Friends of Goodwill gives hope to Oyam’s vulnerable community


Youths from Kamdini lining up for Health Counseling and Testing [HCT] recently. A FoG photo.
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Kamdini – Friends of Goodwill (FoG), a not for profit, non governmental organization with its head office in Apac district headquarters has taken a step higher in giving hopes and chances to vulnerable community in Oyam district.

FoG, formed in 2010 is registered with both Apac and Oyam districts local governments, as well as with the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Early this year, FoG received funds under The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief – PEPFAR or the Emergency Plan.

The five-year bilateral commitment by the United States Government is to support HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment programs in developing countries.

The targeted beneficiaries of the PEPFAR Uganda Community Grants is to combat HIV/AIDS in Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs), Key Populations (KPs), Men and Young Males, People Living with HIV (PLHIV), Adolescents Girls and Young Women (AGYW).

Youths of Amaji village, Kamdini sub-county displaying free condoms distributed by FoG (Peer Educators) after condom use demonstration. A FoG photo.

Friends of Goodwill (FoG) was awarded a grant by PEPFAR for a project entitled: “Strengthening HIV/AIDS Prevention, Education and Care for HIV-Positive Young People in Kamdini Sub-County and surrounding areas.”

The one year project, according to FoG Co-Founder and Chairman, Mr. Peter Acol, started from May 2019 to May 2020.

“Friends of Goodwill’s goal is to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS prevention strategies and empower local communities in the Oyam district and Kamdini sub-county to address early marriage, teen pregnancy, gender-based violence and reproductive health.”

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In the first quarter (May-July 2019) of the project implementation phase, FoG conducted three HIV/AIDS advise sessions, community mobilization and sensitization outreaches, during which condoms were distributed and, health counselling and testing (HCT) sessions were conducted.

“On 14th June 2019, we conducted a sensitization session at Amaji trading centre (covering Te-Toci, Amenye, Tenam and Amukungungu villages). This is an area near Karuma Hydro-power station and direct beneficiaries met were construction workers from Karuma hydro-power station as well as boda-boda riders. They were informed and sensitized about HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence (GBV),” FoG’s statement reads.

In that engagnement, a total of 262 youths aged 10 – 24 years, and 38 adults; comprising 18 women and 20 men attended the event.

On 21st June 2019, the organization also conducted an advice session at Kamdini main market (covering Buga, Township, Ogek, Akele, Abanya A, Abanya B and Obari villages).

This session was aimed as supporting adolescent boys and girls with sexual rights health (SRH) information, awareness so as to empowering them with value-based life skills with special emphasis on HIV/AIDs prevention tips and risk factors that expose many young people to HIV infections.

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A total of 154 youths aged 10 -24 years, comprising 108 males and 46 females attended. 

The third HIV/AIDs advice sessions was conducted on 23rd June 2019 at Apala B trading centre (covering Apala B, Apala A, Bombay, Onea A, Onea B and Tit villages) where a total of 162 youths aged 10-24, comprising 78 males and 84 females also attended the session.

According to FoG, those sessions led to the formation of 21 youth groups at villages levels in two parishes of Apala B and Kamdini, where health workers demonstrated condom use with emphasis on using it correctly and consistently with 2,800 pieces of condoms distributed to both girls and boys voluntarily during the first HIV/AIDs prevention advice sessions.

Health Educator of Kamdini Health Centre III, Emmanuel Eyoko (holding microphone) advising youths about life skills. A FoG photo.

Results

A FoG report shows that out of 56 people who attended HCT sessions, 04 were found to be HIV Positive and were referred for Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) services; youths were empowered and able to access health counselling and testing (HCT), condoms and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) freely.

“Ninteen (19) condom dispensers were installed at busy trading centres, bars and lodges and balance of 6 dispensers will be procured and distributed in the second quarter (August – October 2019).”

According to Mr. Jasper Adoko, FoG’s Project Manager, there’s yet another engagnement on 23rd October, this year in Norah parish, Kamdini sub-county where over 1000 people are expected.

Mr. Adoko told TND News on Sunday that there will be Voluntary Counselling and Testing, Livelihood skills training to youth, menstrual health hygiene skills to girls, among others.

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