All was joy as grandmothers celebrated achievement after a year’s training at Reach Out Mbuya Community Health Initiative-Kasaala, in Luweero district. With support from the Stephen Lewis Foundation, Reach Out Mbuya Community Health Initiative supports vulnerable grandmothers both in Kasaala and Kampala districts to improve their health, social well-being and economic status. Most of them are overwhelmed with the burden of taking care of their orphaned or abandoned grandchildren.
With the intention to increase hope and resilience among them, ROM instills in the elderly women an entrepreneurship mindset to increase productivity. Trainings are conducted and linkages made to ensure value addition in skills and products. This makes it easy to market their products in the community. As a result, they are able to meaningfully participate with their peers through Village Saving groups.
Based on the impact this has had on the community, a platform has been provided for them to exhibit their products. During their day at a grand ceremony at Kasaala, grandmothers showcased handcrafts, Vaseline, soap making and poultry products among others. The ceremony was graced by local dignitaries, who lauded ROM for lifting grandmothers from a state of misery to hope.
Speaking at the ceremony, the chief-guest, Faridah Naggayi, the Assistant Chief Administrative Officer for Luweero district thanked ROM for complementing the government programs such as restoring hope among the grandmothers, and giving them an opportunity to witness their granddaughters’ graduation. “It is my fist time to attend a function of this nature here in Luweero, where grandmothers gather to celebrate their achievements.” She added. The Sub-County Chief Kanatta Willy also thanked Reach Out Mbuya for looking after people living with HIV in the sub-county.
The Executive Director of ROM Josephine Kaleebi said that empowering grandmothers is meant to give them a better life, where they are able to sell the products and buy what they need in their day today life.
All day, the grandmothers punctuated the ceremony with drama that excited the guests. This included poems, skits and songs. It was thrilling to see them on stage. The program coordinator Ibrahim Kibalama explained that such things as drama revive the elders’ minds and bodies to freshness and hope.
By Reach Out Mbuya Community Health Initiative