Women in Gulu, Northern Uganda, selling fresh vegetables.…
In a place like Gulu in northern Uganda, where many people have been displaced by war and own no assets, SOS family support is gaining ground. But the challenge is to make them sustainable.
Women in Gulu, Northern Uganda, selling fresh vegetables.
I found a story about a young mother in Gulu, northern Uganda, that I find thought provoking. Here is a little background before the story though. In Uganda many people have been displaced by war and they have very little to their name. The challenge of the SOS family support is to help families to be self sustainable, to start buisnesses and manage their finances and their family. Now, here is the story of Mary:
Mary is a single mother of seven children who now runs a small business. Because she is HIV positive and has responsibilities as a mother, her family is given support by SOS. Mary had the idea of opening a small eating place where she would prepare and sell food to passing trade. The SOS Social Centre supported her in this innovation. Ann, a worker in the Social Center, says "We advised her to make a budget and to start buying food". So, using her own saucepans, Mary began to prepare food and sell it.
One month later Mary came back to show the social centre staff how much she had saved from her earnings (80,000 Uganda shillings and two months later - 150,000). "We were so impressed" Anne went on . "She then asked us to look after the money for her but we advised her to use a bank account. So all in all, we gave her advice and encouragement, but not money. She got that for herself." SOS supports Mary in other ways, by looking after her youngest child in the day care centre and paying school fees for the others, allowing her to concentrate on earning an income.
A portrait of a child with her mother at Children's Village Gulu, Northern Uganda.
One of the saddest things I've seen in my work for this charity is children who are HIV positive. So it is important to know that we, as a charity, are doing practical things to help these children and their families. I have been finding out about this is Gulu, Uganda.
The majority of the population in Gulu live in camps because of the civil war in the north. The camps are overcrowded and there is limited medical care. These conditions contribute greatly to the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Within the Children's Villages Kakiri and Gulu there is voluntary counselling and testing centres for HIV and AIDS. Hundreds of people from the community voluntarily go for HIV/AIDS testing since the testing services started in 2005. Also, twelve families with HIV positive children receive additional nutritional support, medical care and counselling.