A brief description about Uganda Empowers:
Uganda Empowers is a non-profit community based organization registered with Lwengo District Local Government Council under Reg. No. CD/LDLG/421, staffed with a team of counselors, nurses, expert clients on HIV/AIDS, a drama group of orphans and other vulnerable children, youth and people with different professions.
Uganda Empowers primarily operates in the rural settings purposely to boost peoples’ ways of living at different programs, but mainly focuses at fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS and all its impacts like the stigma and discrimination, practiced on infected individuals and their families, through counseling services, community health talk lectures, traditional performances and art/creativity to individuals, married couples, groups.
Uganda Empowers was founded in 2010 by Matsiko Johnbosco a counselor on HIV/AIDS and a community volunteer on children/youth affairs, environment/sanitation, etc. supported by Juliet of the Kaaka’s children, Stefanie Parker and Angel Nelson.
Address (Project head offices).
Lwempama – Piida Trading Centre, 26metres off Kampala – Mbarara highway.
P.O.BOX 663 Masaka
Contact person 1 - UGANDA.
Counselor Johnbosco Matsiko
Program director at Uganda Empowers
Lwengo, Kyawagonya - Piida
P.O.BOX 663 Masaka
Tel: +256(0)753 310 043
Uganda Empowers’ mission and objectives:
Uganda Empowers’ mission is to “Empower our brothers and sisters towards a better tomorrow” by connecting people in the local settings to the modern knowledge, aiding institutions and volunteers as shown in the objectives/programs below;
Uganda Empowers’ objectives and current programs for 2012 – 2013.
- 1. Fighting the spread and impacts of HIV and AIDS
- 2. Substance abuse control among the OVCs, unemployed youth and PLWHA
- 3. Empowering orphans and other vulnerable children
- 4. Environment/sanitation conservation and restoration
- 5. Sustainable empowerment for all especially underprivileged families and individuals.
About Uganda Empowers’ clients:
Uganda Empowers has clients in different sections, who are mainly determined by the on-going programs and our services may cut an individual, a family and a community in the target settings like, homes, remote villages, schools, prisons, trading centres and etc, for example;
- When we teach on prevention against HIV/AIDS, we cut the whole community and we may reach an individual and family while providing on-going and supportive counseling to persons living with HIV/AIDS.
- 2. For the substance abuse control program, UE targets the youth especially those who lost their hopes due to the death of their parents and resort to drug abuse and alcoholism as a way of flashing away their old memories. Under this program we also focus on parents to avoid over consumption of alcohol as way of stopping domestic violence and treatment adherence among PLWHA.
- 3. Environment and sanitation, we aim at using the young volunteers in schools as the next future is in their hands and we cover Lwengo district by starting at village levels on wards.
- 4. On sustainable development, UE targets persons infected with HIV/AIDS, their care givers, child-headed families, unemployed youth, other financially disadvantaged individuals plus the willing others.
- 5. Education sponsorships, UE targets OVCs (orphans and other vulnerable children) especially those who are infected by HIV/AIDS and the young heroes in our drama group.
Inspirations for the initiation of Uganda Empower:
After witnessing infection, disease, death and impacts like the stigma and isolations raising from HIV/AIDS on the village level and national wide, Counselor Johnbosco Matsiko shared the concern with friends and then they came-up with an idea of starting a network that would bring some control over the infection and all its impacts.
This effort aimed at providing and building hopes for early diagnosis of HIV, getting enrolled on treatment in time and finding solutions to impacts like the Stigma, poverty, early death and others that rise from the infection and diseases.
After identifying the values of a good health, Uganda Empowers started to campaign for a good green nature, a crime free civilization (substance free), a financial self-sustenance and support for the deprived brothers and sisters.
Efforts introduced by Uganda Empowers to over-come HIV/AIDS and its impacts:
- Drama group:- As a one way of addressing more facts about HIV/AIDS, Uganda Empowers introduced local performances (music, dance, art/creativity and drama) by involving young volunteers who are OVCs to educate the public by acting on day to day HIV/AIDS topics like modes of transmission, prevention, early diagnosis, treatment, love, care and support for the infected and affected persons. Our main focus under this program is to advance prevention messages starting with the young generation and disadvantaged individuals that seems to be at a high risk of acquiring the virus and promoting positive attitudes among Persons already infected and their care givers
- Partnership:- Networking people in villages to AIDS aiding institutions as one of our objectives, Uganda Empowers collaborates with TASO Masaka to provide free HIV testing and treatment to the willing people that we have sensitized through drama and prepared by our counselors and expert clients.
- Free counseling and care:- After realizing that Lwengo district which has 4 Antiretroviral Therapy sites (health units where PLWHA access treatment) has no counselors on HIV/AIDS, Uganda Empowers chose to send our counselors and form a team of expert clients to volunteer at these sites where we provide pre, post and on-going counseling to clients and help the clinicians on preparing files, making records and other ART clinic on-going support.
- Home visiting:- under this program, a team of counselors, expert clients, nurses and spiritual leaders visit clients to share experiences aiming at promoting family and community support to child-headed homes and persons living with HIV/AIDS, we also monitor key facts like; treatment adherence/compliance, sanitation, nutrition, sustainable livelihood, providing spiritual counseling, nursing care, succession planning and etc especially to the bedridden, terminally ill and the dying clients to prepare them leave a positive life and die comfortably when their time is right.
- Sustainable development:- Uganda Empowers encourages the creation and development of income generating sources among PLWHA and their care givers to make hand-works/crafts and join savings and loaning village groups in order to avoid dependence. Under this program UE also provide essential support to victims of HIV/AIDS especially children infected, orphans, PLWHA at older age and infected individuals with disabilities.
AIDS has further affected families psychologically and emotionally. The psychological effects start with the knowledge of ones’ OR a family members’ sero-status. People affected by AIDS go through periods of shock, denial, depression, bargaining and anxiety. Such feelings arise from the fact that AIDS is a disease with no cure, the result being death.
Most people affected by AIDS are traumatized with the fear associated with going through long painful periods of illness, leaving behind other family members especially children with almost no support, facing stigma and frustration of not meeting their ambitions. Therefore every one of us has got a responsibility to guard against HIV infection; to fight the spread of HIV infection and to support people affected by HIV infection and disease.