encouraging people on condoms use and behavioral change to avoid HIV/AIDS, they do this through staging educational plays, songs, and by living an exemplary life to the rest of the community members
  • Some of our widows have been able to get free ARVís from Rakai Health Sciences Program. and their health has improved.
  • Through group works i.e. making of baskets, pig rearing, nursery tree planting, widows have been able to get some incomes to meets a few domestic needs such soap, salt, essential drugs such panadol and aspirins
  • Some other HIV/AIDS women have shown interest in joining hands with HIV/AIDS widows of st francis reach the HIV/AIDS widows

However, much as we have registered some success as seen from above, itís worth noting that the following challenges and problems are still patent and salient.

  • Most HIV/AIDS widows in St Francis reach the HIV/AIDS are un able to meet costs for drugs/medicine to cure the spontaneous diseases such as skin rash, headaches, running stomarch and so many others which result from HIV/AIDS
  • The diets of the HIV/AIDS windows together with their siblings are still poor, this has made them susceptible to all forms of diseases that accompany HIV/AIDS.
  • HIV/AIDS widows are highly isolated and marginalized by most financial institutions including those that were started basically to help women because these institution doubt the life expectancy of these HIV/AIDS widows, they say these people cannot service loans before they are dead.. This has left HIV/AIDS widows in extreme poverty with the only alternative to sell their bodies to earn a living.
  • HIV/AIDS women have no collateral security to give to money lenders and commercial banks so as to access short term loans, because the property they had when their late husbands were living, has been taken away by the relatives of the late, and above all they have been chased out of the houses.
  • Most of the HIV/AIDS widows are illiterate, they cannot fully write and read well.
  • Representation of HIV/AIDS widows and women in general on various social councils in the district and the country in general is not enough, even those women who are their on those councils have been manipulated or shunned down

In order to handle those problems above, we have proposed to do the following one at a time in phases.

Phase one
In our first stage we are more concerned with economic empowerment of widows through provision of small income generating projects.

How?

We intend to provide a male and female Crossbreed Piglets to each of the widows so that all the widows are able to rare the two piglets up to 6 months, then they can produce offspring in which case they can send two piglets to a widow who did not get in the first phase, the rest of the piglets will be for sale to get income to buy medicine, pay fees for their children, and buying other necessities of life. The market for the pork and piglets is there

We shall start with 30 widows then the 23 widows will be in the second phase.

We really hope that the waste from the animal house will be used as manure in-group gardens of widows for higher out from the gardens.

We are currently getting teachings from VI Agro forestry Project about farming with improved seeds at no cost. We have been promised seeds for paw paws, maize and beans and we expect to get them. The mix of this manure and these seeds is really thought of greatly as a way in diet improvement for the widows.

We are therefore requesting you to work in partnership with us in attaining of crossbreed pigs for the HIV/AIDS widows. Each HIV/AIDS widow has where to keep the pigs and the labour to look after it. Itís expected that some of the offspring when sold will raise money for the treatment of the remaining animal whenever required.

Below is the proposed detailed budget:

Exchange rate Uga shs 2100=Euro 1

ItemNoUnit cost Uga shsTotal costEuros
Buying crossbreed pigs:
Male
Female
 
30
30
 
30,000
40,000
 
9,00,000/=
1,200,000/=
 
429
571
Construction of pig style 60 40,000 2,400,000 1143
Animal drugs 60 40,000 2,400,000/= 1143
Vetinary doctor
Animal feeds
 
100 bags
300,000
20,000
250,000/=
2,000,000/=
119
952
Miscellaneous     800,000/= 381
Total     9,950,000/= 4,738

We shall locally contribute 2,100,00 Uganda shillings or Euros 1000 towards this noble cause, we are requesting you to work in partnership with us with the remaining 7,849,800 Uganda shillings or Euros 3738

Reporting and Evaluation
The project coordinator is responsible for the collection and filing of records relating to the associationís activities at the office. All operations are done according to the budget and for that reason every widow is obliged to submit a report detailing out the activity done, what she has achieved and how to control expenditures, dates of the activity, amount spent and if there is a variation with the budget, why. We hope that if we get computers in future we hope that the information relating to all activities will be stored on the computer.

Future funding and sustainability

  • We intend to build capacity for increased agricultural out put so that the association can produce products on a large scale for feeding widows and their children, for selling to meet its financial needs. These would be in form of selling piglets, selling of mature pigs, the dung to be used as manure; urine for preventing banana weevils, while part of the pork will be used for feedin

  • We plan that after six months, each pair of pigs at each widow will produce a minimum of 6 piglets, then each widow that received in the first phase will have to give away 2 piglets to another widow. The situation will go round until when all the widows have all got, this will be the second phase.

We are looking forward to hearing from you in this first phase and in the subsequent phases of our project God bless you all.

Yours faithfully,

Mrs. Olivia Matovu
DEPUTY DIRECTOR
   Mrs. Maria Nakachwa Ssemakula
PROJECT DIRECTOR

Date Submitted 18/Nov/2005
Country: Uganda
Organization Name: st Francis reach the HIV/AIDS widows
Project Mission: To provide Income generating activities among widows.
Address: P.O.Box 95 Kyotera Rakai District
Kampala Uganda, East Africa
Contact person: Mrs. Nakachwa Maria Ssemakula
Title: Project coordinator
Second Contact Person: Mrs Olivia Matovu
Title: Deputy Project coordinator
Telephone: 25677381881/25677927496
Email: francisrakai@yahoo.com

BUDGET FOR PHASE ONE

TOTAL BUDGET PROPOSAL PHASE 14738 eurosAMOUNT REQUESTED3738 euros
PROPOSED START DATEAS SOON AS POSSIBLEPROPOSED END DATEOPEN

Bank Name: (CITI BANK NEW YORK OR CITY BANK LONDON)
Title Of Account: NILE BANK JINJA ROAD UGANDA
SWIFTCODE: CITIGB2L
SORTCODE: 18-50-04
Account name: ST FRANCIS RAKAI ORHANAGE HOME
Account No: 5452731

STATISTICS OF THE COMPOSITION OF ST FRANCIS RAKAI REACH THE HIV/AIDS WIDOW

CATEGORYFEMALEMALE
WIDOWS53NIL
INDIRECT BENEFIARIES21223
GOVERNING BODY81
STAFF2212
TOTAL29536

 

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