KIHEFO promotes local initiated solutions to fight disease, ignorance and poverty in southwestern Uganda
“We thank you for the cooperation,” exclaimed Dr. Geoffrey Anguyo to a gathering of village members, leaders, workers, students, and special guests in the village of Nyakiju, Muyumbu, Kabale, last Wednesday, June 12, 2013. “People are happy [working together] and that the help is rotating [from family to family in Nyakiju].”
Dr. Anguyo’s words were marking the inauguration of a house-construction and water tap installation project for Nyakiju residents, Ernest Mwesigwe Kato and Florence Ninsima. Ernest and Florence are a married couple, both HIV positive, who have been working closely with KIHEFO since 2009 to help mobilize other members of Nyakiju to be tested for HIV/AIDS, adhere to treatment, and manage a revolving-loan project to improve their health and livelihoods. Ernest and Florence have played an important role in helping KIHEFO to strengthen healthcare delivery on the ground in Muyumbu.
Special Support from the Doces Family – Seattle, USA
Through the support of long-time volunteer and supporter, John Doces (Professor of Economics at Bucknell University, USA) and his parents, Dr. John Doces (Retired Cardiologist) and Julie Doces, KIHEFO helped Ernest and Florence renovate their mud and stick home, and install a water source in close vicinity to their home.
Additionally, Dr. John spent two-weeks working at the Kigongi General Clinic, seeing patients with heart related complications, and training KIHEFO staff in the use and interpretation of an electro-cardiogram (EKG) machine.
The small act of helping Ernest and Florence with building a more secure shelter and water system will make a world of difference for the couple who volunteer tirelessly to organize meetings, mobilize health outreaches, and help their neighbours and fellow community members to work their way out of poverty.
Improving Access to Water in Nyakiju
Water remains a major challenge in Nyakiju, Muyumbu and many other villages throughout the Kigezi region, with women and children walking long distances to reach water sources where it isn’t a guarantee if water will available or safe for drinking.
Julies Doces was passionate about installing the water tap outside Ernest and Florence’s house, a water source that will be used communally by the couple, along with their neighbours. “Water really is,” Julie stressed, “one of the most important issues.”
Her son, John, who had come to KIHEFO for the fifth time over the last five years, applauded the community efforts of the team of local workers who came together to build Ernest and Florence’s house over 10 days – hauling water and sand, mixing cement, and working hard to finish the project before the Doces Family left Uganda.
In Dedication of a Special Friend to the Doces Family
The renovated home was dedicated to “Terp” in honor of Mike Terpening, a close friend of the Doces Family who had passed away in 2012 due to a sudden brain aneurism. After sharing the personal story with Ernest and Florence, the Nyakiju workers came up with the idea to paint “TERP” outside their home.
John promised to share photographs of the completed house and water project with Mike Terpening’s wife, who lives today in Seattle, USA with her two children.
Positive Response from Community Leaders
“We enjoy working with KIHEFO,” said Michael Ndemere, a Community Leader in Nyakiju, at the village celebration, “because they talk, and then work…they really work to tackle the area of poverty, water and shelter [in our community].”
Several village level leaders attended KIHEFO’s celebration at Ernest and Florence’s new home, and applauded the ongoing efforts of KIHEFO and members of the village ngozi group who’ve been working so hard to fight poverty and disease in the Muyumbu area of Kabale, Uganda.
KIHEFO is grateful for the ongoing friendship and support of the Doces Family – and particularly to Dr. John and Julie, the parents of John, who traveled to Uganda for the first time to see KIHEFO’s projects in action!
To learn more about KIHEFO, and how your family can also be involved in supporting micro-community projects (house renovation and water installation) in Uganda, please visit our website today – click here.