The OVC project in Kisoro, Kisoro OVC Intervention Project, is a 3 year project operating in Kisoro since January 2022.
Kisoro is a district in South West Uganda, close the borders of Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Kisoro is a major tourist destination in Uganda, with the rare mountain Gorillas found in Mgahinga National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The Mountain ranges stretching into the Democratic Republic of Congo start right at the border with the Republic of Rwanda. Despite all the beauty in Kisoro, the poverty and need of the orphans and vulnerable children identified by HCA Africa is overwhelming.
The OVC identified for intervention are living in even worse conditions than children in refugee settlements. Housing is as basic as anywhere in the world, children have few if any clothes. Children are mainly in female-only-led families, and the home-head is likely to literally ‘dig for money’ as this is the only form of paid work. Digging for money involves digging other people’s land, it’s physically brutal and very low paid.
For the long-term health of the OVC, it’s imperative that they receive an education. School attendance has additional and critical benefits – children receive lunch each day, they have clothes to wear, and they are mixing with other children that are developing, rather than tagging along with adults that are digging for others for money, or being isolated at home. A key reason for OVC staying in school in Uganda is the provision of lunch – for many this is the only guaranteed meal of the day.
HCA have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ugandan government to provide interventions that will increase the quality of children’s lives in the district of Kisoro.
Housing is almost inconsiderable for many of these children, with no clothes but rugs for some of them. Children have either lost both parents or are in female-only-led families, and the home-head is struggling to take care of a family without any sustainable income. These families have no land to farm on their own; they literally dig other peoples’ land in order to get food for their families, which is still not enough.
The effort is to ensure these children access basic needs: education with scholastic materials and lunch provided at school, sustainable food supply at home, clothing, a home where they feel loved and cared for, with access to medical care.
In addition to enabling OVC to be educated, the plan is for the children and their guardians to receive psychosocial support to enhance their adherence, resilience, and enable them develop additional life-skills, including the opportunity to start their own income-generating projects.
- Education – School fees, lunch, uniform.
- Health – Psychosocial support, nutrition, income generating projects.
- In Community – Life skills, Child protection.
HCA integrates active games both for the children and their caregivers, with aim to bring fun, health and activity to the children, thereby increasing cohesion and the opportunity to increase the level of life-skills for families, such as basic childcare and child-protection.
100 children attending school consistently for 3 years, growing and developing essential skills, confidence and opportunity.
Plot 52, Bunagana Road, Kisoro district, Uganda, East Africa.
OVC Project Kisoro Committee (Interim)
The OVC Project Kisoro (Kisoro OVC Intervention Project) works in collaboration with Kisoro Hospital, mainly, with an interim committee chaired by Ms. Jackie Nyirakwizera (Left), the Hospital Nursing Officer in charge of the HIV/AIDS Department.
The project has two on-station staff;
- Mrs. Patience Duhimbaze Gakuru (2nd Left), the Sports Counsellor and current head of administration affairs.
- Mr. George Duhimbaze (extreme right), Sports Outreach Volunteer.
We recognize the effort and support of the Joint Clinical Research Center which operates in Kisoro Hospital as the USAID Local Health Service Partner in Kigezi region. Three of the Kisoro committee members are part of the JCRC staff at the Anti-Retroviral Therapy Department, Kisoro Hospital;
- Ms. Justine Mpirirwe (3rd left)
- Mrs Vicky Nyiramugisha Ndengeye (3rd right)
- Ms. Jeninah Musabyimana (2nd right)
- COMMITTEE: For God’s wisdom and support as they give advice and insights to the OVC Project Kisoro team.
- STAFF: For God’s wisdom and effectiveness in operations.