Sunday, 17 September 2017

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

AICOD Activity Report June -July 2016

P.O Box 57 Lyantonde, Uganda
The mandate of AICOD is to contribute to the fundamental basic needs of children with disabilities and other vulnerable living under difficult circumstances to minimum standards, for a life of dignity through Home based Care, social rehabilitation and advocacy services that improve on their living conditions.
This report highlights AICOD’s activities in the months of June and July 2016. These include among others: Medical assessment, Make a difference day, Community Mobilisation, formation of mother’s groups and home visits (follow-up).
Medical Assessment:
The organisation together with Uganda Marathon staff identified Bonnie an 8 year old boy who was being tied onto a tree by his family for fear of him getting lost as they were ignorant of what can be done to him. After several visits, it was decided by the Marathon team to have him taken to Masaka referral Hospital for medical Assessment. Bonnie was taken to the hospital mental health department and was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by the Psychiatric doctor. The doctor prescribed medicine for him and home based rehabilitation was recommended in order to have him accepted and integrated with other family and community

 Bonnie currently is taken by the AICOD office together with his Grandma to Masaka Hospital every after four weeks for review; “there is a very significant positive change in Bonnie!” the doctor exclaimed when we took Bonnie for the third review. The Marathon has continued to provide transportation and the cost of medication for Bonnie.

Make a deference Day.
AICOD has entered into partnership with Uganda International Marathon and both parties agreed to implement activities aimed at improving the livelihoods of children with disabilities and their households. In this regard, Bennie’s household was selected to benefit from the Make difference day of the Uganda Marathon whereby volunteer runners offer a helping hand to vulnerable persons in communities around Masaka. On 2nd June, a team of 13 volunteers comprising of 12 young men and women from Europe and United Arab Emirates and 1 Ugandan young man braved the whole sunny day from morning till evening working on fence around Bennie’s grandparent’s homestead and installing some locally made play  gadgets for Bonnie. The homestead is in Lyabuguma village, Biwolobo parish in Lyantonde sub-county-Lyantonde district.
 The whole cost of the fence was financed by the Uganda marathon. The community members around Bonnie’s household also enthusiastically came and participated in the construction work which was also witnessed by the local council chairperson of the village.
Parents of other disabled children were also invited to come and witness the event as to gain some understanding and need to take good care of their children.

Impact of the intervention:
1.      Bonnie who was a lonely young boy and regarded a curse in the family, some other people who live nearby had this to say “our children fear to come near him because he is a dangerous animal he might harm them”. This statement has since changed many children now spend most of their time with him in the play gadgets swinging with him while hugging.
2.      The family of Bonnie which had been regarded a cursed one is now regarded as a blessed one since the visit of the volunteers. Many neighbours now visit and spend time at the household.
3.      Bonnie’s Grandparents are overwhelmed by the support and the sudden changes that have occurred in the young boy. These are the remarks made by the grandparents of Bonnie:
Grandpa:“ I never imagined in my life that this child will  ever become so important in this family because we have always counted him a loss and waited for a time when he will die and get  relief over him now see what he has brought in my compound; who ever imagined that a Muzungu will ever step in this home but now see how many are these!”.

Grandma: “Children in this village used to refer to him as an animal, and could not come near him but now see they are hugging and seated with him in a swing God is great I don’t know how to thank you people you have removed shame and stigma from us!”

4.      Generally, there is great improvement in the general welfare of Bonnie; he no longer chews the clothes, he now sits with the rest of the family on meals previously they used to throw food for him outside at the tree where he was tied; his fellow children now can play with him so he has company and has gained acceptance from all the people at home. He now moves freely around the homestead and takes himself into the play gadgets alone and gets out when he is done.

            The Marathon day.
AICOD was on 5th June 2016 effectively represented by 6 people four of whom are staff members and two are members of the organisation at the Marathon day. All the six people fully participated in the running and finished their respective distances. After all the run all the people commented “this is a race like no other”. The race was overwhelmingly exciting and members of the AICOD team vowed to participate in all other future races together with their friends. The race was intended to raise funds to support various projects in Greater Masaka.

Community mobilisation:
The organisation through its local volunteers has launched a mobilisation campaign to identify and register children with disabilities in Lyantonde district. This program will initially cover 3 sub-counties of Lyantonde rural, Lyantonde Town Council and Kaliiro. 5 meetings under this have been conducted and   2 in Lyantonde rural, 2 in Lyantonde Town and 1 in Kaliiro. Out of these, a total of 75 children with varied disabilities have been registered, as follows:
-          Lyantonde rural   22 children from 2 parishes.
-          Lyantonde town  17 children from selected  villages of both parishes
-          Kaliiro                   36 children from 1 parish
The purpose of this program is to know the number of the children and use the data to plan effective interventions that suites each individual child.
This office has entered negotiations with the education department of Lyantonde district local government to secure way of how best these children can be supported to attain education appropriately. We are still brainstorming and hope a good plan will come out of these talks.

Formation of Mama Groups:
Though out all places where we have gone to register the children, 99.9% of the parents and care givers who turned up are women (Mothers). This together with our personal experiences confirms that its only mothers who bear the burden of care and support of their children and father only care when they understand that there will be some gain financially or materially.
This organisation has come up with an idea to support these mothers with knowledge and other resources to sustainably and effectively provide adequate care and support to their children. 5 Mama Groups have so far been formed as follows:

  •            2 groups  in Kiyinda – Kaliiro with 32 members all together
  •           1 group in Kalagala  – Lyantonde rural  with 11 members
  •           1 group in Lyantonde town with 10 members
  •           1 group in Gayaza - Lyantonde rural with 12 members.
All groups are still at their formative stage but with a lot of enthusiasm to make a difference. This calls for a lot capacity building to make their dreams come true.

1.      The Organisation has no source of income at all. We only expect to receive the first grant from the Uganda marathon which will be a spring board for future development prospects.

2.      Lack of transport. The organisation has been depending on a private borrowed vehicle that has been returned to its owner. This is a great challenge as most of the work needs vehicle transport to transport children for medical assessment and or rehabilitative therapies.

3.      The organisation due to lack of funding has no permanent staff. We rely heavily on our volunteer members to do all the activities. Sometimes we are forced to suspend some field activities when they coincide with the volunteers personal programmes.

4.      Most of the children identified are not in school and yet they are of school going age. An urgent plan needs to be made to ensure that they go to school.

5.      The organisation lacks major office running costs especially with regard to communication i.e. telephone and internet which are very pertinent in the growing organisation like AICOD. All along these costs have been from the founder’s pockets which seem to be drying up.

Way forward:
1.      To intensify resource mobilisation for the sustainability of the organisation.
2.      Capacity building and support of the Mama groups to make them operational.
3.      Conclude discussions with education department to make the children access education.
4.      Plan for medical and or professional assessment of the identified children to determine each child’s disabilities and needs.
5.      To network with other actors in the provision of services to children with disabilities.
6.      To secure appropriate means of transport to ease movement and program activities.
This is a worthwhile undertaking that calls for Multisectoral approach and combined efforts of several stakeholders including welwishers, government institutions, donor agencies, parents and local leaders. Children with disabilities deserve equal treatment like that of able-bodied counterpart. They equally have potentials that once supported, they can become productive and self reliant in future. I call upon all stakeholders to support these children to attain quality livelihoods.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

AICOD Marks its end of year one in style.

Today marks the end of year one at the vocational training centre. Trainees have gone home for their first year vacation in style having failed to do end of year practical exams due to lack of materials needed for that purpose. Nevertheless, the year ended well with very notable improvement in their training career. On a sad note however, six of our trainees never completed the year they were forced to drop out of the training due lack of support in terms of meals and training materials and worst still domestic violence against them as most of these were from polygamous households. These children have always complained of harassment from their step parents who were giving them hard time at home with an intent to fail them to attain this training. Domestic violence is rampant in this area and is affecting a lot of children from achieving a decent livelihoods. AICOD had nothing to do since she is still crawling and looking for support too. otherwise we could have intervened to see that they continue their training. Otherwise AICOD is striving to get the necessary support  to ensure that we provide a full package for our trainees in future. That's why we call up on well-wishers to join hands with us to curb this dropout rate.

We still believe that vocational skills training is the best fish we can offer to the children with disabilities and other vulnerable children to enable them live decent lives in future.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Dutch Volunteers visit AICOD

AICOD today hosted a group of 5 volunteers from Be-more Netherlands who came on a fact finding mission on AICOD's activities especially activities for children with disabilitites. They were particularly suprised to find young people learning to make clothes at the AICOD Vocational training centre saying "we are suprised to see such young girls and boys making such nice shirts and skirts in such a short time amidst lack of adequate machines and training materials!". They toured some of the households with children living with disabilities in Gayaza village- Biwolobo parish and Kyamiyonga in Lyantonde town where they interucted with the children and their care takers.

This is Mugga Christopher who was visited. He lives with an Old Grandmother.

This is Bonny with Autism He too lives with a Grandma. His father died and the mother abandoned him because of his disability.  When we identified him, he was tied onto a tree like a goat to prevent him from moving around. After several visits by our staff, Bonny is now left to play with his peers and today we were happy to find him playing with peers.

Clinton also lives with his mother in a rented house in Lyantonde town. He does not speak but his hearing is good.
He will be enrolled in the vocational training at AICOD soon.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

AICOD achieves yet another milestone

Formed in August 2009, AICOD was registered as a community Based Organisation in December 2009. AICOD has registered yet another major landmark in its four years of existence by formally being accepted as a fully paid up member of Lyantonde NGO Network Forum on 23rd July 2014 at the forum’s annual general meeting. The Forum is an umbrella organization for all Civil Society Organizations(CSO) in Lyantonde District working in the thematic areas of HIV/AIDS, Health, Economic strengthening, Education, Child protection and legal support, Food security and Nutrition, Water, Sanitation and Shelter. The Forum was formed to provide a platform for coordination towards strengthened CSO contribution to the national and district response to socio-economic development.

AICOD is proud to have achieved this milestone as it is now going to join other development actors in the response towards sustainable rural development. At AICOD, we are committed to utilize this platform to contribute to the fundamental basic needs people living under difficult circumstances to minimum standards for a life of dignity through advocacy, community capacity building and creation of institutional and physical structures that improve on their living conditions. AICOD pays more attention to supporting children with disabilities and other vulnerable children in the areas of Home based rehabilitation, Child protection, Vocational skills training for economic security, Inclusive education and advocacy for equitable service delivery.

Monday, 7 July 2014

AICOD Receives a Boost!

It was all joy at AICOD’S Vocational training Centre as a donation of 3 sewing machines were delivered on Friday 20th June 2014. It has been crippling with only 3 sewing machines and 9 children were sharing one machine meaning that at least now our machine – child ratio has reduced to at least 1:5, so this donation is big relief to the organisation.

The machines were donated by Rural Action Community Based Organisation (RACOBAO) a child and HIV/AIDS focused organisation based in Lyantonde. AICOD is providing vocational training to children with disabilities and other vulnerable children to provide them with skills for independent living and economic sustainability. Most of the children have dropped out of, or never attended, school at all.

The Founder Receiving the Machines from RACOBAO
Now, 29 children are enrolled using only 6 sewing machines. These children come from very poor families and some are orphans and also taking care of their siblings. Thus cannot afford to get training materials, such as cloths for cutting, thread, tape measure and above all lunch because the Centre is not able provide them. We appeal to well-wishers who are willing to donate to this cause to make the lives of these vulnerable children more fulfilling.