The Cycle of Poverty and Disease
A story to illustrate how poverty and the spread of HIV are linked:
Molly was married to a man who died of AIDS, leaving Molly with two very young children. Her in-laws chased her out of their home, blaming her for their son's death. In desperation Molly married another man who would take care of her family. However, he left her after finding out he tested HIV positive. She became pregnant with a third man and produced a baby girl. That man died, so she is now on her fourth husband. He rents a house for the family to live. It is extreme poverty that motivates Molly to depend on men to help her and her children survive. This common situation in rural Uganda increases the HIV infection rate, and extreme poverty persists. Women are very vulnerable and often required by their husbands to produce children even when families are poor.
Now Molly benefits from KIDA's counseling, treatment services, and educational assistance for her children. KIDA's holistic approach, which includes ongoing counseling and training in positive health practices, effectively breaks the cycle of poverty and disease in rural villages of Uganda's Kabarole District.
We need your help to break the cycle of poverty and disease. Donations to Friends of Ruwenzori fund KIDA's holistic work. Click here to make a secure donation online.
Molly and her three children. Christine (in blue) goes to school with KIDA's help
KIDA (the Kitojo Integrated Development Association) is a grassroots organization that is empowering Ugandans to prevent the spread of HIV and reclaim their lives. In an international partnership, KIDA is financially supported by the Friends of Ruwenzori Foundation, a 501c3 US-based nonprofit public charity based in California’s Bay Area.
KIDA is located in the Western Ugandan sub-county of Ruteete, in the Kabarole District. The area is rural and the people are poor, with very limited access to healthcare services until KIDA came along. KIDA’s programs emphasize personal responsibility, and include:
- HIV education through drama, testing, and counseling
- An on-site staffed clinic
- On-site general hospital with 30 beds and surgery annex, staffed 24/7
- Prenatal care, assisted labor and delivery with prevention of mother to child HIV transmission
- Access to anti-retroviral therapies and treatment for opportunistic infections
- A home-care visiting program
- School support and counseling for vulnerable children
- Micro-lending and saving, and entrepreneur mentoring
- Literacy and job skills training for youth and adults
KIDA is a registered NGO (non-governmental organization), certified in 2001 by the Republic of Uganda as a nonprofit. The Reverend Ezra Musobozi, an ordained Anglican priest, and his wife Marjorie, both native Ugandans, founded KIDA and direct the operations of its programs with a staff, including medical professionals, and many volunteers.
Ezra and Marjorie mobilized the surrounding community to address the need for AIDS care and prevention, with a leap of faith in 2001. Volunteers formed over 40,000 mud bricks and, by 2003, had used them to build a four-room clinic. No one knew where they would get the money for a roof or stucco to protect the mud bricks from the rain, nor did they know how they would fund voluntary counseling and testing. They only knew that it was needed, and that it wouldn’t happen unless they took the first step. Support came gradually; many programs followed. KIDA Hospital opened in 2011.
KIDA’s Vision: “Empowered people taking care of their own lives.”
KIDA’s Mission Statement:
“To enable vulnerable individuals and communities to improve their quality of life through counseling, education, care and support of the HIV/AIDS infected and affected and promoting productive self help initiatives.”
KIDA’s Geographical Coverage:
In the Kabarole District of Western Uganda, clients currently come to the clinic and hospital at Kitojo primarily from three subcounties:
Ruteete Subcounty: Kyamukoka, Rurama, Kiko parishes
Kasenda Subcounty: Kasenda, Nyabweeya, Isuunga parishes
Buheesi Subcounty: Nyamiseke, Kabahango, Kiyombya parishes
In response to KIDA’s monthly radio announcements, people also come from more outlying areas: Busoro Subcounty, Kibiito Subcounty, Kahungye Subcounty and even from the Districts of Kamwuenge and Ibanda to access HIV testing and seek general medical care.