ADDRESS : BUSIA DISTRICT 159 BUTEBA SUB COUNTY

Projects

OUR PROJECTS

Children, Adolescents & Youth

More than half of the Country’s population is under 25. Most live in the poorest communities, where the leading cause of death for girls 15-19 nationally is complication in pregnancy and childbirth. Over 500,000 adolescents need contraception but don’t have it. Over 500,000 young people need accurate, unbiased information and health care free from judgment we are making sure they get it. We believe sexual and reproductive health care is essential for young people to realize their full potential. Their lives depend on it. Wherever the need is most urgent, our programs ensure young people can make their own decisions about their bodies and choose their own path forward. We ensure children, adolescents and youth, especially the most vulnerable, receive the support and services necessary to lead resilient, healthy, and productive lives. The program addresses the mutually reinforcing relationship between improving learning outcomes and improving wellbeing and employ a comprehensive approach that merges Uganda’s OVC strengths in acute vulnerability stabilization aimed to contribute to Uganda’s 95 95 95 epidemic control and social resilience goals with education's broad protective effects. The program currently implements OVC programming in 6 communities.

What we do:

• Empower adolescents and youth to make their own decisions about their bodies and their futures by changing community norms related to gender, adolescent sexuality, early marriage, and childbearing
• Ensure Children, adolescents and youth have improved learning outcomes;
• Ensure Children, adolescents and youth are safe and healthy in their community and learning environments.
• Youth practice positive behaviors and are able to make informed decisions about their lives and relationships.
• Strengthen health services to offer young people the sexual and reproductive health care they need without judgment or bias, including access to long-acting contraceptive methods
• Support young women and first-time parents to delay their first pregnancy and space their births to ensure the health of the mother and her children
• Partner with young people to develop new and creative behavior change strategies like digital health and games that lead to healthier practices and lifelong good habits
• Connect young advocates and policymakers to foster supportive policies that promote young people’s health and rights

HIV & AIDS

HIV remains one of the most serious global health threats of our time. We believe we can end the AIDS epidemic. More people are getting treatment than ever before as many people are getting infected as well. Comprehensive and integrated HIV program initiatives provide a platform on which all sub-population groups are supported to access HIV care treatment and support services. Therefore, we focus on all sub-population groups with differentiated HIV services to increase HIV treatment uptake to improve on treatment outcomes. By keeping the focus on the needs and rights of key populations, particularly sex workers, men who have sex with men, and transgender women. For our hope to reach epidemic control, there is urgency to address the unique challenges we can prevent new HIV infections and ensure those living with AIDS are empowered to be important people in society. We focus on a range of activities to reduce HIV transmission among key populations sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender persons, and people who inject drugs and to improve their enrollment and retention in care. We accelerate the ability of governments, organizations working with key populations at risk of HIV, and private-sector providers to plan and implement services that reduce HIV transmission among key populations and their sexual partners and extend the lives of those already living with HIV.
Women and girls are uniquely vulnerable to HIV acquisition, and represent the population at greatest risk of new infections in Uganda; UPHIA and the ECHO trial revealed unacceptably high HIV incidence among AGYW. Despite commitments by PEPFAR to expanding human rights based approaches including promoting women and girls’ prevention interventions, limited implementation has taken place.
The support to the Key Population (KPs) groups is still minimal due to wrong attitudes by most stakeholders. IPs still have a lot of work to do regarding KPs in the district. Through the Enhanced Prevention Program (EPP), OUR HOPE aims at improving the effectiveness of HIV prevention in Busia District by enhancing comprehensive HIV prevention and care services amongst Youth, Adolescents, OVC, Female Sex Workers (FSW), their male partners and children.

What we do:

• Expand comprehensive male circumcision services for HIV/AIDS prevention by training health workers to provide the services and by establishing mobile clinics and outreach campaigns to reach more men and boys.
• To increase awareness and understanding of condom use and alcohol abuse in relation to HIV among bar owners.2.
Using digital health platforms for faster, more effective two-way communications with health workers
• To increase awareness of HIV risk and vulnerability of high risk women and their male partners among policy makers and stakeholders.
• To increase uptake of HIV care and antiretroviral therapy for HIV infected eligible high risk women, their partners, children, youth, adolescent.
• To improve the livelihood of the Orphans and Vulnerable Children of the high risk women through providing them and their caregivers with access to health care services, psychosocial support and economic empowerment.
• To increase reported risk reduction practices by high risk women and their partners.
• Increase access to high-quality HIV/AIDS testing and counseling services.
• With local partners and community members, increase awareness of HIV/AIDS testing and prevention methods, such as voluntary medical male circumcision.
• Strengthen referral systems to treatment and prevention services.
• Train health workers to screen for survivors of gender-based violence and refer victims to any specialized services they may need.
• To increase reported risk reduction practices by high risk women and their partners in Busia District
• Form innovative partnerships with local organizations and business to improve the health of communities and decrease HIV prevalence.
• Care for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to prevent the transmission of HIV from mother to child
• Deliver comprehensive care to people living with HIV and their families at times and locations that are convenient to them
• Support key populations including men who have sex with men, prisoners, female sex workers, and transgender women to make sure they can exercise their rights and receive quality services free from stigma, discrimination, or judgment
• Promote efficient testing in communities, facilities, and hotspots so people know their status and can initiate treatment as early as possible, a key aspect of UNAIDS’ 95-95-95 goals
• Decentralize HIV services to communities and low-tier health settings so more people in more places especially adolescents, men, and those lost-to-follow-up, have access to the services they need
• Integrate HIV services with other sexual and reproductive health interventions, recognizing the opportunity to meet people’s needs in a single visit
• Challenge restrictive policies and inspire governments to uphold the rights of people living with HIV, especially key populations, adolescents, and women

Girls Empowerment through Education.

Empowering girls to excel at school and beyond is key to community social and economic development. Girls are often unable to attend school regularly due to a lack of easily available menstruation products and/or private bathrooms, putting them at a disadvantage when it comes to their education. Additionally, a lack of age appropriate comprehensive life skills in education leaves girls vulnerable to unintended pregnancy and gender based violence.
Girls empowerment through education aims at empowering girls to become their own health advocates, bring more nurses to schools on a consistent basis, and improve school sanitation facilities by making them functional and responsive to gender and adolescent barriers. This initiative works to increase adolescent girls' knowledge of and access to health services so they can adopt positive health behaviors. Through water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) initiatives, this reduces health barriers to education.

What we do:

• Orient thought leaders on the importance of adolescents receiving a comprehensive life skills curriculum.
• Expand the reach of youth ambassador messages into primary schools through the support of peer educators.
• Facilitate formal cooperation between community health centers and schools.
• Improve health facilities’ responsiveness to gender and adolescent barriers to health service quality, access and use.
• Negotiate free and/or reduced price services at privately supported youth friendly facilities for youth referred by the peer educators.
• Empower girls to advocate for full implementation of the MEN policy (including separate latrines for girls and boys, freedom for girls to visit latrines as needed, and availability of hygiene supplies on site).
• Explore with the local private sector ways to sustainably and locally manufacture low-cost menstrual hygiene items.
• Train and coach community actors in the use of intergenerational approaches to positive change.
• Link with other WASH-implementing partners who are working toward ending open defecation activities and providing maintenance, rehabilitation, and construction of water points and latrines.
• Assess project schools’ current state regarding WASH facilities’ appropriateness and functionality
• Subcontract with local businesses to build, restore, or renovate urgently needed WASH facilities.

Advocacy

Every day, millions of people are denied the right to decide whether and when to have children. The right to live free from violence and stigma. The right to receive critical health services. Girls in 153 districts in Uganda can illegally become child brides. 1 in 4 people live in a communities that prohibit abortion, even to protect a woman’s life. We challenge these restrictive policies and the systems that threaten the health and futures of the people and communities we serve. We draw on our 5 years of experience to inspire policymakers and communities to take action. From Supreme Court to local governments in Ugandan communities where we work, we fight to remove barriers to sexual and reproductive rights.

What we do:

• Use research, data, and our programmatic expertise to advocate with governments and civil society for policies that support sexual and reproductive health and rights
• Support communities as they advocate for supportive policies that address their unique sexual and reproductive health care needs
• Bring together global experts, government officials, and health providers to share knowledge and find solutions that promote sexual and reproductive health and rights worldwide
• Engage key stakeholders in governments and communities to dedicate increased funds for sexual and reproductive health where the need is greatest
• Raise our voices to inform, influence, and advance global efforts to ensure all people have the right to make their own decisions about their bodies and their future

Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE)

Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) program has been a voice for young children since 2018. We are the peak early childhood advocacy organization, acting in the interests of young children, their families and those in the early childhood field.

What we do:

ECDE program advocates to ensure quality, social justice and equity in all issues relating to the education and care of children aged birth to twelve years. The program role is to effectively advocate for young children and champion for quality outcomes in early childhood education and care. ECDE draws on the broad experiences and expertise of our members in our advocacy work. We take a strong evidence based approach to advocacy and conduct and commission research and reviews to inform our rigorous position on policy matters. As the national peak body for the early childhood sector, ECDE is a regular, and trusted, contributor to the public policy debate on early childhood education and care, health, family policy and immigration as well other policy areas affecting children in the communities and country at large.

WASH

We build everlasting and comprehensive solutions called water for us, we know that improved water, sanitation, and hygiene changes everything. That’s why we’re committed to making sure these services are sustainable for the long term, and not just for today. We partner with other community organizations, local leaders and communities to implement the solutions that are right for them, and then we provide the tools to make sure water, sanitation, and hygiene services last for generations to come. We ensure every family, clinic, and school has lasting access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene services for generations to come.

What we do:

• We do everything in partnership with local governments and communities, so we start by listening and learning. When we’re invited into an area, we take the time to meet with partners, listen to their ideas, and assess existing resources. LISTENING:
• We take everything we’ve learned, and alongside local government partners we make a plan that covers every family, clinic, and school. No one gets overlooked or left out. PLANNING:
• Now comes the part where we and our partners get our hands dirty. We build wells, place pipes, and install taps. We make sure there are facilities to test and treat water. Sometimes we build local institutions that manage water services and operate water systems. Other times we build supply chains so parts for repairs are available locally. BUILDING:
4. Analyzing data to improve health worker performance and productivity
• We spend time training local mechanics and government offices to monitor, repair, and manage water systems. Then with our government partners we train community water committees on topics like tariff collection and managing water resources. All of this ensures services are sustainable. TRAINING: • Throughout the process, we work hand in hand with local and national governments, advocating for laws and institutions that will manage and protect water services long into the future. ADVOCATING:
• Every quarter, we monitor water services. This lets us see how close communities are reaching Everyone Forever, and gives us and local partners the information to make adjustments as necessary. MONITORING:
• Once we know everyone in the vulnerable communities has water services that are sustainable, we consult and provide oversight to the district for six month to a year to make sure those services remain at high levels. OBSERVING:
• When a district has sustained water services without our direct support, our work there is finished. Confident that local governments and communities can manage water services for the long term, we shift our investment to new areas. EXITING:

Women-Led Climate Resilience

Climate change threatens health and health systems in the communities where we work. Extreme weather caused by climate change is growing more severe, creating barriers to sexual and reproductive health and rights and exacerbating the inequities women and girls face every day. We have seen how often the country’s toughest challenges are solved by investing in women and girls. To meet the gravest threat to our planet today, we must activate our greatest untapped resource: the resourcefulness, know-how, and leadership of women and girls. We elevate women and girls as change-makers in their communities, engaging them to lead resilient, local, and rights-based solutions to climate adaptation. Our commitment to women’s leadership of climate adaptation, our conviction in the power of local community-based solutions, and our passion for innovation and partnership across sectors drive our women-led climate resilience programs. We are working with women and girls to share their insights accelerating adaptation, furthering climate justice, and advancing reproductive rights. When women lead, a healthier planet follows.

What we do:

• Meet unmet needs for contraception and sexual and reproductive health care, essential to women’s and girls’ agency.
• Invest in girls’ agency, education, and literacy, including climate awareness.
• Support women’s engagement and leadership in local resilience planning.
• Strengthen the capacity of health systems to prepare for and effectively manage health risks due to climate change.

Contraception & Family Planning

Access to family planning remains one of the challenges youth and adolescent girls face notwithstanding the community attitudes, responses and knowledge. Girls in eastern Uganda do not freely take up family planning services because they face a lot of stigma and stoke out issues are also evident, this has increased the number of teenage pregnancies and we have acted and we shall stand to address such challenges

What we do:

• Partner with decision-makers to make sure contraception is available wherever it is desired
• Strengthen health centers, satellite clinics, and community health workers so more people in more places have access to the contraceptive information and services they need
• Make sure short-term, long-acting, permanent, and emergency contraception are always available so people of all ages can choose the method that’s best for them
• Connect communities and health systems so people receive the services they need and the quality of care they deserve
• Talk to men, religious leaders, and other key players to eliminate all biases and misconceptions that can prevent contraceptive use

Providing Safe Abortion Care

At least 23,000 women die from unsafe abortions in Uganda each year. Globally, Eastern region un safe abortion related deaths accounts for the majority of which occur in using rudimentary and traditional ways therefore we partner with communities, health facilities and traditional leaders to overcome the stigma and barriers that result in higher mortality and morbidity for young women from unsafe abortion.

What we do:

• Collaborate with governments in building the capacity of health systems to ensure quality, comprehensive abortion services that includes lifesaving post abortion care and contraception to prevent unintended pregnancies
• Partner with communities to overcome the stigma and barriers that result in higher mortality and morbidity for young women from unsafe abortion

Gender

Gender equality is a human right—one that Pathfinder advances through sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) programs. Gender equality and SRHR reinforce one another: gender-equal societies strengthen SRHR, and SRHR contributes to gender equality, particularly by removing barriers to women and girls exercising agency in their lives. Our programs seek to transform harmful gender norms; reduce the impact of gender-based violence on SRHR; and, change the policies, structures, and systems that hold individuals of all genders back. In addition to our programs, our Gender Equity Initiative fosters gender equity internally across our organization.

What we do:

• Increase the agency of women and girls to make decisions about their SRHR.
• Use gender-synchronized approaches that engage women and men in transforming gender norms and balancing power within families.
• Constructively engage men and boys as individuals, within couples and communities, and through health facilities as partners and advocates for gender equality.
4. Analyzing data to improve health worker performance and productivity
• Support health providers and facilities to improve the health sector response to gender-based violence.
• Strengthen health services and systems to be more gender responsive and equitable to better meet the needs of clients and communities.
• Map, engage, and partner with local organizations working on gender equality and women’s and girls’ rights.
• Advocate to transform laws and policies that perpetuate gender inequalities; promote policies that support the agency and rights of women, girls, and marginalized groups; and, ensure health and key equity measures are disaggregated by sex and age.

Maternal & Newborn Health

99% of the world’s maternal deaths occur in developing countries every year. 1 in 13 children in sub-Saharan Africa dies before their 5th birthday (compared to 1 in 189 in high-income countries). Most of these deaths are preventable. We believe where you live shouldn’t dictate whether you live or die. We know that healthy mothers mean healthier babies, healthier communities, and healthier nations. Our work bridges the distance between pregnant women and the health care they need.

What we do:

• Stop preventable maternal deaths by making sure women can access care at every stage before, during, and after her pregnancy
• Mobilize communities to identify danger signs in pregnancy like post-partum hemorrhage and activate transport systems, so women can reach facilities in time to save their lives
• Make sure every woman has access to the information and health care from her home to the health facility to safely deliver her baby and care for herself and her children
4. Analyzing data to improve health worker performance and productivity
• Train providers on current standards and guidelines of care so they can counsel women throughout pregnancy and childbirth with dignity and respect
• Prevent the transmission of HIV from mother to child by identifying and supporting pregnant women who are HIV-positive
• Link health systems with communities to make sure mothers and babies receive the quality care they need

Non-communicable Diseases

Cancer kills more people in low- and middle-income countries than HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. As people all over the world live longer than ever, this and other non-communicable diseases including not only cancer, but also obesity-related illnesses, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and mental illness have become the leading cause of death and disability country-wide.
That’s why we help communities build resilient health systems and strong health workforces that are prepared to meet this challenge. We work with our partner institutions to establish the powerful data, effective policies, and well-trained health workers they need to prevent and treat non-communicable diseases of all kinds.

What we do:

• Building strong primary health care teams to prevent and treat non-communicable diseases
• Strengthening data for decision-making systems
• Using mobile technology to connect frontline health workers for real-time communication
• Conduct massive community sensitization

OUR HOPE RESPONSE TO COVID-19

Building community and health system resilience during a crisis Humans are the most valuable resources we have when it comes to fighting disease and improving health. They can be nimble, efficient, and brilliant. But they can also be overworked, under supervised, and lacking in up-to-date knowledge and skills. That’s why we use strong human resources management and efficient processes to make sure skilled, motivated health workers are in the right place, at the right time.

What we do:

As COVID-19 rages on, OUR HOPE is working with local governments in the country to forge stronger health and social systems that maintain essential sexual and reproductive health services, keep our staff safe, and prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. As a deadly wave of COVID-19 overwhelmed East Africa and the globe, our teams and partners jumped into action, getting families access to vaccines and purchasing and distributing urgently needed N95 masks, disinfectant, and accessing COVID-19 tests and quarantine services. The heart of our challenge since the onset of the pandemic, in Uganda and globally, has been to continue our critical sexual and reproductive health work in an era where COVID-19 has complicated nearly every decision. Lockdowns, supply shortages, and at times, a fear of going to health facilities due to COVID-19 have challenged the continued provision of sexual and reproductive health care. During COVID-19, barriers to treatment were exacerbated for children and their caregivers. A rapid assessment in four communities of Busia district caregivers and their children carried out by community monitors revealed families largely abandoned during lockdown, suffering interruptions in treatment and access to essential support. But our staff, and the communities they work alongside, are more than up to the challenge. OUR HOPE’s targeted response is helping women, girls, and their communities not only survive this crisis but come through it stronger and more resilient.