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What’s been happening in our project with the bicycle healthworkers?

What’s been happening in our project with the bicycle healthworkers?
16/07/2014 admin

Food and income Livelihood security for people living with HIV/AIDS –  with Partners REEP, Kenya

April to June 2014

 Here is the good news!!

  • 150 new community support groups have been formed with a total of 5,400 members.
  • 70% of support group members (60% female) have said they’ve reduced the risk of exposure to HIV/AIDS through the advice given to them.
  • 2,926 people in the groups who are living with HIV/AIDS have reported that they are now experiencing less discrimination and increased participation in family and community life.
  • This quarter April – June, 342 people including orphans have been trained in food growing to reduce hunger and insecurity about food supply as well as improve nutrition through greater variety of vegetables.
  • The health team have given talks on reproductive education in schools including girls so that they can make informed decisions in their lives.

The health unit observed that conducting community outreach at market places was successful in reaching more people and so this new method will be continued next quarter.  Over 2,000 people received information on HIV and Rights while over 540 were counselled and tested this quarter using this approach.

The Health Volunteers have taught caregivers to understand the importance of children taking breakfast in the morning and how this contributes to their overall participation and performance in school.

Improved nutrition has continued to be observed amongst families of people living with HIV/AIDS especially the children.  This is a result of better kitchen gardening techniques and use of local vegetables taught by volunteers.

‘Bulking’ sites have been set up.  This is where seeds, corms and other items are brought and shared among group members.

Children orphaned through AIDs related illness or other causes are now able to freely source sweet potato vines and cassava cuttings and seeds from bulking sites belonging to support groups close to their homesteads.  This has assured them of a supply of food.

Good nutrition amongst the children has allowed for regular school attendance and less time off sick.

There has been a noticeable reduction in family discord as those who were sick are now able to participate economically and take responsibility.

Rights awareness has enabled inclusion of those who previously excluded themselves from participation due to fear of other people’s opinions.  More than 10 have taken up leadership positions in their churches while 1 is applying for a statutory leadership role.

There are many success stories to tell and Mama Clare Oloo from Vumilia support group in Matungu is one of the people whose life has changed.  She depended entirely on neighbours and relatives before APT’s partner, the REEP enterprise team, offered her food security and enterprise skills training.

She benefited from a starter kit of 50 grams packet of kales and some natural pesticides.  She ventured into production of kale on a half-acre piece of land and today supplies kale to Munami secondary school where she is paid well and now able to feed the family and pay for school fees and other requirements.

Looking to the future – What next?

Some activities planned for the next quarter

  • Refresher training for volunteer healthworkers
  • Formation of support groups and their development
  • More horticulture training to improve methods and grow extra to generate an income
  • Provide starter kits of groundnuts, banana and hibiscus for seed bulking
  • Establishment of model demonstration farms for teaching new skills
  • Group therapy and rights awareness for couples & children living with HIV/AIDS
  • School and community outreach

Posted by E Grisenthwaite 16th Jul 2014

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