One one of the great joys I have in my life is getting to visit Uganda multiple times a year to work alongside our amazing and dedicated staff. We have been working for the people of the Rakai and Kyotera Districts of Uganda for fourteen years and I am still moved by the strength and commitment of our Ugandan partners, not just our twenty-two full time staff but also the thousands of beneficiaries in the rural communities we serve.
Arriving on Friday, I stepped into our offices and found that this week is a programmatic three-ring circus for Brick by Brick Uganda. We have three lively week-long trainings going on simultaneously throughout Kalisizo. Here at our own training facility, 22 teachers are receiving a Practical Science Training, led by Dutch Science Education advocate, Edward Wolfs. He is the founder of Experi-box.org. Edward shows teachers how to use his science lab in a box, with over 100 experiments available. Starting on Thursday, we will be joined by the We Share Solar team, who will be leading a STEM Training for our teachers, followed by the instillation of solar systems in 20 local schools! Over the next few months, we will partner with We Care Solar to provide light for the first time in fifteen maternity units who are now delivering babies in the dark.
Just down the road, our My Pads/DREAMS team is leading a Training of Trainers workshop for 24 teachers and 30 peer educators from six secondary schools who will be facilitating our 9-session My Pads Program over the next three months. This innovative sexual and reproductive health program, gives adolescent girls and young women the knowledge and life skills to stay in school and reduce the risk of early marriage, sexual and gender-based violence and sexually-transmitted diseases, including HIV. With your support, it has already reached almost 2500 young women throughout Uganda, with 1000 projected to participate this year alone.
Finally, our Babies and Mothers Alive (BAMA) Program is holding a training in life saving skills in emergency obstetric and newborn care for 20 local midwives. All of them work at Health Center IIs, which are now starting to provide maternal and newborn care in our rural districts for the first time. This is an important development, as it reduces travel time for laboring mothers in remote rural villages. This critical delay in skilled attendance at birth is a major cause of maternal and newborn deaths. So, clinical skills training, which giving our midwives the knowledge they need to care for all of our mothers and babies, is a major priority of the BAMA Program. For all of them, this is their first exposure to this level of training and mentoring.
Meanwhile, I type away in the silence of a practically empty office, knowing that all of our staff are busy serving the people of Uganda. I couldn’t be happier!! Such good work, so many lives touched and none of it is possible without your partnership.
If you want to learn more about our work, please join us for our International Women's Day event on Thursday March 8th 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm @ the offices of Houlihan Lokey 245 Park Avenue @ 46th and 47th. And SAVE THE DATE for our 7th ANNUAL BLUES NIGHT FUNDRAISER on Wednesday April 18th, 6:30PM-10:30PM at the Prospect Park Picnic House.
On behalf of the half a million people we are privileged to serve, we thank you for all that you do to help make our vital work possible.
All the best,