Uganda is considered to have the highest rate of Malaria transmission in the region, with an average of 1,565 mosquito bites per person per year, the latest UNICEF report has revealed.
Surprisingly, some people have used the nets as wedding gowns instead of protecting themselves against the Anopheles Mosquito, a vector that carries Malaria!
Uganda’s Minister for health said “while other countries have been able to drastically reduce or eliminate cases of Malaria, 15 people die of the disease every hour”.
Each Malaria death represents a needless loss, an unacceptable loss, when we know they can be prevented. And in the fight against the disease, we are deploying our biggest weapons here!
We thank M/s. Vitamin Angels USA for supporting our work to help alleviate the micronutrient deficiency in Uganda.
CHILDREN’S REHABILITATION CENTER
The majority of the girls we have helped and turned away from prostitution face social stigma, family rejection, shame, fear of retribution and loss of future economic prospects.
So far, our organization is rehabilitating a big number of these girls. We are building for them a rehabilitation home/ center with vocational skills training for their future sustainability. It is a pity because most of the have contracted HIV/AIDS. We make it our duty to visit those on antiretroviral drugs often, to ensure that they do not default on dosage.
According to a recent report by the United Nations Children’s Fund, it was estimated that up to 35% of teenagers in some Ugandan Urban centers are involved in casual sex for cash. The report said poverty was the main reason the trade was thriving among young girls in Uganda. We really concur with UNICEF’s observation.
Another child prostitute, Barbara said that poverty drove her into the business. “Where else do you think I could get money for my bills, which include shs.35,000/= ($10) for rent, then food, hair makeup among others? God has called us to reach the needy and hurting people but we cannot do this work alone. Ecc.4:9–12.
Could it be that child prostitution in Uganda is suffering from the “bystander effect”? In 1960s, a young woman on the streets of New York City, in the United States of America was stabbed to death over a period of 30 minutes while as many as 40 witnesses did nothing; despite her pleas for help. Psychologists explain it as the “bystander effect”. In the face of an emergency, a person is less likely to intervene when others are present. It’s our nature to assume that the next person will act, thus relinquishing responsibility.
This description sounds a lot like the international community’s response or lack thereof surrounding this situation in Africa. They adopted a wait and see approach as events unfold, yet when everyone expects the others to take action, no one will. The greatest British Politician Edmund Burke once said that the only thing necessary for evil to trump is for good men to do nothing!
VOLUNTARY COUNSELING AND TESTING SERVICES IN SCHOOLS
The increasing HIV/ HIDS prevalence among teenagers has prompted ABA Foundation to introduce mobile VCT (Voluntary Counseling and Testing) Services in primary and secondary schools, where children are counseled and then tested with the consent from their parents.
It is not easy to counsel young people compared to grownups. The stigma within them is real, and we think we need a special sensitization and awareness program targeting this particular age group to cub the vice.
Children need a chance in life, being born into the slums of Africa simply means absence; absence of toilets (60 of children in slums have no toilets or pit latrines), absence of clean drinking water (water costs money and is carried in jerry cans which often develop mold and mildew and often lack a closure), absence of proper hygiene due lack of water, absence of schooling due to lack of money in the family even though education in countries such as Uganda is free for primary education, it costs money for many other things (67% of girls drop out of primary school in Uganda and 38% of boys do the same.)
Life is simply hard for children since most families earn very little and in slums un-employment exceeds 78% or more, so parents or guardians have little money for the children, their education, clothing, shoes, housing, food, and much more.
These pages show both needs and results; take a look, stories that touch the heart and the pictures will speak volumes to you. They are not there to evoke pity in you but an empowering spirit of compassion that might make a difference in the life of a child.
ABA FOUNDATION DONATES BICYCLES TO LOCAL COUNCILS
The 70 bicycles, which were given to 47 Local Councils (LCs) and twenty two (22) to Women Rights’ Committees by ABA Foundation are aimed at Enhancing the Accessibility, Identification, Reporting and Responding to Cases of Child Abuse and Gender Based Violence in the Community.
Speaking during the ceremony, the Executive Director of ABA Foundation Dr. Joseph Kiyimba said the vice can only be curbed through a concerted effort and asked leaders to stop settling defilement cases outside courts of law.
“The challenge we have is that some leaders have lost commitment and responsibility in fighting social problems,” Dr. Joseph said.