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Kitovu Mobile Aids Organization
Location:Masaka, Uganda Setting: Urban Established: 1987 Staff: 66
Founded in 1987, Kitovu Mobile is a faith based organization that employs a multi-faceted, holistic approach to addressing the needs of those who are infected and affected by HIV/Aids throughout Uganda. This multi-facetted approach can roughly be divided into three primary areas of operation: home based care, counseling and education, and orphans support. The home based care department conducts a variety of services for the affected communities in the field that include, testing, treatment of opportunistic infections, anti-retroviral drug programs, as well as palliative care. The counseling department works in the communities to reduce the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS and provides counseling to those that have been traumatized by the disease. They also work to educate the community about HIV/AIDS to help prevent the spread of the disease. Finally, Kitovu Mobile operates an extensive network to help support the orphans of HIV/AIDS. This includes the operation of an organic farming school that provides these orphans with valuable job skills, as well as a program designed to finically support the orphans’ grandmothers, the primary care givers of these children.
HIV/AIDS: Home based and palliative care, counseling, training
Community Development Topic: Farm schools, self help groups
Youth and Education Topic: Support of orphaned and vulnerable children (OVCs)
Kitovu Mobile aims to create an empowered community with the ability to cope with HIV/AIDS and its impact. To improve the quality of life of people affected by HIV and AIDS, Kitovu Mobile works with communities in the areas of prevention, care, support and capacity building. Their specific objectives are the following:
i. Improve the health of people living with HIV and AIDS
ii. Improve the coping mechanisms of HIV positive people
iii. Improve the standard of living in the organizations targeted areas
iv. Improve access to counseling services for traumatized orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs)
v. Build stronger resilience among OVCs through education and life skills
vi. Improve agricultural production and use of available natural resources among households with OVCs that have dropped out of school
vii. Strengthen ability of target groups to deal with the psycho-social and economic consequences of
Kitovu Mobile works directly with people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs). It provides anti-retroviral therapy (ART), palliative care and medical treatment for opportunistic infections. These services are based out of 121 centers which allows for more clients to be helped. In addition the organization trains community workers to sensitize local communities about such topics as basic facts of HIV/AIDS, behavior change, family planning, home-based care and will making. Counseling is also a large part of what Kitovu Mobile does as a way to limit the psychological impact of the disease on the population.
- Work alongside staff to provide medical and palliative care to clients
- Assist in the training of community workers to help combat impact and stigma
- Work directly with counselors and clients to provide psycho-social support
- Assess the needs of clients and communities and develop new activities or trainings
- Research methods to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on communities
- In-depth knowledge of HIV/AIDS and the issues surrounding it
- Experience conducting trainings or seminars
- Experience with counseling individuals and groups
- Strong research and assessment skills
- Innovative and creative
Kitovu Mobile recognizes that HIV/AIDS not only affects an individual, but it affects their family as well, emotionally and financially. One issue continually witnessed is that teenage youth often must drop out of school because of a lack of funds or support. Kitovu Mobile targets this problem by providing valuable training through Mobile Farm Schools to teach modern, sustainable, integrated, organic farming skills as well as forming Self Help Groups.
- Assist staff to facilitate the creation Mobile Young Farmers Groups (MYFG) and Self Help Groups (SHG)
- Identify areas of need within groups and develop trainings to target those needs
- Educate and raise awareness among members about HIV/AIDS
- Develop and expand income generating activities (IGAs)
- Create extra-curricular activities for youth
- Knowledge of sustainable agricultural practices
- Strong research and assessment skills
- Ability to communicate effectively
- Knowledge of HIV/AIDS
- Flexible and creative
Youth and Education
The youngest generation is greatly affect by HIV/AIDS due to the fact that the disease has removed their parents or disabled them. Kitovu Mobile aims to help these children live as normal a life as possible by paying school fees, monitoring their progress in school, conducting home-based visits to provide psycho-social support and meeting with guardians to share information on childcare.
- Conduct home-based visits to assess the needs of OVCs(SHG)
- Lead seminars with guardians to highlight the needs of children
- Develop activities for OVCs to enhance their education and integration into society
- Hold educational sessions with OVCs about HIV/AIDS
- Fundraise to help pay for school fees
- Background in working with children
- Knowledge of issues affecting orphans and vulnerable children
- Experience with fundraising
- Creative and innovative
Kitovu Mobile has its main offices in Masaka-town, but additionally has 121 centers dispersed through the districts they work in where they conduct their much of their activities. Interns will work out of the main office and although there are computers there, they are encouraged to bring their own. All staff speak English very well, but a basic knowledge of Luganda will be useful for the intern to interact with clients.
Kitovu Mobile began in 1987 in response to the overwhelming impact of HIV/AIDS in Masaka and Rakai districts. The organization was founded by Ursula Sharpe, a medical missionary working in the area. Initially the main purpose of Kitovu Mobile was to care for people with HIV and AIDS and conduct preventative education. Today its operations have expanded to include the communities affected by the disease not only the patients themselves. At this point Kitovu Mobile cares for over 4000 people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHAs) as well as training 2000 disadvantaged youth in modern sustainable agriculture to ensure they have a source of income.
About Kitovu Mobile's Clients:
Kitovu Mobile’s clients consist of people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHAs) as well as orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) and in general the communities of Masaka, Rakai, Lyantonde, and Ssembabule where the organization works and promote awareness of HIV/AIDS.
Some previous projects initiated by FSD interns with Kitovu Mobile have included:
- An anonymous question box were school children could ask questions about HIV/AIDs or other STDs or report various forms of harassment
- A community mobilizer training program in which community members in various hard to reach communities were trained in various techniques used to mobilize and organize out of school youth so that they could be more easily reached by Kitovu Mobile’s counseling department
- A self help group project in which the grandmothers of AIDS orphans come together to discuss various issues as well as to pool their resources into a group fund which can be used to make small loans to the group’s members in order to pursue income generating activities or to offset the cost of various emergencies.