Monday, June 16, 2008

Week 3 in Busia

We are entering into our 3rd week here in Busia and with FOC-REV. Time has flown by and I’m not sure where it all went.

Last week we sat in on an HIV/AIDS planning meeting for the town of Busia. The things we learned were unbelievable. About 42% of married woman in Uganda are infected with HIV. That is almost half of all married women. It is unbelievable that the ones who are in committed relationships are the ones who are affected the most. These women are for the most part faithful. They are being infected by their husbands who are sleeping with other random women, most of the time spending their wife’s money on a sex worker. Then the wives have to take care of the children, and pick up the slack even though it is their husbands fault. It is just sad and I feel so bad for them.

On a good note, we have found some wonderful organizations here in Busia that are trying to alleviate this problem. In addition to FOC-REV and the wonderful things they are doing, we have been introduced to an organization called Bamacoda. Bamacoda does free HIV/AIDS testing and counseling 3 times a week for the people of Busia. Because Busia is a boarder town, there is a lot of traffic that comes in from Kenya and there are a lot of truckers that carry the disease and spread I to the people here in Busia. Bamacoda is located right at the boarder so that it is easily accessed by the truckers and the sex workers who work on the boarder. Bamacoda also does a lot with peer counseling and training residents of Busia to be able to help each other.

We also found an orphanage here in Busia that is working to teach the children in Busia how to become respectable men and women. The orphanage is called New Hope. It is currently supporting about 70 children, 50 of which live on sight. The children are provided with housing, food, clothing, school fees and education, healthcare and psychosocial support. The children are all victims of the HIV/AIDS epidemic here in Uganda. All of the children either have a parent or both who have died from HIV or is suffering from HIV. Recently all of the children have been tested for HIV and thankfully they are all negative, which is quite a miracle. The children are all wonderful. When we first went to see them, they were all warm and welcoming. They all greeted us and were very well behaved. It was the first time since we have been here, that after being in a place for more than 5 minutes that none of the “mizungus” were asked for money by anyone, child or adult, which was very surprising.

Ok well that is all for now. I have to go deal with some things. Until next time.

1 comment:

Lucy (Y) said...

Hi Nicole, Thanks again for posting
to this site. It's very helpful to know how you all are doing. Also heard from JP re some of your concerns...It sounds like you all are seeing so much, learning so much and meeting so many people - I'm sure that just letting people know that you care about what happens to them makes a difference. Hopefully week four will bring new opportunities for involvement...Keep us posted. Take care, Lucy