Lwengo rural development support organisation focusses on improving human wellbeing through improving income generation, environmental conservation, health services and food security.
It has taken course for Lwerudeso to realise institutions in place. From the very start we saw much need for our service so we could provide items to individuals for example hoes, animals for rearing, seeds for planting as a way of improving food security. We gave out water drums, clothes, food to the hungry, we bought scholastic materials to many children in many schools. We helped people get access to health services from various health centres. This implied that whatever the organisation worked for was receiving a fund and hand it out to immediate needs of individuals. This could not be sustainable if a source is not made sustainable. Therefore, there had to be institutionalisation of most of the activities to realise a permanent impact of this organisation. Some of these projects have stood to be famous and life changing as will be seen below.
THE SCHOOL PROJECT
Looking back in the year 2008-2011, the level of literacy was very low in Lwengo community and this was evidenced by few schools, poor performance of schools, low teacher to pupil ratio in classes, few educated individuals, many children out of school. This pushed the founder to find better ways of improving literacy of this community and thus came up with the idea starting up a central institution, a child development and learning centre to support all children no matter the level of vulnerability. This started as impossible but with many hands and much faith it’s now standing as big and growing Lwerudeso Primary School that has grown from shades to buildings and increased in numbers every year. Every year the school registers over 500 children that most of these are orphans and others from vulnerable families. A change is already being realised for some children have graduated from primary to secondary, technical and others are working already.
Results from National Learning assessment report that was read last year 2018, it found out that Lwengo had 34.9% children who are in school and are learning higher than a national figure that was 32.1% which shows a big improvement though much is needed in the education sector.
As a double sustainability strategy, the school will keep providing a service to every child and also earns some income to run its own activities. Parents contribute a fair and affordable fee to keep this project standing.
Our school is undergoing expansion to have more classrooms and dormitories for improved service delivery.
Currently we have comfortable dormitories for boarding children to accommodate 100 boys and 100 girls. They have standard beds a mattress and musquito nets on each bed for 200 children all this sponsored by Lwengo Kids Foundation.
We have constructed improved modern toilets that were meant to reduce risks of children falling into the latrine, they are longastng and user friendely for all groups of people.
We thank the staff, community, partners that are all contributing to this genuine cause of ensuring quality education without any discrimination. These partners include, Lwengo Kids Foundation, Be More, Children Of Uganda, Peace Corps, Individual volunteers and all who have been active in this project.
HEALTH CENTRE PROJECT
in charge Lwerudeso Health Centre
doctor Lubega Samuel
In a fight to improve accessibility and quality of health care services, we transformed from seeking for services to provision of service. Due to high rates of deaths, people dying of HIV/AIDS minus treatment, limited access to the few health centres due to long distances, not enough drugs in the available health centre, few health workers and lack of community health mobilisation increased health risks and deaths. People needed all these services but it was not easy to access them without any support. Lwerudeso working with the local government started its journey of saving people’s lives by setting up health camps with activities that included HIV/AIDS counselling, testing and referral, training village health teams to continue with health education even at a lower level. People actively participated, got treatment, others were referred for further treatment. Health information and education was given but even though this was done, at a certain point it meant that activities would seize because all these activities to take place there had to be lobbying for funds and support from other organisations like PACE, World Vision, Civil Society Fund and others to fund them that had to phase out after.
Research shows that in Uganda less than 50% of the population attend to government health centres whereas up to 60% people get health care services from private facilities meaning there is still a gap in the health system. On ground, in Lwengo district there are still people dying of HIV/AIDS, non-communicable diseases, giving birth in villages has increased maternal deaths. This is because there are very long distances to the one few government health centres that are always full of patients with insufficient drugs and slow service delivery. At a village level there is no nearby health facility to help the needy, the school children cannot walk long distances thus have to stay home until they get fine and go back to school and for those who were worse, Lwerudeso had to treat them from bigger hospitals in Masaka and Kampala which was so much costly.
Realising such and more other challenges, Lwerudeso in its long strategic plan included a health centre that would help solve some of these health needs.
We have already a health facility in our area of operation that we have equipped with basic medical equipment, staff and we provide a series of good quality and affordable social health schemes and services to the people for their assured wellbeing.
The year 2020 all this commenced. Some of the proposed services are “antenatal care, child immunisation, HIV/AIDS counselling and testing, general medical check-up and treatment, sexual and reproductive health services, STI management, Family Planning, health camps and outreaches, laboratory services, drug administration and others as will be described in the health project manual.
The weather is radically changing; rainy seasons have changed creating much drought leading to a drop in agricultural harvest thus leading to rampant hunger. This is attributed to poor environmental conservation measures and much environmental degradation. The project has an environmental conservation program to help on such that at the same time earns income and saves the ‘would be’ expenses for the organization. Currently trees especially eucalyptus create a nice canopy that helps keep the ground cool and favours rainfall formation. This project also provides youth with maintenance activities on a pay, firewood to the school, and income to the organisation. The target is to have 500,000 trees and out of these at least 250,000 trees have been planted for the above purpose.
In 2020 we earned five million Uganda shillings from the tree project and this will increase with time. However, we invest much for planting, weeding and pruning.
The organisation wishes to empower community members for sustainable development, facilitate accessible and affordable financial services and promote their social and economic interests. Basing on the present status in terms of development, there is still poor financial literacy leading to unplanned spending and non-saving that has stagnated poverty in Lwengo. To solve this problem, we found out that there is need to;
- Promote a spirit of saving among members by offering them an opportunity to accumlate savings and earn interest.
- Create a source of funds from which members can access loans for productive and developmental purposes at fair predetermined interest rates.
- Encourage collective investment for the economic empowerment of the members. The general strategy is by encouraging member pool their financial resources for gainful investment, advance loans to members.
This project will provide opportunity to both young children and the old people.
The piggery project was designed and thought of as a one that can be practiced by all sponsored families to enable them save some money for future education support of the children.
The year 2020 a total of 21 families have benefited from this project although the piglets haven’t yet reached the stage of producing. 41 piglets were given to these families with some getting 2 and some getting 1 depending on the capacity of rearing.
Our target is ensuring that all sponsored families receive piglets, rear them, reproduce, sell and we save the money for the future support of the children.
We hope that when they start producing, the project will avail all the necessary support to the families for the success of this project.
Parents access the demonstration and multiplication Centre where they attain good knowledge and skills about: Shelter construction, animal feeding and Treatment, Animal breeding (multiplication) and marketing among others at a free cost.
Likewise, Muslim sponsored children were given goats each family to rear, reproduce and bring back to the organisation for selling and saving.
These two projects are to ensure child sponsorship sustainability and promote self-dependency of parents.