managed by J. Tukwasibwe (Communication)
Hope springs Haven is a locally registered (no. WCBO/285/15) Christian Community Based Non-profit making organisation located in Wakiso District, Uganda. It is a Holistic Care Program for Orphans and other Vulnerable Children (OVCs), that has been set up to transform the lives of these children so that they may reach their full potential and live a life of hope and dignity. The organisation has been named so because we believe it will be a place of restoration where children will find springs of hope and experience a turning point in their lives.
The vision of Hope Springs Haven is “Abundant Life for Every Child”. The Mission is to holistically equip OVCs, enabling them to reach their full potential, live sustainable lives, and become change agents in their communities. We demonstrate God’s love and faith in action to vulnerable children irrespective of their background. We seek to find longer-term solutions to meeting the needs of vulnerable children by empowering their families and caregivers as well. Hope Springs Haven works in partnership with other International and Local Organizations, community leaders, churches and other volunteers. Hope Springs Haven Core Program areas are:
• Health promotion
• Child Protection
• Psychosocial Support / Spiritual Nurture
• Family Strengthening / Empowerment
The specific objectives of the Organization are:
a) Education: To Increase opportunity for the vulnerable children to access education and acquire a skill for self-sustainability.
b) Health: To improve Health through promotion of proper sanitation and hygiene practices and increase the knowledge of HIV/AIDS among the vulnerable children, their families and community thereby enabling them make informed and healthy life choices as well as receiving appropriate care.
c) Psychosocial support: To improve on the psychosocial wellbeing of OVCs and their families through counselling, spiritual nurture and empowerment with other life skills that will boost their self-esteem and self-worth as well as enabling them to make sound decisions.
d) Child Protection: To mainstream Child Protection within our area of operation and support other stakeholders to strengthen the child protection agenda in order to ensure that children are protected against all forms of abuse and rights violation.
e) Family Strengthening: To empower families / care takers as well as the community, with livelihood and positive parenting skills enabling them improve standards of living and provide a loving and supportive home environment for the children.
• Orphans and other vulnerable children
• Out of school children
• Out of school youths
• Vulnerable girls from the neighboring schools
• Children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS
• Families of the OVCs
• Families with out of school children
• Families affected by HIV/AIDs
• Families with chronically ill care takers
• Families in extreme poverty situations
• Child headed families
• Families with single parents and old parents
Key objectives of the HCT:
1. To create awareness and increase knowledge about HIV/AIDS among the people of Kasengejje, Wakiso District.
2. To avail opportunity of Voluntary Counseling and Testing to the members of the community of Kasengejje, Wakiso, thereby enabling them make informed and healthy life style choices.
3. To increase opportunity for the people of Kasengejje to access appropriate palliative care.
4. To increase partnership and collaborative efforts in addressing the issue of HIV/AIDS and other related challenges in the community of Kasengejje, Wakiso Community.
The first speaker Mr. Lule Bosco who is a community counselor talked about good feeding.
The key points were as follows:
· Eat local boiled food.
· Food is the first medicine to the body
· People living with HIV or AIDS need different foods compared to other people.
· HIV/ AIDS and the medicines people have to take can make you lose a lot of weight, feel cold all the time and get serious stomach problems.
· This will make you weaker and when you are weak you can more easily get serious infections.
· Because you easily get infections it is also very important to clean and cook food properly and to drink clean water.
· Take a lot of water at least 2 litres of clean water a day.
· Eating vegetables and fruit.
· For a healthy stomach eat raw garlic, raw carrots or dried pumpkin seeds.
· Eat a lot of grains and starch - maize, rice, sorghum, brown breadSugar is very bad for the immune system and causes stomach problems Fried foods and cooked oils stop the stomach from being able to digest food Spicy food can also cause stomach upsets - do not eat too much Keep yourself occupied and interested in things to avoid depression Try to exercise without straining yourself Get enough sleep and rest Find people you can talk to about your feelings
Do not:Smoke, drink or use addictive drugs Go on diet or lose too much weight
Joanita Namaganda emphasized the following:
· What kills people faster is the way of life, the food they eat.
· Boiling water
· Cooking food well
· Eating hot food
· Avoid taking medicine with alcohol
· Avoid taking alcohol
Rev. Canon Micar Bwami talked about Ways to reduce chances of being infected with HIV:
Report any rape cases as soon as possible before the end of 75 hours
· Use of condoms but emphasized that they should not be used as instruments of immorality. He talked about the condom use being 99%safe but emphasized that there are details about it including proper way of using it, how to keep it and the expiry date.
· Avoid sharing sharp instruments
· Circumcision being 66% safe.
· Cautioned people not to just judge by the looks to tell whether they have HIV or not.
· He emphasized that the highest means of transmission is having sex with an infected person.
· Called upon the participants to live responsibly in the community.
Mr. Mujuni James talked about discordance:
In case of discordance;
· Use condoms
· Take the medicine
· Maintain cleanliness
· Follow the doctors instructions
· Proper feeding
Message from the Guest of Honor:
· Thanked the community for embracing the organizational activities
· Emphasized that it is our responsibility as parents to take care of our children and to ensure that they do not become victims of sexual abuse.
· She cautioned that confidentiality has to be maintained for the children who are HIV positive.
· She emphasized these children have to be handled with care and responsibility.
· She cautioned against discriminating these children
· In case your spouse is infected and you are not, support him/her and ensure they are taking their medication as required.
· Escort them to receive their health services and receive teachings together.
· In case you find out that you are HIV positive, bring the whole family for testing.
· Work together as a community to reduce school dropout and drug abuse.
· Instill discipline to the children.
Questions: The community members actively participated. They were inquisitive and they asked a number of questions related to HIV/AIDS. Some of the questions asked include:
When a person takes ARVs for a long time may be 20 years or more, can the virus be completely out of the body?
If I realize I am sick, another is not sick; if I use a condom will she be safe?
When testing HIV can TB also be detected?
For how long can one live with HIV?
Is it possible for parents who are HIV positive to give birth to a healthy child?
If I am positive will you tell me my CD4 count?
Are the ARVs the cause of pressure and diabetes?
If I get to know I am sick, where will I get help from?
Will it still be okay for me to use a condom?
Young children had to be with a parent / guardian to be tested.
At the same time, post counseling was carried out by the counselors before giving out the results.
Some couples came together, were counselled and tested together and also received results together.
More than 200 people turned up for the teachings, 190 were tested for HIV/AIDS and 4 people were found HIV positive. These included one lady aged 21 and married, another one aged 26 and married, a young man aged 24 and single and lastly a woman aged 69. there was one discordant couple where a man was negative and the wife positive.
There are people who heard about the Health workers coming and they brought all the sick expecting to be worked on as well. Some had eye problems while others had other ailments.
HEALTH CAMP / God’s
Miraculously, it so happened that there was a health camp at Kampala parents’ school where eye checkup was taking place as well as treatment. Other cases being handled were pressure checkups and Hepatitis B.
Hope Springs Haven Transported 13 parents from the community who had problems with eyes. They were all worked on and given medication. Three care takers were operated upon and admitted for a night.