There are times when you are truly inspired by the commitment of people to their project and the potential the project has to make a difference. On a recent scoping visit to Ethiopia and Uganda, I was struck by this sense many times.
I visited schools, hospitals, colleges, dioceses and small community-based organisations. Each is comprised of staff and local volunteers, committed to making positive progress towards the MDGs in spite of limited resources. At this stage, Palms has filled three positions in Uganda in two small Community-Based Organisations. (We are still recruiting for the other requests).
KIDADE and KIFAD are both small organisations seeking to meet the needs of the people in their districts, Kibaale and Wakiso respectively. Local organisations like this are uniquely tuned to the priorities of their clients and can achieve much with very limited resources. In each case, volunteers were requested to assist in building the capacity of the organisation to continue its work.
KIDADE (Kibaale District Action for Development)
KIDADE’s mission is “to facilitate and provide services aimed at poverty reduction and improvement of living conditions in the local communities in which it operates”.
KIDADE runs programs in Water and Sanitation, Sustainable Agriculture, support for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC) and their families, Adult Literacy, Human Rights, Environment Management and Micro-Credit. KIDADE supports Gender Mainstreaming across all its work and strongly advocates for the rights of women.
Recent projects have included well construction, supporting beekeeping, animal husbandry and soybean farmers and providing income-generating activities and training in self-sufficiency for children and families affected by HIV/AIDS.
KIFAD (Kiyita Family Alliance for Development)
KIFAD is an organisation providing support for people living with HIV/AIDS, located about 30-40 minutes from Kampala, Uganda’s capital. KIFAD is small but well networked locally to deliver services. They focus on counselling, social support and capacity building of people living with HIV/AIDS, and provide referrals for clinical support. About 90% of their clients are women and are involved in programs that build skills, such as dressmaking. KIFAD is also in the early stages of developing a food security program.
KIFAD has a number of counsellors who work with people who have recently been diagnosed as HIV positive. The counsellors themselves are also HIV positive. Almost all clients are on anti-retro viral drugs, which are available in Uganda to people signing up to a monitoring program.
Palms will place Lorrain Kirk to volunteer to work as HIV/AIDS Program Coordinator for KIFAD.
While their placements will sometimes be difficult, Elly, Chandra and Lorraine have before them an amazing opportunity to become part of a Ugandan community and be part of community-driven development. KIDADE and KIFAD have already done so much for their communities; Palms Australia is happy to provide three volunteers to further their efforts.
Palms also dearly hopes to find more volunteers for our other wonderful partner organisations in Africa. Call (02) 9518 9551 or apply online.