HERE ARE 7 + WAYS YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Come Visit Uganda and have the adventure of a life time while getting involved in something meaningful? VOLUNTEER or DONATE to REDU!
We have many interesting projects to choose from. Below is a summary of the type of projects you can expect to work with during your time at RWENZORI ECONOMIC AND DEVELOPMENT UNIT.
1. WOMEN EMPOWERMENT WITH MICRO-FINANCE PROJECT: As we mentioned earlier, the largest percentage of Ugandan citizens have been affected by HIV / AIDS. This disease has left many families in poverty. Most citizens have primary schools education only. This lack of education has created a large percentage of people who live by relying on other people to live. It should be noted that, the lack of education for these people, leads them to fail to perform any specific task requiring a particular profession. As a result, these people end up working on paydays that are not always available. Some of the work they are doing and paid for a day include, supporting construction activities, burning bricks, cultivating farm, cleaning sanitation, Craft making and other similar functions. This life-style, in which these women live, did not please us as a NGO, and so we decided to design the WOMEN MICRO-FINANCE PROJECT for them. The main purpose of this project is to provide single mothers with a regular income for self-reliance.
We go to each village and identify families living in extreme poverty. When we complete the recognition process, we prepare training to teach business skills that will help them to earn a daily income. This training includes:
1. FUNDS MANAGEMENT 2. ENTREPRENEURSHIP SKILLS. 3. HOW TO RUN AND GROW THEIR BUSINESSES 5. HOW TO SAVE THEIR MONEY IN BANK. 6. MARKETING STRATEGIES 7. SELF – RELIANCE SKILLS
After receiving this training, we invite the women to apply for the Women Micro-Finance project. This program has proven to be a great help to these women. In 2017/2018 we managed to provide small grants for five women's groups. The value of this grant was 1000 USD. These groups currently own their own businesses and have managed their lives without relying on anymore outside assistance.
These businesses include: irrigation agriculture and poultry rearing.
Where we see the real improvement for these families is they have been sure to eat three times a day and before getting to this project, many families were eating once a day. This project has also helped these groups to open accounts in various banks in the country. For these groups to have a bank account, we create them an environment of borrowing and banks due to the type of business they have. Therefore, when it comes to banking to lend these women, collateral becomes the business we have enabled to set up.
Usually in Uganda, banks do not lend money to a non-collateral person. And that's why poverty is so great because many families are poor and have no assert deposits to get loans from banks. Because of this, our institution has been a great help. Many societies have longed to get our grants as we help them without conditions. And thus the beneficiary becomes more active than he can take a bank loan which also has a bank interest.
WHAT DO WE DO AFTER GIVING THEM THESE GRANTS? After giving them these grants, very soon our team begins to make a follow up on them so as to make sure that the money is used for intended purposes and not otherwise. We do this monitoring after every two weeks until we see positive changes have taken place in the family. This follow up helps the beneficiary to work hard by knowing that he has to show the changes in his daily life.
Despite this project being of great benefit to the community and its fruitage, the biggest challenge is that the institution lacks enough money to provide for these women. Our main goal is to make this project at least in five regions within our country but at present we still operate in the Rwenzori region due to financial shortages. Our institution continues to call on various organizations so that they can see the great work we do in the Ugandan community and can assist with providing annual grants so that we can do this work more effectively. Our aim is that the end of the day society can be self-reliant. We can not achieve these goals without the help of other stakeholders around the world.
2. EDUCATION PROJECT: Helping children affected by HIV / AIDS, vulnerable children, youths and women empowerment, are the main project of our organization. Uganda is among the developing countries. It is one of the countries where its population is seriously affected by Aids. This disease has led many families to remain poor because one parent dies, the power to increase family income declines significantly.
Street children have continued to grow and lead many children away from school because of the low income of a parent or guardian. After seeing this, I decided to terminate my studies of Degree I had begun to read to help these children at least continue to study.
I began to go through one of the towns and villages to register all non-school children and to pay for them, to buy school fees and to register for school. This project involves children with HIV / AIDS as well as all vulnerable children or children in needy. (orphans and vulnerable children).
What we are doing is to identify the needy children and to fill their information in a special form, photography and request people to help these children learn like other children. The major needs of these children are for school clothes, dresses, food, school fees, books, notebooks and shoes.
Among the most difficult problems is providing the food for children at school. The country of Uganda depends on rainy agriculture and deforestation has led to drought . This has led to long-term food shortages in the country.
Many children in our program and those in difficult situations, they do not eat food at school because their parents/ guardians are not able to pay for them. We as a NGO, when we lose the ability to pay for these children, they will lack something to eat while they are at school. This leads to a lack of responsive in the class and eventually misleading their studies.
We have been helping them through our pocket money for a long time, but the fact is, their demand is great and our ability is limited. Although we are proud of the good work we do for our community, but also the needs of these children are a great shock for us every day as we do not know how we can meet their needs in full. This project has brought us great success because, among the children we started with in our program, today they have begun to study secondary school. It should be noted that, if not RWENZORI ECONOMIC AND DEVELOPMENT UNIT to help these children, today they would be street children.
OUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE
So far we have more than 50 children who are studying secondary. For us this is a great success as an NGO. Despite the great effort we make to help these children, the need is still increasing because the number of children is very much comparable to our NGO's ability. Most of our children do not have reliable donors so sometimes when the child’s tuition fees is not paid timely, a child is returned home until the school fee is paid. And when the fees are paid, the child begins to think of going back to the street and eventually leaves the school completely. This has been a major challenge for us because we do not have enough resources to meet the needs of these children. With all the strengths in knowing that, when we stop doing this project, many children will leave school and thus fail to reach their dreams.
It cost only $50 USD per year to send a child to school and keep them off of the streets.
If you are interested in sponsoring a child's education, please print and fill out the form.
3. ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION Environmental degradation in Uganda is happening mostly outside protected areas. Given the vastness of the country and the infrastructure, it is very difficult to monitor what is happening in rural areas. It is in these areas, where people are still directly dependent on natural resources for survival, where conservation programs are most needed.
Rwenzori Economic And Development Unit is currently operating in an area covered by people’s residence where there is a great problem of Environmental Degradation. Once the tree cover is removed the nutrients in the soil are rapidly washed away and fertility is lost within 3 to 5 years. As more and more land is cleared, soil erosion problems emerge, rain patterns change and the water sources start to dry out. All of these has, in turn, an impact in agricultural outputs and in the quality of life of the communities. This is a vicious cycle that is very common in rural areas in developing countries such as Uganda. To stop this situation it is important to find an equilibrium between human needs and use of natural resources that is beneficial for both parties.
The main objectives of the conservation programs are:
Completely stop deforestation in our private area and start a reforestation program.
Use this area as a laboratory for reforestation techniques and to determine viable species
Determine the main causes of the deforestation of the areas that belong to the community
Through bee keeping provide incentives to reforestation and forest conservation
Look for viable alternatives to slash and burn agriculture
Establish a monitoring program for forest recovery
Determine indicator species of ecosystem's health and do periodical surveys in order to evaluate the impact of the project over time
4. INTERNSHIP PROJECT: This program is especially for DOCTORS, NURSES, NURSES STUDENTS and MEDICAL STUDENTS. Volunteers will work at hospitals and community health clinics in KASESE-UGANDA. Volunteer will be helping doctor or health assistance at the clinic performing tasks like dressing wounds, administering shots, drawing blood, holding babies while they are being treated, helping to screen and organize patients. They can also assist local staff with getting medicines/supplies, and generally helping out in whatever capacity you might be needed.
This program offers a volunteer a wonderful chance to support the work of local doctors and nurses in a country where health care is a major issue, and the number of trained staff in rural areas is low. As such your presence could make a huge difference to a community.
CLINICAL WORK: There are a number of small clinics and hospitals we work with that are in need of support from volunteers with a medical background, including medical students, doctors, nurses, laboratory technologists and midwives. Volunteering in this way provides a great opportunity to share skills and gain experience.
5. TEACHING: There is much need for extra help in Ugandan schools. However, it is very important to know where and how to give support. We do not support government schools as this interferes with the local education system and may reduce the incentive for the government to improve its own educational system, whilst also disrupting the work of the local teachers.
In general we support locally based schools, trying to provide an education to those that would otherwise go without. We currently have volunteer positions at teaching project for children of all ages. The nursery schools are run by local organizations trying to prepare the children for primary school by teaching them basics such as reading, writing, Maths, Swahili and English. Projects working with older children are providing an education to orphaned and disadvantaged children, who otherwise would not be able to attend school.
We do not agree with placing unskilled people into teaching positions, replacing local teachers or disrupting the work of the local teachers. Local teachers are teaching at all of these schools and rather than replace them, we try to enhance their work by taking extra classes and activities, dividing large classes and helping give more individual attention to the children.
Volunteers can also help with one on one tuition for children falling behind. One of the common difficulties for children in Uganda is that primary school is taught in Lukonzo and secondary school in English. This is obviously a difficult transition, therefore much assistance is required to help children build their English.
Along with formal teaching there are opportunities to pass on other skills to children, such as drama, singing, music, gardening, hygiene and human rights. Volunteers run skills training and health/life skills tasks at a few projects.
You do not need to be a teacher to help with teaching positions. You can still be a valuable asset when volunteering as a teacher’s assistant, activities director or offering one on one tuition. Other aspects of teaching projects include work with children with learning difficulties, street children and young people on remand. Vocational skills are particularly valuable for these placements.
6. WORKING WITH DISABILITIES: Volunteers wishing to work with young people with disabilities are always welcome, as there are eleven centers in need of support in the Kasese area. Some centers focus on children with more physical disabilities and others work primarily with mental disabilities such as autism and down syndrome.
Volunteers are required to play with the children, help with drawing and writing, help with feeding and other daily chores and assist with simple exercises with the physically disabled children.
Occupational Therapists, physiotherapists and volunteers with experience of working with special educational needs are most useful at these centers, however all volunteers with experience of working with disabilities will be welcome.
7. MANUAL WORK: Construction and building work is frequently being undertaken by a number of our projects, Please contact us to find out where there is a need for support when you would like to stay. A greater awareness of environmental sustainability is also developing in the region and as a result a number of our projects are developing environmental aspects to their work. For example, one of our orphanages operates a farm to provide produce for the orphans and another projects focuses on growing and planting trees in the local villages where deforestation has occurred. Whilst volunteers with experience of sustainability and farming are very useful here, those with no skills but a willingness to work hard, are also very welcome.
OUR OTHER ACTIVITIES ARE: [*] TO DEVELOP SUSTAINABLE CAPACITIES TO ENSURE THAT THE OBJECT POVERTY IS ALLEVIATED, ORPHANS, VULNERABLE CHILDREN, OLD AND DISABLED PEOPLE ARE WELL SERVED AND DIGNIFIED [*] TO CREATE AWARENESS ON PUBLIC HEALTH AND CONDUCTING VARIOUS PROJECTS RELATED TO HEALTH FIELD. MUCH EMPHASIS IN SENSITIZING THE COMMUNITY ABOUT HOW TO GROW UP THE CHILDREN, ALLEVIATE POVERTY AND TO OVERCOME IGNORANCE. [*] TO RAISE AWARENESS OF ISSUES AND CHALLENGES FACING THE COMMUNITY AND THOSE CHILDREN WHO LIVE IN POVERTY, AND CHANGING IT TO FROM AN ABSTRACT TO REALITY, HUMANIZING THE LIFE OF REAL PEOPLE AND THE DIFFICULTIES THEY FACE. [*] TO INVOLVE LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEERS IN OUR PROJECTS TO USE THEIR ENERGY AND EDUCATION IN PROMOTING COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT. OTHER PROJECTS: Some of our projects undertake a multitude of different work. Often teaching, community work and women’s groups can be combined. Projects are also continuously evolving and therefore may have more specific needs at certain times. We have connections with projects needing MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS, WEBSITE DESIGNERS, SOCIAL AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, CONSTRUCTION, LAWYERS, SOCIAL WORKERS, THERAPISTS and many other skills. Contact us and we will help you to make a difference in any project of your choice.
Your assistance is urgently needed and greatly appreciated!
REDU is a registered charitable organization in accord with the laws of Uganda registration number
Monetary donations to REDU can be made via:
RWENZORI ECONOMIC AND DEVELOPMENT UNIT