Monday, July 8, 2013

Update from the field: Kazigo A

So much has happened over the last few weeks that it’s a bit difficult to capture completely. To introduce ourselves we are a team of six, with members hailing from California, Iganga, Jinja, Michigan, and New Jersey. Our names are Jill, Sues, Pricilla, Chirs, Soha, and Rebecca, and we’ve all come to live and work in rural East Uganda for the next nine weeks . As the follow-up team our goals are simple, but perhaps more difficult in practice: we seek to evaluate the impact of several programs put in place by the Uganda Village Project in four village communities. Although we will be living in Kazigo A, we will also be working in Kazigo B, Kidago A, and Kidogo B. The following is a snapshot of what we’ve done thus far.

Moving into the village, we were welcomed with warmth and enthusiasm. We spend most of the first week getting to know the Village Health Team members, members of a Ugandan Ministry of health pilot initiative which was set in place to improve the health of rural villages. The main areas of focus include water and sanitation, Malaria, HIV/AIDS, and Family Planning.

Home, Sweet Home

To support our sanitation program, one of our first priorities was to construct a dish rack for sanitary dish drying and a tippy tap, which is a device used to effectively wash one’s hands in settings without running water. Paul, an experienced member of a neighboring team, helped us construct ours and demonstrate its use.

Sues(team leader) working on the dish rack.

Constructing the tippy tap with the guidance of Paul.

The finished product! From left to right: Paul, Sues, Chris, Soha, Pricilla, Rebecca, Jill, and Leah.

As Friday approached we had completed meeting with most of the Village Health Team members in our four communities. This was a critical first step as these members know their communities best, and will be invaluable partners for the rest of the internship.

On Friday, we had quite a treat. We got the opportunity to watch the local village drum team rehearse. Not only was it a spectacle to watch, this group was said to be a great asset to last year’s team. They helped with mobilizing members of the community and getting across health messages in a culturally relevant way. We’re very excited to work with them in the future.

Local Drum Group.

Although it feels like we’ve already done so much, in reality we’ve only scratched the surface. Stay tuned to hear of our work through the summer. 

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