Saturday, June 23, 2012
Kabonera Sub-County Needs You!! [Project Progress Report]
Today was a great day for me and my development project. I finally got to meet and sit down with counselors, community leaders, and community facilitators in the Kabonera Sub-County in Masaka District. Some of these people have been trained by Kitovu to become community leaders and work with people in their area who have been both infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, including out of school students. The reason it was such a good day is because I was able to have conversations (through a Lugandan translator) with them and hear first hand what they felt the problems were and possible solutions. We had a group discussion focused around four questions that I asked them.
The questions were:
"What are some of the biggest problems that out of school children face?"
"What are some of the reasons they are forced to leave school?"
"What activities are they currently involved in?"
"How can an income generating activity be beneficial to them?"
As they answered my questions, they were all passionate and it was clear they truely cared about the well being of these youths and were saddened by their current conditions. Problems they brought up were that children were forced into dangerous child labor, in many cases no jobs were available for them, had poor relationships with their parents, lacked scholastic essentials to stay in school, and lacked vocational and life skills. Many families are also so impoverished that youth must leave school to bring in additional income.
The main youth counselor shared that in Kabonera Sub-County 75% of the population is youth under 20 and only 35% of those youth are in school. Some suggestions I was given was to engage youth in life skills workshops or create jobs for them. When I asked how an IGA could help with these issues they said that it would help to change their negative behaviors and give them a positive outlook, reduce crime rate, and help them contribute to their families and communities.
While the meeting was going on, I would often look out the window and see children pushing barrels and fetching water barefoot. I was seeing first hand a couple yards away the problems we were discussing.
After the discussion, Rose, a Kitovu Mobile Counselor and I finally dropped the bomb on our plans for the piggery. They were so happy and started cheering. When I saw their reactions it all became real and right then I knew that I couldn't let them down. I became excited to start but also nervous because of all the lives that it would be affecting. So now I am turning that nervousness into motivation to push forward and do the people of Kabonera justice with this income generating piggery.
I thanked them for all that I learned from them and told them I was so excited to work with them and the youth. Can't wait to see them again on Wednesday!
Please if you can, donate to this development project to help the out of school youth of Kabonera Sub-County. We need extra funds to ensure that this start up is sustainable and lasts long after I leave Masaka. Any contribution goes a VERY long way!
Follow this link to donate: http://goto.gg/1067
Or push the button below to donate
Be sure to email me with any questions or you can comment below.