Food Security became our first priority and continues to be our main objective. Nutrition is vital for growth and development. When we started our partnership in 2008, only less than 1/10 people ate the recommended amount of protein per week.
This project will provide counseling, tuition for vocational training, tools, protective equipment, raw materials, transportation and ongoing support for young people who are ready to take the next step towards adulthood: building the foundation for a strong future through personal growth and development.
In 2008, more than half of Batwa children died before age 5. Starvation was a key factor. Social stigma against them was strong. People no longer sang or danced, because they were hungry. As refugees from their traditional forest home, they lived on the fringe of society. We're partnering with community members to build schools and establish breakfast programs.
Access to Health Care has always been difficult. Key needs include local health insurance cards to access local health services, deworming and vitamin supplements, triage of acute medical conditions with transport to referral centers, and sexual health and reproductive counseling and supplies to enable family planning, menstrual hygiene and reduce gender-based violence. These interventions help the most vulnerable community members survive.
One of our goals is to support paths of collective and individual economic independence. This includes, training programs to become welders, tailors, hairdressers and shoemakers.
Savings associations and micro loans are helping to build capital for business development.
Clean water, handwashing and sanitary toilets are critical to prevent illness in the community and have been instrumental in helping community members adapt to living in urban settings. Providing access to these elements of our work have made critical improvements in the public health of the communities we serve.