Wednesday, June 4, 2008

June Update

Summer Projects in Full Swing!
Report from Matt and Kristen:

1. Obstetric Fistula: This team seems to be getting started just great. William and Jen the coordinators are a good team and compliment each other quite well. They have gotten comfortable in Namungalwe and have taken a lot of initiative on their own. The whole team met with Dr. Waiswa and they asked really great questions and they obviously will be working very closely with him. They are planning a workshop on fistula with the clinic staff at Namungaluwe in the near future. They are also planning to go to Engender Health in the next week for a field trip. Julius, the Ugandan vol, has been a great help showing a lot of motivation and initiative as well. All the International vols are definitely bonding quickly and seem to be having a great time. Dr, Waiswa is set to go to Namungalwe on Monday to have a meeting regarding the brainstorming for capacity building for the fistula services.

2. Safe Water: Definitely the most village of the sites. They seem to be very happy. Kate the coordinator has been great, just putting herself out there and getting straight to work and being a fantastic leader. Kate has met with Reverend and Mr. Mugya on several occasions and has really planned out almost every day for the next 2 months. Right now they have begun their house-to-house survey. In addition to the sanitation questions, they have added malaria questions which we have borrowed from the Soft Power Health questionnaire. Evan, Abhijeet, and Latoya seem to be bonding well as a team and are really enjoying their work so far. They all came to watch me present the Shallow Well agreement to 3 villages with Reverend and they all wanted to take a role in the shallow wells being prepared for the Long family's visit. I just want to reiterate how well Kate has seemed to run with her project. I rarely hear from her and when I call to check in she really seems like she has a great grasp on everything. I am trying to organize a meeting with her and Rebecca from PSI sometime next week. Also, as far as the shallow wells go, we have made 2 attempts to meet with the villages in Kalalu. When I went, only 1 village showed up in force (the 1 where the meeting was held). Kristen went back and talked to a second village. She feels one of the other villages poorly represented for a second time should have their own meeting as the village is far, which is probably why they haven't really showed to any of the meetings. We're planning for Balidawa to hit the first village sometime next week to start the work. The shallow well in Bubbondo began on Friday and is making good progress.

3. Health care: Jon is a great leader. After a false positive of malaria, and 2 full days of sleeping and getting over whatever bug he did have, he is back at site and getting his team going. Jon has planned a very thorough schedule for the next 2 months. This team is still incomplete and waiting for their final team member Meg to arrive this Thursday. Their housing is really nice.

4. Orphan Support: Pamela at ACCOD has been a great help and the team is very busy paying school fees as we speak. Sarah understands the goals and objectives very well and feels very capable of accomplishing all of them. They are staying in town at the guesthouse and are very happy with their accommodation. Stephanie bought a football and has made friends with I think almost all the kids on that side of town. Maureen and Mary just got in yesterday and they are all getting on well. Yesterday they spent some time at WAACHA as well and were really impressed with all the different aspects of that organization. They've also moved with Pamela to some of the further schools in ACCOD's vehicle. Their plan is to knock out most of the school fee payments this week and then go back through the schools and spend more time with the students. Also, Sarah and her team visited the 2 potential university scholarship recipients. They talked to them at length and are planning to visit a couple of universities to work out prices and other issues like starting dates, etc.

The shallow wells we are preparing for the Longs are coming along. We have sited one and will be siting another in the beginning of next week. I did my first well presentation by myself and I think it went quite well. Matt has been great showing me the ropes around here, and I am feeling very comfortable and capable to take over when he leaves.

For the shallow wells, Kisimba Buliga is finished. The commissioning ceremony was on June 11th.

Also, William from the Fistula team has requested 200,000ush for a 30min radio spot to raise fistula awareness. I told him to figure out how much time he thought he would need to get his point across and to also see if there are any other organizations that would want to split the cost and time with them. This would be a good way to reach a lot of people it is on a very popular local radio station that a lot a people listen to.