AOET LANGO SUB REGION / LIRA
In Lira, Children in their mid- childhoods are expected to take care of their basic requirements. In desperate situations are forced into battle and abducted to serve as child soldiers or sex slaves.
Aids Orphans Education Trust – Lira with funding from Inter Religious Council of Uganda / USAID has been implementing programs that improve the lives of Orphans and Vulnerable children (OVC) in and out of school, their parents, guardians and caretakers. The program is aimed at mitigating the long-term impact of HIV/AIDS and promoting coping mechanisms for the affected and infected OVC.
HIV/AIDS escalated in Lira, (northern Uganda) as a result of the twenty years of insurgency.
Thousands of young people have seen their communities attacked and destroyed by the “Lord’s Resistance Army” – Headed by Joseph Kony. They’ve lost parents and relatives to violence and diseases and have been separated from their families and displaced from their homes.
AOET’s ACTIVITIES IN LIRA
- Formal education support
- Psychosocial support
- Health care
- Socio economic support
Hundreds of young people have received scholastic materials which included books, pens, pencils, math sets sanitary pads and underwear for older girls. Through this support, hundreds of Vulnerable children in Lira – half of them girls, are able to go to School.
Our Social workers with the community volunteers conduct school and home visits whose main objective is to offer support to both parents, caretakers, teachers and OVC. Interactive meetings are held with school heads PTA committees in order to promote participatory development.
Community meetings with caretakers and stakeholders are also conducted by the project coordinator in all the four parishes where AOET operates. Through these meetings we are able to assess the impact of the program and identify gaps, with the community as our development partners.
Health care support
Most OVC are exposed to health risks than other children, and commonly face obstacles to participation even in health programs targeting the poor. We provide treatment and transport to OVC who are in dire need of the care.
Socio economic security.
The demand for care and support is simply overwhelming in many areas. This has reduced the capacity of families and communities by deepening poverty through medical costs brought about by sickness.
In order to help the OVC who received start up kits after their full year of training in a particular skill, follow up is made to encourage them set businesses and begin saving schemes. Following the “follow up”, we find that most of them are running small businesses while others go back to school to improve on their skills.
Caretakers who receive business skills organized themselves into small self help groups while continuing with their small scale farming and businesses. We help them register their groups with the sub county so they can access some loans and increase their incomes. Through this, the caretakers are able to provide better nutrition and schooling for the OVC under their care.
PARTNERSHIPS, NETWORKS AND REFFERALS.
Partnerships are what enable many organizations providing community services to succeed in their interventions.
- AOET Lira has been able to build a partnership with GRACE COMMUNITY CHURCH, and through that, LIRA OVC received free medical check ups and 30 kids were considered for the sponsorship program.
- Care takers also receive seeds for cassava cuttings from NAADS (another Large NGO in Northern Uganda) for sowing.
- Concerned Parents Association - Lira also trains our volunteers on child care and protection within the sub county.