Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll quit as soon as the net you’ve given him breaks. It’s not uncommon when driving across rural Africa to see a hand-pump well that has not been used for some time; not because the water supply has been exhausted below, but because a proper system was not put in place for the construction and maintenance of that well. A well is an expensive thing to build, but it becomes even costlier when a community ceases to receive benefit from it. In remote Bukwo, Uganda, most people still draw their water from unclean and unprotected sources like rivers and streams. Because proper hygiene and sanitation practices are not widely followed, the people that use this water are exposed to diseases like diarrhea and typhoid. “It used to take me two hours to go[…]Read More
Post Tagged with: "programming"
The dawn of the new millennium cast a dark pall over the Southern African nation of Malawi. The county faced a food crisis that was, in part, fueled by the loss of agricultural workforce due to AIDS-related deaths. The national HIV prevalence rate was at 16%, and as high as 30% among pregnant women. With the coming of anti-retroviral medication (ARVs) in 2003, NGOs and systems of government rushed to educate HIV positive people, who had by now organized into peer support groups within their communities. Essential steps taken by these groups to living positively with the disease included good nutrition, practicing abstinence and safe sex, proper ARV adherence, as well as learning how to give home-based care to bed-ridden HIV positive peers in the community. Ten years later, support group members are not only some of the healthiest-looking people in their communities, they’re also talking to their negative or[…]Read More
We’ve reached a global hinge point in the treatment of HIV. People living with the disease are no longer passive beneficiaries. After more than a decade of receiving health and nutrition training, HIV+ people are often times living healthier lifestyles than many of their negative peers. Catholic Relief Services‘ Expert Client program places trained HIV+ community members in local health facilities where they guide new patients through the rigors of anti-retroviral treatment (ARV). By using their own experience of living with the disease to counsel and mentor, they empower the new patients to live more healthy and productive lives. I recently shot and produced this video for CRS in southern Malawi. The program is funded by USAID.Read More