DIG was awarded a grant from Dining for Women to work with three Batwa communities in Kisoro. In partnership with Global Batwa Outreach, Dining for Women, and the Batwa Leadership, DIG will develop 3 community demonstration sites and work with 400 Batwa women to develop household gardens.
In 2008, DIG worked with one of the communities but at that time the Batwa had no land rights. Today, thanks to Global Batwa Outreach and their initiatives, the three communities have secured land and have small plots to grow food. There will be challenges with the mountain side terrain and access to water but this will be one of our most important projects. The Batwa have some of the worse health outcomes on the continent and have been unable to access training and knowledge in agriculture.
Initiated by the Batwa leadership, DIG will begin a multi-disciplinary program in late fall of 2016 based around sustainable agriculture to help address critical needs around nutrition, food security, and income generation.
Alive Medical Services
In 2013, DIG partnered with Alive Medical Services to improve food security and nutritional well-being of patients living with HIV. Alive Medical Services is supported by Keep A Child Alive; the clinic is located in one of the poorest and most crowded urban areas in Kampala. Alive Medical Services currently serves over 11,000 HIV clients. DIG is working with two of their support groups, Tweyambe and Kapeeka, to develop a demonstration site that provides skills building in sustainable agriculture, nutritious foods and critical income to members. The support groups will also market produce as well as distribute HIV nutritional and cooking information for all clients during monthly food days at Alive Medical Services.
Allen Stone Clinic
Out of a deep desire to help Ugandans fight against a 100% preventable infectious disease, Malaria, Dr. Jessie Stone took it upon herself to establish The Soft Power Health Clinic “I couldn’t stay insensitive to this issue. I became motivated to do something to improve the quality of life for Ugandans, especially since malaria is easily preventable!” A new clinic followed and opened its doors in January 2006 in the village of Kyabirwa and now serves several surrounding villages treating an average of 120 patients per week. DIG has helped Soft Power Health establish a sustainable garden to be a source of vegetables for the clinic, a demonstration and education site, and income generation project for participants.
Budondo Food Security for People Living With HIV/AIDS
The Budondo Food Security for People Living With HIV/AIDS was created in 2006 by a 26 year old man named Patrick Kayima who had just lost his parents and brother to AIDS, and realized he himself was also HIV positive. Similar situations and tragedies were happening all around him, so he decided to gather other people dealing with the same problems and to create a support organization. They receive no outside financial support and are completely dependent upon themselves. Their mission is to empower widows, nephews and needy families infected with HIV/AIDS and to help them realize their potential and live a meaningful life.
DIG helped this highly motivated group establish a community garden at the Bodondo Health Clinic, and introduced many new vegetables that are highly nutritious, hence restoring a sense of hope and food security to the group.
The AIDS Support Organization (TASO)
The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) is a Non Governmental Organization founded in 1987 by a group of volunteers working with people living with HIV/AIDS. From a small group initiative, TASO has grown into one of the biggest organized national responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Uganda and Eastern Africa. TASO was founded to contribute to a process of restoring hope and improving the quality of life of persons and communities affected by HIV infection and diseases.
TASO offers one-on-one counseling which empowers the infected/affected person to make informed decisions, which improves the quality of life and which facilitates the balance between rights and responsibilities. Counseling on a family level is also available to dispel fears of contracting HIV by casual contact, to facilitate care of the infected and affected persons, and to support family members during times of bereavement.
DIG established a garden next to the facility to educate patients about new gardening techniques, income generation opportunities, and nutrition. DIG also established 10 home-based demo gardens in TASO’s community centers within a 45 mile radius of Jinja.