6 young men line up and start singing. “This is a song about HIV/AIDS”, Mpoya explains. “This group performs at schools, to make the kids aware of HIV/AIDS, education and other subjects.” And they’re good at it. One song later quite a crowd has gathered: students from the adjacent secondary school, to which the boys belong as well.
The songs are followed by a play. A young girls’ father dies of AIDS, her mother can’t take care of her, so her aunt comes in to help. Things are not working out well, the girl drops out of school. Still auntie tries to keep up appearances: she is bossy, manipulative, rolls her eyes, clacks her tongue and shakes her hips to great amusement of the audience. When eventually small bricks are served for dinner, the crowd roars with laughter! Then mother comes in with a representative of Hope Alive Uganda, who sends the girl back to school. All’s well that ends well.
And just in time: clouds have packed over our heads; the wind starts blowing and a thunderstorm breaks loose. Like a grande finale to a powerful play.
Paul Bulenzi and Pelle Aardema visited Kisozi on 19 February 2009
On Saturday, Bramuel and the staff at Arrow Web Hospital welcomed Monica Smith from the United States of America. Bramuel provided her with a tour and introduced her to the hospital staff.
Monica is presently living and working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Botswana. She is also a returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Kenya and a member of Friends of Kenya. If you recall, back in September, Friends of Kenya provided funding to Arrow Web Hospital so that they could purchase the beds required to achieve level C accreditation status under NHIF.
Impressions of Arrow Web Hospital
Monica emailed me following her visit and said "We had a wonderful and interesting visit and were very impressed with the work Bram and the staff are doing for the community. It was very interesting for me to learn of nabuur and what you have done for Arrow Web."
Monica was also very complimentary to our team of dedicated volunteers and wanted you all to know what a difference your work has made to improve the services offered at the hospital.
Nabuur's newest volunteer
I am happy to welcome Monica as one of Nabuur's newest volunteers!! We welcome you with open arms to our team and look forward to your friendship and input as we move forward.
National Volunteer Week
Monica has sent several pictures from her visit that we also wanted to share with you to start of National Volunteer Week right! Thank you to each and every one of you for all that you have done to support Bramuel and the rest of the staff at Arrow Web Hospital. You truly are making a big difference in the lives of the local community.
Butikiro village in Kiyuni parish of Kiboga district in Uganda lies a long way from the main roads and tourist routes. The nearest major trading centre is far away and until recently the district capital had just one telephone linking it to the outside world. Now, however, a telephone mast belonging to Uganda's biggest mobile phone company stands on the top of a nearby mountain. Life in Kiboga is still very traditional.
18-year-old Nalubega says: "Being young here means having few opportunities, few ideas about the future. Once you finish school, for most young people life goes on as it has for generations: the boys do the same work as their fathers, the girls marry young and work the fields. The poverty remains, as does the lack of any alternative." Yet for Nalubega something has changed in the last few years.
Butikiro being on line on nabuur" will enable the outside world to come to our district and take time to speak to the local inhabitants, to understand their problems and to find young people who want to change something about their situation said Nalubega. My girl friends and I are really enthusiastic about this and have lots of ideas" Nalubega says. The girls are so active and successful that they will chose to take part in nabuur. Training us will teach us about working with new materials and methods and how to get young people interested in taking their future into their own hands. I have this courage and the will to change something in Butikiro."
It is not easy to realise breaking with tradition. "We must forget concentrating entirely on husbands”. I am expecting our first child and looking forward to being a mother and an adult. It is the same for my friends. This is how I organised my life: get up, take care of the baby, make breakfast, work in the fields, cook dinner. But I am thinking to myself: 'Is that all I want?' I am discontented, I am not earning any money, and I am facing the same fate as my mother."
Nalubega is getting together with her friends, who are also unhappy about their situation. We plan come out and do something great about this. "We have talked to so many people about our ideas. They didn't always understand our urge to do something new. We hope to get support, for example from neighbors of Butikiro, and SLINT-Uganda. From then on we shall roll." Engaging in high value crop growing like water melon will enable us get out of this situation. Nalubega says: "I am glad I have the strength and the perseverance to just start with my idea. I do not have money yet, but I know that this is just the beginning. I am very proud of nabuur and SLINT.
An narrative article written by Local Village Representative as told by Nalubega