My name is Rachel and I am a senior at Syracuse University graduating in May with a degree in Social Work. I will be attending the University of Michigan in the fall to obtain my Masters of Social Work with a focus in community organization, healthcare and global social work.
This summer I am traveling to Uganda along with 15 of my SU peers to work on a sustainable volunteer project to promote improved sanitation, reprodutive health and economic independence among Ugandan women in the Oyam District. Please read more about our project and consider donating to support me on this adventure! Thank you :)
How will this project address the challenge?
Nourish at Syracuse University will work with Global Health Network (U), known as GHN(U), a nonprofit based in Oyam District, Uganda. GHN(U) aims to promote, protect and preserve the health of all Ugandans through leadership, partnership, innovation and concerted action in Primary Health Care. Our joint project will address the challenges that women in Oyam District face in three ways:
First, our team of Project Interns from SU and community members in Uganda will work to improve sanitation and hygiene in the communities in the Oyam District. Team members will visit homes throughout the district and provide educational materials about good sanitation and hygiene practices. In addition, team members will construct pit latrines for extremely vulnerable households, which will dramatically improve sanitation conditions.
Next, the team will hold organized sessions about prenatal care, prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS, common childhood illnesses, vaccinations and immunizations, nutrition and family planning. These sessions will provide women in the Oyam District with critical information about improving sexual and reproductive health, benefiting not only themselves, but their children as well. This aspect of the project will also incorporate visits to houses in the community as well as radio advertisements about relevant health information to expand the reach of the information within the community.
Finally, the team will be providing job skills training to women in the community, helping them to gain financial management skills and learn to implement micro enterprises. The community has chosen to focus on agricultural activities and designing and producing clothes, so the team will help them to create businesses that focus on growing sesame and soybeans as well as tailoring. This part of the project aims to empower women economically so that they can improve their overall quality of life and access to adequate health care.
What will be the long-term impacts of this project?
This project will have a sustainable impact that will continue to improve the health of Ugandans in the Oyam District, gradually contributing to the eradication of poverty in their communities.
Long-term outcomes include:
1. Improved sanitation – stemming from the availability of new pit latrines and access to accurate information about hygienic practices
2. Better health among women and children – generated by the knowledge provided about sexual and reproductive health that will later be imparted to more and more women
3. Economic independence for women – women will become confident and successful business owners by applying the training provided during the project. Their ability to provide income for their families will contribute to improved health care for all family members.