What a productive week we’ve had here and a great way for us to start the new month (I still can’t believe it’s actually November). Our week began with a meeting with Mike to discuss our current projects and the progress we are making. Mike is in the process of working on the terms of SALVE’s partnership with CRO (Child Restoration Outreach), something which is integral to our working relationship and one we are keen on maintaining and developing. But as a result we have decided to put our weekly workshop on hold until the terms of the partnership have been agreed to ensure our work does not conflict in anyway. The street clinics were still held and we had a very energetic game of football on Tuesday. Unfortunately Stephen is off sick with malaria and we are hoping he will make a speedy recovery as we are sure all the boys missed him this week.
As a result of our meeting with Mike on Monday we arranged three meetings with Local Councilmen of three different communities for our community education and street girl research. We met with the LC of Wanyange (which is on the boarder of Bugembe, where the SALVE house is), the LC of Kikira and the LC of Wairasa. WE are concentrating our research on communities within the Jinja District as this is where we will be able to operate once we are a registered Community Based Organisation (CBO). However, we decided to visit Wairasa , which is actually in the Mayuge District as Mike sees it as a fertile ground for community education which currently does not receive any outside help from either NGOs or CBOs and is the home of two of the SALVE children, Moreen and Helena.
(Mike and Alice with the Wairasa LC)
We are finding this process extremely enlightening as we are learning about the biggest issues facing the communities and the types of community education they would like to receive. Although often they are similar it is interesting to see the varying needs amongst the communities and what they see as priorities. One issue that been highlighted to us is the number of communities is the excessive consumption of alcohol amongst the adults. The local brew, made from the by product of sugar production is made in the villages and readily available. In Wairasa we were shown the process and just to highlight how potent it is Mike joked that if we tried some we’d never make our flights home in December! Visiting the communities and meeting the LCs is also enabling us to have a better understanding of street girls and child headed households and the reasons behind their existence in the communities.
(The local brew being made)
On Thursday Alice visited Jinja hospital to research into what family planning and child spacing options were available to mothers in Jinja. She also spent some time of the maternity unity and it was really interesting for her to see the contrast with maternity units she has worked in back in the UK. The team she spent the day with was really great and I’m sure she will be visiting them again during her stay here. I spent the day working on the community education research and the street clinic guidelines. I also visited Joy School to see how the bead project, but unfortunately once again I was unable to meet the women working on the project as due to the torrential rain none of them we able to make the meeting. However, I will be returning next week to see how things are progressing and hopefully meet everyone involved! Friday brought our final LC meeting of the week and was another great source of information for our research; we’re hoping next week will be just as fruitful!
(Victoia cutting strips of paper to make the beads)
In other news Moreen has now completed her P7 exams and is back at the SALVE home, she was so pleased to be home and we’re really looking forward to spending some time with her next week and hearing all about how her exams and this term have been. Well that’s everything for this week, thanks for reading!
Lots of Love Esther and Alice xxx