KIDA welcomes Matundu Makalani

Matundu at Work5

Matundu at Work5

KIDA welcomes Matundu Makalani, who has joined the Friends of Ruwenzori family as their very first staff member. He comes along with exceptional skills and qualities that will help it in strategic thinking, fundraising and general organizational management.

We are extremely delighted to have Matundu joining the team and believe that this is an excellent appointment that will greatly benefit Friends of Ruwenzori and KIDA and our future development.

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KIDA Hosts His Majesty the King of Tooro

It was a bright morning on Wednesday 17th April 2013 when His Majesty King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukiidi IV for the very first time visited KIDA. Accompanied by his Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Stephen Kaliba who had been sworn into office the previous day and Kabarole District Chairman Hon. Richard Rwabuhinga, the king was full of energy and excited about what lay ahead of his visit. The joy experienced by KIDA staff, local community members and even the sick from KIDA hospital who came out to meet the King was so overcoming.

King Oyo’s visit was purposely for launching a tree planting campaign in Ruteete sub-county, Kabarole district which is being spearheaded by KIDA in partnership with the National Forestry Authority. This campaign is aiming at distributing tree seedlings to KIDA members, staff as well as the local community members and more than 25,000 tree seedlings have been secured for distribution.

Oyo waving to his subjectsThe king lauded KIDA’s efforts towards environmental conservation, promotion of healthcare through its hospital for this rural community and the improvement of welfare of vulnerable populations especially women and children through the microfinance and support offered to orphans. He drummed up support for nature conservation through tree planting and protection of wetlands in his Kingdom. King Oyo later planted two trees at KIDA Hospital and distributed tree seedlings to members present to kickoff the tree planting campaign.

On this visit, King Oyo’s entourage comprised of several ministers from Tooro Kingdom government including ones for Youth, Information, Security, Palace Affairs and the Deputy Prime Ministers Ms. Harriet Nyakake. The event was constantly entertained by the KIDA Drama Group with their traditional music seeming to serenade our beloved King.

Crowning the day’s activities was a sumptuous meal served to the King and his entourage at Kitojo Tourist Home which also belongs to KIDA’s Executive Director, Rev. Ezra Musobozi. A visibly happy Executive Director later announced a special present of a heifer to the King which had been prepared by KIDA members and staff.

The King’s long convoy later reluctantly snaked its way back to Fort-Portal at about 4pm contented with the incredible efforts his subjects are putting in improving the welfare of their communities and expressed his willingness to support KIDA as much as he can.

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News from OVC

MosesIn 1990, when Moses was four years old both his parents succumbed to an unknown disease that left him and his younger brother orphaned.  His grandparents took them into their home and cared for them until he was 16 years old, when he and his brother decided to move out and live by themselves in a two-room, semi-permanent house made of mud and sticks.

Moses managed to care for himself and his younger brother by working whatever jobs he could find in the village, earning about 1,000 shillings per day (less than $0.50). After a year, his brother was able to find a job as a cow herder and moved out to work. Moses was left alone in the house trying to go to school. Not long after, KIDA found Moses and welcomed him into the Orphans and Vulnerable Children program.

KIDA’s Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) program started in 2005 and since then has striven to provide support and assistance to some of the most vulnerable members of the community. These youth often have no parents; many are HIV positive and have little in the way of a support system. Their chances of getting an education or providing for themselves on their own are exceptionally remote. However, KIDA has been able to offer some of them the ability to achieve those things by providing essential school materials and general counseling. As a result, KIDA has helped put Moses and many of these students on a path to a better future.

“They gave me school fees, books, and scholastic materials. They gave me everything,” says Moses. Though despite KIDA’s assistance, he still faced many challenges. For the first two years in the program, Moses had to walk 6 km each day to and from school, in addition to facing the daily challenges of cooking , cleaning, and completing his studies. His perseverance was eventually rewarded when KIDA was able to find the money to purchase a bicycle for him.

Moses completed S4 (the equivalent of high school) in 2010 achieving a 2nd Grade distinction on the UCE examination required for graduation. He now stands among the top 24% of performers across the country and is looking at a bright future.

His strong performance has given him the opportunity to achieve his dream of going to nursing school and working in a hospital. “I want to be employed and earn money so that I can stand on my own,” he says.

He hopes to one day work at KIDA Hospital (set to open later this year), though he knows that nursing school will be challenging. “It is difficult and it takes determination. But, when you are determined you can do it.”

Moreover, at 800,000/= per term (roughly $340) nursing school is expensive and neither KIDA nor Moses have a clear view of where that money is going to come from. To complete the course would require about $1,740 not including school supplies, transportation, housing and other incidental expenses.

Nevertheless, both Moses and KIDA are determined to make his dream a reality. “We can’t leave him behind,” says OVC program coordinator, Marjorie Musobozi. “We have to find a way.”

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Friends of Ruwenzori Documentary

The Friends of Ruwenzori have published an excellent 7-minute spotlight feature about KIDA and the people who live in our community!

We cannot thank the Friends of Ruwenzori enough for their generosity and the production team for the long days and sleepless nights they volunteered for this project.

Check it out!

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Many people benefiting from KIDA's SACCO

Regina has started tailoring and poultry business from her KIDA laons

KIDA operates the only SACCO (Savings and Credit Cooperative) in Uganda that targets the vulnerable AIDS affected population.  Its goal is to empower the vulnerable.

Those who join KIDA’s AIDS CARE SACCO open a savings account first and receive training in saving and borrowing.  They are required to save a small amount regularly.

The program is open to both HIV positive clients as well as to local community villagers who do not have HIV.

A member can apply for a loan not more than three times the value of that member’s savings balance.  There are application requirements and repayment requirements.

Mr. Mugisa Deogratius is KIDA’s full-time microfinance manager.  He has a diploma in Business Studies with an accounting specialty and completed a post-graduate program in microfinance in Uganda.  He has taught economics and commerce at O level and A level.

KIDA’s AIDS CARE SACCO elects a board of directors and holds an annual meeting.  The money belongs to the members.  A committee approves loans.

Some of the beneficiaries of KIDA SACCO

Interest on loans is 1.5% a month, much less than other SACCO’s in Uganda.  There is no profit-making goal, rather service and empowering the vulnerable.  97% of borrowers pay back on time.  3% are late but eventually repay.

Currently (May 2010) there are 491 savers and 268 borrowers.  More members will move the program towards self-sufficiency. External support will be needed until then. Friends of Ruwenzori’s 2010 subsidy is $6,524 for salaries and loan fund enhancement.

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Positive Living is About Restoring Hope to People Living with HIV/AIDS

Friends of Ruwenzori, the key partners of KIDA

Positive Living Workshops occur at the KIDA community center every other month for adults and every other month for children who are HIV positive.  These seminars are widely advertised in the community.  Attendance has often been as high as 250 at a given workshop. Peer testimonies from people living positively are a great encouragement to those newly tested clients.

Positive living seminar at KIDA center

Various topics are covered: nutrition, mental and physical health, spiritual health, sanitation, drug adherence, understanding of the factors that affect HIV viral load, prevention of mother to child transmission, income generation, better farming, making wills, saving and borrowing, entrepreneurship.  Children now have separate workshops that give children who are HIV positive a peer group for discussion and playtime.  The sessions, which include caregivers, cover nutritional and health topics with role-plays that stress the importance of adherence to their treatment.

As soon as a man, woman, or child tests HIV positive, he or she can register as a KIDA client and have free access to KIDA services: educational seminars, support groups, ongoing counseling, treatment at the clinic, monthly home visits and access to antiretroviral drugs if certain medical criteria are met.  Each client and his or her family are offered opportunities for vocational training, entrepreneur training, microcredit loans and adult literacy classes.

Women get together at the center and weave baskets and make jewelry for selling at the market. Vulnerable children of positive clients can apply for school scholarships and are provided with school supplies for primary and secondary school.  All of these programs are financially supported by the Friends of Ruwenzori Foundation.

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KIDA HIV AIDS Prevention program

Programs to teach HIV prevention include:

Live drama shows with dancing and music:

•    Drama/dance troupe rehearses twice weekly, some are HIV positive. KIDA started this activity in 2000.

•    Live shows are given twice monthly in schools, trading centers, churches, mosques by traveling troupe.

•    Venues for shows expand out into 3 subcounties of Kabarole District.

Radio shows, sale of cassette tapes:

•    Cassette album of songs with HIV prevention lyrics in Ritooro was produced to be sold in shops.

•    KIDA’s drama group educates the community on HIV/AIDS prevention with monthly programs on Voice of Tooro radio station.

KIDA drama members performing at Rweihamba trading center

Most of the people who live in the rural foothills of the Ruwenzori Mountains in Uganda are poor and illiterate.  Without some kind of community outreach, they would have no way of knowing that HIV is a virus and that HIV infection and AIDS can be prevented.  Rev. Ezra Musobozi, while serving as an Anglican priest at St. Peter’s Church in Iruhuura in the late 1990’s, found more and more people dying of AIDS, widows becoming sick and destitute and children infected at birth.  He and his wife wanted to do something about this tragedy so they formed a traveling drama group to teach about AIDS in 2000.  Over the years, this group has reached semi-professional status and is doing an effective job of communicating behavior change messages. They use music, dance, and drama coupled with didactic teaching.  They take their show out into three rural subcounty communities around Fort Portal.  Hundreds of people flock to these shows.

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Personal Hygiene very important

There are many good reasons to wash your hands. For one thing, using soap and water regularly halves the number of diarrhea infections that occur and reduces respiratory infections by a quarter.

Most Ugandans, both young and old, are aware of the general health benefits; they know that hand washing rids you of potentially dangerous germs. Yet only 40% do in fact wash their hands before touching food or after using the latrine (and only 14% of these use soap)! Are they too hungry or do they believe they haven’t touched anything dirty?

The National Sanitation and Hand Washing Campaign takes a new approach to this foolhardy attitude so does not repeat the health warnings that people already vknow. Instead it uses positive images such as a “mother’s love for her child” to motivate everyone to wash more often.

After all, people who wash their hands regularly don’t usually do it because they are being health conscious; they do it because it makes them feel good and big, and because it makes others feel good and developed about them.

It’s about internal comfort and registered self respect. In a survey carried out in 2007, Ugandans gave a variety of responses that underline this fact. Some said they wash their hands because this makes them seem wise and for this noble cause, are admired. Others said things like “it stops the other women talking about me, that I am dirty” or “a family that never gets cholera earns respect” or “a clean person will be elected to the local council.”

Two common answers were, “it feels good when my hands are clean and soft,” and “in my religion, I have to wash to pray.” In fact the idea that hand washing is actually healthy was only suggested in cases where latrines looked visibly soiled and hands had visible dirt. This kind of information is essential for the success of a campaign like the Hand Washing Campaign. If we know what things are important to people it is easier to motivate them to maintain good sanitation and personal hygiene.

“Improvements to sanitation and hygiene benefit the health and enhance the lives of our people.

Our appeal to stakeholders is to keep thinking of innovative ways of attracting the much needed funding to make these improvements as possible.”

Evey home should have a proper latrine

One such innovation is the National Hand Washing Campaign, which encourages Ugandans to wash more and make sure they use soap, since thousands of children below the age of five die each year from diarrhea and other sanitation related diseases. Furthermore, colossal sums of money are spent every year to treat worms, respiratory infections, bloody and non-bloody diarrhea, food poisoning and the related in adults.

This commitment shall improve health and reduce poverty in Uganda. Collecting two and two together; did you know?

  • • A good latrine is where you feel safe, and enjoy the whole process of using it to the point that you attach pride and respect to the latrine. Imagine if a latrine had the language of people—it would say, “I know all the secrets of mankind!”
  • • In ancient times, the Greeks and the Romans used to have many gods and goddesses. The word hygiene comes from ‘Hygiea,’ who was the Greek goddess of health and in Rome they even worshiped a special goddess of sewers and sanitation whose name was Cloacina. She was named after the largest drain in the

city, which in Latin was called “Cloaca Maxima.” The Cloaca Maxima is still working today as part of modern Rome’s sewer system.

Women’s public latrines (toilets) contain twice as many bacteria as men’s public latrines (toilets).

  • • God advocates for the obligations to having and properly using a latrine (toilet); Deut. 23:12-14!
  • • At the beginning of 2007, a group of doctors and medical experts in the United Kingdom (the readers of the British Medical Journal) were asked to vote on what they thought was the “Greatest Medical Advance

since 1840.” There were many candidates for this prize. Some said it was the discovery of bacteria and antibiotics, others thought it was anesthetics or the x-ray or open heart surgery.

However, in the end most experts voted for sanitation. No other development has saved as many lives over the last 170 years as sewage and sanitation systems have for “all other medical advances help to cure diseases, while sanitation stops them from happening in the first place!

  • • So, what are the germs anyway? Many diseases are spread by microorganisms, which are living creatures so small you can’t see them. Another name for microorganisms is ‘bacteria’; which is why some drugs are called antibacterial drugs. But most often they are simply called ‘germs.’ They are always many different kinds of germs around, but because you can’t see them, you might not think they are dangerous.

However, one single germ can multiply fast enough to become over 64 billion germs in just twelve hours! Although some are harmless, diseases like cholera are also caused by germs. The best protections you have against diseases like that is to be clean.

By Asaba Shedrach, Health Assistant, KIDA.

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His Majesty King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV, Celebtates 10 years of KIDA

In the first place, I wish to congratulate Kitojo Integrated Development Association (KIDA) upon marking ten years anniversary of its existence. This is a good sign that KIDA’s progress has been steady.

Tooro King, Omukama Oyo Nymba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV

Secondly, I have liked the theme: Empowering lives, which sounds very appropriate as far as general development is concerned.

The vision of KIDA is also encouraging and indeed in line with Tooro Kingdom’s thinking and aspiration.

Tooro Kingdom’s focus is, among others, on education for the youth both in school and out of school. Therefore, people are encouraged to revive the informal education system at the family and clan level to complement Universal Primary Education (UPE) and Universal Secondary Education (USE) programs.

The need to spearhead positive cultural norms and values cannot be over emphasized since they form good background for formal education and basis for shaping one’s life.

Education goes hand in hand with fighting various evils in our society. The evils include corruption, indiscipline, poor attitude towards work, rape, defilement and drunkardness, among others.

Family and clan heads must instill good moral values in children even before they can start formal education. There is a need to bring up responsible citizens and critically focus on the youth.

In order to have a healthy and strong society, we must prevent and fight diseases such as HIV/

AIDS and other preventable diseases which are known causes of death of children and family members. Parents and guardians should be mindful about immunizing children to protect them against killer diseases. We must work closely with the government and other development partners so that reaping good results becomes a continuous trend through collaborative efforts.

Family heads and clan leaders must be sensitized in order for them to be able to appreciate

and internalize the focus on key health programs.

It is important and less costly if people, especially children, are fed well and are given a balanced diet as one crucial way of guarding against diseases instead of having to treat the sick and those facing death which could otherwise be prevented.

In our culture, there was the practice of having granaries in each and every home. Chiefs and clan leaders must ensure that the system is revived so that food security is guaranteed, the health of our people is improved and incomes are stepped up through the sale of surplus harvests. Nowadays, climatic changes are common, hence the need to prepare for disasters as well.

There is a question of redefining our culture to suit modern challenges by identifying negative elements of our cultural practices and eliminating them. We need to respect the role of a woman

in the home. There is also a need to share responsibilities among family members instead of leaving the women (Nyinabwenge) toiling alone.

The time is gone when the man (Nyineeka) could simply go for drinking sprees with friends. Again, practices of wife beating, rape, defilement, drunkardness, negative attitude towards work must be addressed.

I am pleased with people like Rev. Ezra Musobozi who initiate and start implementing good ideas geared to empowering lives as the KIDA theme goes. Ideas in regard to economic/ social development, health, micro-finance, agriculture, nutrition, education including vocational studies, human rights and all projects meant to spearhead development, are wonderful initiatives which ought to be encouraged and supported by the government, cultural institutions, religious bodies, NGOs and schools, among others.

In conclusion, I wish, in a special way, to pay tribute to the government and His Excellency the President of Uganda for having introduced good and relevant development programs and for having ushered in a conducive working environment that has enabled people, organizations and associations start private sector, development programs.

Areas and society cannot develop unless all the stakeholders take active part in tackling issues and challenges with focus on progress.

By His Majesty Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV,

Omukama (King) of Tooro Kingdom

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Join us on KIDA’s journey of empowerment

Rev. Ezra and Marjorie Musobozi, Founders of KIDA

In July 1998, my wife and I purchased a piece of land in Nyanswiga, a small village located in Ruteete sub-county. The community we came to was as welcoming and friendly as any, but a decade and a half of the AIDS epidemic had devastated the families that lived there.

The disease had taken parents away from children, friends away from friends, and husbands and wives away from each other. But more than anything else, it was robbing people of their fundamental right to live.

Poverty had also gripped this community like it had so many others around the country. Parents could not afford to provide nutritious food for their children, let alone afford to send them to school. Lack of access to a clean water source meant that even taking a drink of water could end in sickness and death. The people were drowning in a sea of poverty and disease without the tools—like education, medicine, and skills—they needed to save themselves.

A call to make a difference

As my family celebrated Christmas later that year my hands were busy preparing for the celebration, but my heart was preoccupied with a call to make a difference. I did not know how to get there or even where to begin, but I could envision a community that was healthy, prosperous and happy. With little more than that vision, I sought out help from the community…click page 2 below

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