Ruwenzori Update, June 2008

June Voluntary Counseling and Testing Day Takes Place In Expanded KIDA Clinic

Kitojo Integrated Development Association (KIDA) just began its fifth year of offering VCT on the first Friday of every month, providing access to HIV testing and counseling to rural people near Rwaihamba. Personnel and equipment come from Virika Hospital in Fort Portal, approximately one hour away by vehicle. Many walk long distances to KIDA’s clinic, now expanded in size. The 4000 square feet of space can better accommodate the crowds of people that seek not only testing and counseling but treatment by a physician as well.  On June 6, 2008, 100 villagers were tested and 70 received treatment.

Marjorie and Fausta register villagers for HIV testing.

KIDA Enrolls 190 PLWHA Clients in Microfinance

*PLWHA stands for “people living with HIV/AIDS”

KIDA recently held a meeting of the members of KITOJO AIDS CARE SACCO at the expanded KIDA center.  SACCO stands for Savings and Credit Cooperative Organization, a local initiative program promoted by the government of Uganda to empower the poor by providing a mechanism for savings and micro-credit loans. Since the three PLWHA training workshops held last fall, 190 clients have made deposits and are thus jointly owners of the savings and fund.  They elected a committee that will approve applications for small business loans.  A member of the Uganda Parliament was present at this meeting that was chaired by KIDA’s full-time microfinance manager, Deogratium Mugisa.  Friends of Ruwenzori committed $4,000 this year to augment the loan fund. This program does much to restore hope and self-sufficiency to the vulnerable people infected with HIV.

KIDA microfinance members hold a meeting.

More news to come!