Hello! My name is Joyce LaLonde, and I am currently heading a project to the Oyam District, Uganda with a group of 15 Syracuse University students. Leading the project has been an incredibly collaborative effort filled with enriching moments every step of the way. Please consider donating to my project as I work to eradicate poverty through sustainable development!
What is the challenge?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 51% of the Ugandan population lives on less than $1 USD per day, which is considered “absolute poverty.” Over the last 25 years, Uganda has also faced a huge lack of access to health education and basic health services among its population. A mere 32% of Ugandan women have a comprehensive knowledge of HIV/AIDS and 41% of the Ugandan population’s needs for family planning are unmet.
A lack of knowledge about reproductive and sexual health along with inadequate provisions for sanitation and hygiene prevent Ugandans, particularly in rural areas like the Oyam District where the project will take place, from rising out of poverty. Women also lack income-generating skills, which prevent them from affording health services and other critical expenses, keeping them below the poverty line.
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, thus increasing the likelihood these practices will be observed. 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.
Our goal is to raise $1,000 to implement this project. With your generous donation, the Oyam Distric community will be able to achieve a much higher standard of living and a collective healthier lifestyle. Consider donating any amount you can to help make a lasting impact in this community.