Ana’s Story: “The project did miracles!”
The daily task of collecting water in rural Uganda can be laborious and onerous. Walking to and from the water source carrying heavy loads of up 20 litres can be of great difficulty to many, most especially older people, people with disabilities or people living with HIV/AIDS.Ana Ruth Nakya, age 86, lives in Kikandwa Village, Wakiso District, Uganda and cares for her three young grandchildren. Her local community of Kikandwa Village identified Ana as an ideal candidate for improved water and sanitation facilities at her home. Aidlink and our local partner Voluntary Action for Development constructed a home rain water harvesting jar outside Ana’s home along with a pit latrine also on her property. Asked how the improvements had impacted on her Ana says “The project did miracles. I am now saving a lot of money which I was spending in medical clinics treating myself and my grandchildren. From my savings, my family has improved on nutrition because I can afford to buy balanced food…my grandchildren look healthier than they were before”
Maparasha Parent’s Association: Making School Healthier, Happier, Safer Place.
Kajiado County is a semi-arid region in the south of Kenya and home to the Maasai tribe, a semi-nomadic pastoralist community. For many Massai girl attending school can be challenging. From the age of puberty Maasai girls are often subject to harmful cultural practices such as FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) and early marriage, resulting in very low levels of school attainment and achievement. Aidlink, together with our local partner the Girl Child Network, have been working with Kajiado communities for over ten years to make education a reality for Maasai girls and to bring an end to FGM and early marriage. The success of these endeavours relies on the strength and courage of the local community to oppose such harmful cultural practices. Following training, the Maparasha Parents’ Association are now at the forefront of the fight against FGM and early marriage in their community. The intimate and private nature of FGM means that it is often difficult to gather hard data relating to the practice, but because of the courage of people like the Maparasha Parents’ Association, we have begun to witness signs of change. What used to be celebrated in the community has now become taboo. FGM was once a definitive pre-cursor to marriage, but now, even when girls are subjected to FGM, some are allowed back to school. Whilst many have abandoned the practice, there are some who push against the trend.
Rosemary’s Story: Good Health is Wealth.
Initially trained by Aidlink and our local partner EMESCO as a Community Health Worker, Rosemary is now a Village Health Team (VHT) member for her village in Kibaale, working alongside other VHTs to provide quality, affordable primary healthcare to their neighbours. Since joining the VHT, Rosemary has been trained to treat malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia in children under 5, and she credits her health education seminars as the most important factor in reducing sickness in the community, noting the number of patients she sees has reduced from “20 a month, to 3-5”.Many of the seminars happen at her house where Rosemary can demonstrate the benefits of a water jar, a latrine, a dish-rack and bath shelter, all constructed from locally available materials; or teach about the importance of nutrition from her vegetable garden.Rosemary is able to use her bicycle, received during her training, to visit her neighbours at their homes to mentor, advise, and ensure that they are putting her teaching into practice. Rosemary’s personal development is transforming her community through good health, hygiene and sanitation.
KKindu Farmers Group: “Growing together, selling together and saving together”.
The Kkindu farmers group formed in 2013 following training from Aidlink and our Ugandan local partner Caritas MADDO. Made up of 30 neighbouring farms, the group put their learning to use by “growing together, selling together and saving together”.The group has 3 committees, each charged with leading the rest of the farmers in their own area. The Experimentation Committee is responsible for testing different crop varieties and distributing the most successful seedlings to other group members. The Marketing Committee identifies the markets, negotiates prices and informs the group what to grow and the quantities needed. Finally, the Monitoring Committee verifies the quality of produce for the market, ensuring the farmers will be suitably rewarded.The group knows that their success depends on working together. As Florence, one of the group members says: “If someone is struggling, then the rest of us come together and help them catch up. The more we grow, the more we get paid. The better the quality, the more we get paid”. By working together, the farmers of Kkindu are ensuring that everybody benefits, both as individuals, and as a collective.