FORWARD

Location: Jinja District Setting: Rural Established: 2003 Staff: 6

 

Subject Areas

Youth and Education: Communication, Social Leadership, Cognitive Development, Complimentary Learning, Personal and Professional Development, Teaching

Microenterprise: Small Business Management, Micro-Credit, Entrepreneurship, Strategic Business Development, Budgeting and Financial Management, Fundraising, New Enterprises

Health: HIV/AIDS, Infectious Diseases, Public Health, Nutrition, Disease Prevention, High-Risk Behavior

 

Organization Objectives

Pheobe Education Fund for Aids Orphans and Vulnerable Children (PEFO) was initiated to enable Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) to live happy and meaningful lives. Its goals are to:

  • Improve the welfare of OVCs through empowering their caretakers with skills to raise their household income
  • Identify and address necessary support for children to further educational pursuits
  • Empower children to face modern societal challenges and issues associated with HIV/AIDS
  • Create an environment for youth where mental, spiritual, and physical needs are met
  • Mobilize OVCS and caretakers and extend mobile counseling and testing services to them
  • Promote Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) and Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) services among OVC households and their environment in Jinja, Mukono, Bugiri and Busia Districts

 

Program Information

 

1. Education and Career Guidance

This program supports OVCs by providing scholastic materials, school fees, guidance, and counseling to primary and secondary students. It has been in existence since 2004, which was made possible with the support from the Stephen Lewis Foundation Canada. The number of sponsored children since PEFO began has steadily increased from 70 to 240 children to date. PEFO’S future plan is to have 500 OVCs enrolled in school by 2010. Forty-eight percent enrollment has already been achieved. This program has also increased the literacy levels among 240 vulnerable children.

 

Opportunities

  • Work with teachers via tutoring and counseling
  • Organize and administer awareness workshops with staff and general communities
  • Conduct home visits to encourage caretakers to create healthy environments
  • Assist in the expansion of programs into other schools through outreach, needs assessments, and networking with relevant partners
  • Research and strategize on program development
  • Help with fundraising and grantwriting for additional scholastic materials, school fees, support for caregivers and teachers, and other resources for projects

 

Requirements

  • High level of personal initiative
  • Background in education, social work, psychology, and/or community development
  • Organized and able to work both individually and in a group
  • Experience working with children and vulnerable groups
  • Patience, understanding, and sensitivity toward communities affected by HIV/AIDS
  • Interest in advocacy
  • Willingness to work in impoverished rural communities

 

2. Economic Empowerment and Livelihood

PEFO will train the OVCs’ caretakers in small–scale business management, entrepreneurship and savings to ensure that income-generating activities (IGAs) are viable and the proceedings are directed to supporting the OVCs. The organization will also provide group development and operation skills for those carrying out their IGA as a group. To enhance the sustainability of the IGAs, PEFO will promote a saving culture and economic use of limited resources among OVCs and their caretakers. Most OVC caretakers face the challenge of a sustainable income due to their dependence on subsistence farming where outputs are very low. They are not initially involved in IGAs because of their lack of startup capital. Consequently, most parents die without leaving anything for OVCs to survive on.

 

Opportunities

  • Assist in running the revolving micro-credit scheme to ensure sustenance and effectiveness
  • Build skills and knowledge of the OVCs’ caretakers in subjects such as business management, entrepreneurship, and agribusiness
  • Help conduct fundraising activities for the project locally and internationally

 

Requirements

  • Experience in running small-credit schemes, business management, and/or microfinance projects
  • Passion for working with rural communities or those affected by HIV/AIDS
  • Entrepreneurial creativity
  • Background in strategic planning and organizational development
  • Awareness and sensitivity toward issues affecting these communities
  • Some agricultural background helpful (farming, nutrition, livestock, etc.)

 

3. Window of Hope

The Window of Hope life skill program is a comprehensive behavior change approach that concentrates on the development of life management skills such as communication, decision-making, thinking, managing emotions, assertiveness, and building self-esteem and confidence (mainly for children, especially those affected by HIV/AIDS).

 

Opportunities

  • Assist in program development and expansion such as conducting community outreach, needs assessments, evaluations with beneficiaries (students, teachers, caregivers)
  • Lead life skills trainings to staff, caregivers, and students
  • Engage students in music, dance, drama, debates, and discussion
  • Create a peer education program using youth development theory

 

Requirements

  • Self-starter with high level of motivation and initiative
  • Background in counseling or social work
  • Knowledge of peer education and life skills tools
  • Experience in education systems
  • Knowledge of program development and strategic planning
  • Training experience, including holding workshops, developing materials, and organizing sessions

 

4. Young Farmers

PEFO will encourage the formation of Young Farmer’s Clubs in all sub-counties to equip OVCs with modern and easy methods of farming such as crop rotation and mixed farming. The club will bridge interactions between students and their parents by introducing issues and skills that are necessary for survival and self-reliance. Workshops will be organized at the end of every term where students can interact with successful farmers to learn hands-on about modern farming techniques. PEFO will also organize annual or seasonal exhibitions where the OVCs share innovations and market whatever they have produced.

 

Opportunities

  • Assist in program expansion to other secondary and vocational schools. Tasks include:
    • Outreach
    • Research and evaluation
    • Needs assessment
    • Talking to key players
    • Being actively involved in the community
  • Develop and facilitate life skills trainings, and workshops on sustainable agriculture, farming, crop rotation, and income generation
  • Create a training manual for the trainer program to ensure sustainability
  • Write grants and fundraise to gather resources for program development (e.g. materials, activities, resources needed for farming)
  • Organize and facilitate vocational training sessions at various locales in the community

 

Requirements

  • Background in agriculture, farming, nutrition, carpentry, sewing, life skills, and/or sports
  • Interest in working with rural poor
  • Ability to work and relate to youth
  • Experience in counseling and youth development
  • Highly motivated, and shows initiative and leadership

 

5. Counseling and Psychosocial Support

Because there is a lack of proper infrastructure in rural areas, counseling and psychosocial support services are primarily located in urban-based communities. Consequently, rural OVCs and caretakers do not have access to such services. Additionally, fear of community rejection has kept many people living with HIV/AIDS from seeking help. The psychological impacts of OVCs seeing their parents suffering and dying in pain often results in depression, guilt, anger, and fear. PEFO will mobilize the caretakers and beneficiaries and bring external counselors to provide monthly counseling services so that beneficiaries are able to better cope up with their current situations.

 

Opportunities

  • Conduct outreach to other NGOs and partners to create a network of support for caregivers and vulnerable children
  • Assist in program expansion and development through strategic planning with stakeholders, and needs assessments and analyses
  • Coach trainers in counseling practices and information dissemination
  • Create a drama group and/or work to develop a video or DVD to show nationally/internationally to raise awareness on the issues affecting OVCs
  • Assist in policy research and advising for child rights advocacy at the national and international levels

 

Requirements

  • Background in counseling or social work
  • Knowledge in visual arts (e.g. video, drama, storytelling)
  • Interest in issues that affect children and child advocacy
  • Highly motivated and takes initiative in semi-structured environment
  • Ability to act professionally in various settings with different stakeholders (e.g. government officials, local community members, NGO leaders)

 

Program Supervisor (All Programs)

The coordinator will supervise the work of FSD interns/volunteers, and will carry out a monthly monitoring and evaluation to ensure that they are on track. The coordinator is a graduate of Social Sciences.

 

Note: Responsibilities offered to each participant will be proportionate to their level of experience. Participants who are new to development work may predominantly support and assist current project agendas, while those with much applicable experience may be able to assume greater responsibility. Research projects are strongly encouraged by this organization to support each program’s objectives because minimal resources are currently allocated for research.

 

Working Conditions

The staff spends a typical 8-hour day in the office. If FSD participants conduct fieldwork, there is no set timeframe. Computers are available and are shared among staff. PEFO has a motorcycle or uses public transportation for fieldwork. PEFO also provides lunch and break tea for its staff.

 

Organizational Background

PEFO is a child-focused initiative that was founded by three community-minded youths as a response to the increasing number of OVCs. The founders grew up as orphans and were fortunate enough to be educated at the university level through the support of a Mill Hill Missionary.

 

PEFO helps OVCs attain self-esteem and self-reliance through socioeconomic and psychosocial support. It also economically empowers OVC caretakers/guardians (especially the widows, single parents, and grandmothers) through income-generating activities to increase their household incomes.

 

About PEFO’s Clients

The direct beneficiaries are OVCs and their caretakers/guardians. The broad stakeholders and participants of PEFO include the Ugandan government and immediate relatives and the community at large.