Changing Attitudes & Creating Security for Women in Kaabong
Posted on: 2011-09-15

Cultural events in Kapoth, Kaabong. Performance by AWARE Uganda.


Update August 2011 - By Grace Luomo, AWARE Founder/Executive Director and Teddy Curran, AWARE Technical Director

Changing attitudes towards HIV/AIDS

AWARE-Uganda has continued with our HIV/AIDS counseling and seminars amongst the community and this has encouraged more positive living and changed attitudes towards HIV/AIDS victims.

Many more have come out and declared their status and the community has accepted them.

There were one to one sessions with the community – especially women, who are affected, and this has helped them improve their confidence and gain a new hope to the future.

Maternity Waiting Centre created for those in critical condition

A maternity ward created for women with critical conditions at the AWARE Centre; this was made possible with assistance from Medicins Sans Frontiers/MSF (Doctors Without Borders) as part of their causem has involved NGOs to assist in identifying the pregnant  women.

MSF has involved AWARE volunteers and midwives in identifying and providing treatment to the community who have to walk  many miles to get to the health centre and to main hospital for delivery.

AWARE is working closely with the district health officers to ensure that the women are well cared for, and that they are in the conditions suitable for pregnant women. In particular,  the hygiene of people in Kaabong is overwhelming with  just  2% of toilet facilities having clean water.

Global Women's Water Initiative assists AWARE members

AWARE members Grace Loumo and Auma Josephine have been trained by the Global Women's Water Initiativewhich provided AWARE with seed money to build a demonstration VIP latrine with water facilities. This will help many to benefit from the UNICEF project Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) which provides training.

AWARE supports young children and university students alike

The Early Child Development (ECD) Programme, a government programme within the ministry of education has continued to support AWARE Community Nursery by providing scholastic materials and food; 120 children have been enrolled for feeding and early education at the centre.

AWARE trained university students like Odero Albert, of University of Mukuno, in application of their practical skills in community development and administrations, mobilizations and monitoring, secretarial skills, photograph design, and communication skills – especially in working in an illiterate community.

Working with government departments to better the community

AWARE has collaborated with district and community leaders in planning, sharing information, and technical assistance, is provided especially with personnel in the health department.

We have facilitated provisional food security by training women especially - and the men - in animal traction, to improve on the agriculture. This has been ongoing, and we have supplied ox ploughs, oxen, and seeds to the women.

They have ploughed many hectares, planted maize, sorghum and expecting a good harvest this year.

AWARE's Human Rights Programme continued by sensitizing the community on women and human rights.

More domestic violence has been reported to the authorities as a result.

The rights for women on land has been cleared, and now women and own land – and with the seeds provided to them, they  can now plough their land and will use it for income-generating, especially after the crops have been harvested.

AWARE's Micro Finance scheme has been supported by the government and has given ten million shillings to lend to women and the money is used for income generating projects like poultry farming, cash crops, art and carts in pot making and beds making, grocery shop, this will assist them in improving their standard of living and send their children to school.

Security through AWARE's support helps lift women's spirits

  • More than 30 pregnant women have benefited from the maternity ward at the centre and have successfully delivered and gone home.
  • We have eight women still at the centre awaiting their due date. AWARE provides these women with accommodation. food, and medical emergency;  and as well,  the facility is only a two minute walk to the main hospital.
  • A fence has been built around the AWARE Centre and security for the women and facilities is secured.
  • Nagiro was so excited when she was given mattress by AWARE ;it was her first mattress she has ever had in life.
  • The women groups that received oxen, ox ploughs, and seeds were so excited since they have been able to plant crops that will help them during the dry season. This was empowering women to make their farm labour work easier and less burdensome; before they used their hoes to dig and plant.

Abandoned promises, illiteracy, and climate change affect all

Political campaigns for members of parliament and presidential campaigns affected most of AWARE's projects since the candidates tend to promise and provide money that brings temporary relief and raises the community's hope.

However, after the campaigns are finished, the NGOs are left to continue the promise – and with lack of facilitation and money, there is just so much the organization can do.

High rates of Illiteracy amongst the community has been a big hindrance in accepting and in understanding the reasons and cause of all development issues.

Climate change: the hazards a of hot and windy environment affects the efficiency of the implementation of the projects and workshops.

The heavy rains with bad roads make the roads impassable, and hence, delays implementation and has caused landslides that have left more than ten dead, and blocked roads.

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