This project is critical of the role of adolescents’ girls in rural economies and the way in which they could be empowered to effect change. Girls living in rural areas can play vital roles yet there is no effort to recognize and empower them.
The need to change the world necessitates investing in adolescent girls including those living with HIV/AIDs. An adolescent girl stands at the door way of adulthood. In that moment, much is decided if she stays in schools, remains healthy and gains real skills. She will marry later have fewer and healthier children and earn an income that she will invest back in her family. According to the 2010 UNAIDS HIV report on Uganda, 24,000 babies are born every year with HIV/AIDs. This is totally un acceptable in this era of HIV/prevention.
But even adolescents living with HIV/AIDs are left to follow the path laid down by poverty; they will live school and enter marriage. As a girl, mother an unskilled worker and an uneducated citizen she will miss out on the opportunity to reach her full human potential. And each individual tragedy multiplied by thousands of girls will contribute to a much larger down spiral for her community and nation.
Investing in girls is the right thing to do on moral, ethical and human rights grounds. Perhaps no other segment of the society faces as much exploitation and injustice and we owe girls our support as integral yet overlooked members of the human society.
Investing in girls is also a smart thing to do with the many adolescent girls in the society today. The best way to break the cycles of poverty emanating from HIV/AIDs is to keep girls off the path of the school dropout, early marriage and early childbirth and the vulnerability to sexual violence and poor management of HIV/AIDs
This project will primarily benefit 50 adolescent orphans and vulnerable girls living with HIV/AIDs. These will be equipped with fast and easy to learn vocational skills, entrepreneurship skills. They will involved in participatory action research to explore dimensions of (and impediments to delivery of) primary health care responses to HIV and AIDS; identification of barriers to delivery, coverage and uptake of HCT services, improved demand for and utilization of, HCT services at primary health care and community level. Adolescent PHAs will be prepared to appreciate and demand for PMTCT as they would soon graduate into mothers. They will be supported to come up with action plans which they will implement in order to improve their nutrition, psychosocial care, livelihood basing on the acquired vocational, entrepreneurship, participatory planning and HIV/AIDs knowledge and skills. They will thus be able to meet their basic needs including scholastic and personal need to keep them in school.
Location: Mubende, Uganda