Uganda

Graduating to resilience staff and participant share experience with breastfeeding

AVSI Foundation joined the Ugandan Ministry of Health and its partners to commemorate the World Breastfeeding Week, an annual celebration which is held every year from 1 to 7 August. In various parts of the country and through the different projects and activities that we implement, AVSI Foundation held activities such as mini-community dialogues, radio talk shows, and food and cooking demonstrations. Using social media posts, AVSI Uganda also reminded mothers to breastfeed and prompted communities, employers, leaders, and husbands to support mothers on this noble task of breastfeeding for a healthier nation.

delivering Study materials to ensure students continue to learn

Studies show that school closure during COVID-19 has adverse effects on children and adolescents. Young people are anxious and worried that they will never go back to school. Bernadetta Anieno, 18 years old, is no exception.
“They kept postponing the reopening, and I was losing hope,” remembers Bernadetta, who has been studying at AVSI long-term partner Luigi Giussani High School in Kampala, Uganda, since 2019. “I was just home doing nothing, not even reading. One day, I asked myself what I would become if I kept being home just watching TV?”

AVSI country offices and partners response to COVID-19 pandemic

AVSI is monitoring the continued development of the coronavirus pandemic in countries where we operate. We are aware of risks that local populations will face, especially having limited access to precarious health systems and already struggling with poverty, hunger, and conflict. AVSI staff continues to accompany our beneficiaries, following safety regulations implemented in each country. We are doing everything we can to ensure minimal interruption of our initiatives, which many people need even more right now. Below are some testimonials we have received from colleagues, who like all of us, have to adapt, be creative, and remain hopeful during these difficult times.

Adapting in response to COVID-19 public health restrictions

In early February 2020, during our second theory of change workshop, a team member asked if we needed to consider coronavirus in our assumptions. She was quickly dismissed as participants asked, “Is coronavirus in Uganda?” “Is it posing a threat to our communities?” One month later, on 17 March, Activity leadership provided guidance to field staff to be sure accurate and consistent messaging about COVID-19 was reaching all employees and subsequently, all participants.

Jackson Ninkusima, bringing hope to refugees and host community

When the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Uganda, forcing the Government to close business and schools, some beneficiaries of AVSI’s Graduating to Resilience Activity thought that the project funded by the Office of Food for Peace, USAID was going to be canceled. AVSI’s Community Based Trainer Jackson Ninkusima brought them hope.

William Lenga, a boda-boda rider who is saving women’s lives in Uganda

William Lenga, 52 years old, has been working as a boda-boda rider for the last two years. Boda-bodas are bicycle and motorcycle taxis commonly found in East Africa. William’s task is even more specific and vital: he urgently transports an ailing pregnant woman, a mother of a newborn, or an infant under five years old to the nearest health facility for medical attention. When the first positive case of COVID-19 was announced in Uganda, William started worrying: how could he keep helping mothers in his community and care for his eight children’s safety?

USAID’s Haley Adams visits Kamwenge for the second time and interacts with participants

Haley Adams, Food for Peace Officer at USAID Uganda, visited the Graduating to Resilience Activity in Kamwenge District in December 2019. The Activity aims to graduate 13,200 households (both refugee and host community), from conditions of food insecurity and fragile livelihoods to self-reliance and resilience. Graduating to Resilience is a seven-year USAID-funded program in Southwestern Uganda, now home to mostly Congolese and Rwandan refugees.

USAID’S HALEY ADAMS MEETS ALICE, A BRAVE WOMAN ON THE ROAD TO RESILIENCE

Haley Adams, Food for Peace Officer at USAID Uganda, visited the Graduating to Resilience Activity in Kamwenge District in December 2019. The Activity aims to graduate 13,200 households (both refugee and host community), from conditions of food insecurity and fragile livelihoods to self-reliance and resilience. Graduating to Resilience is a seven-year USAID-funded program in Southwestern Uganda, now home to mostly Congolese and Rwandan refugees.

THE STORY OF PASSI, THE ENTREPRENEUR MOM BUILDING NEW OPPORTUNITIES IN RWAMWANJA

Passi sought refuge in Uganda after the massive killings and instability caused by a rebel group in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2017. “It was hard starting a new life here in the refugee settlement, with no source of income, not even water or a piece of soap.” In DRC, Passi and her husband Kibuyi Kimaga ensured the wellbeing of their family primarily through Kibuyi’s job as a security guard at a hospital in Goma. At the time of the killings, Passi was at home with the children and quickly fled to safety. She never saw the father of her children again.