From Misery to Joy: Josephine’s Journey
by Christine Anyango, Give Us Wings Uganda Family to Family Program Manager
Anyango Josephine is one of the pupils recruited for the Family to Family Program in 2015. As revealed by immediate neighbors of her family, she suffered a lot of domestic violence in her home. She lives with her father, step mother, step sister and brothers in a slum area called Bison. The heavy household work could not allow Josephine to concentrate on her studies as a result she used to perform poorly in class. Because of violence towards her, she escaped from her home two times to Kampala the capital city of Uganda to look for a job of a maid. When Give Us Wings Uganda (GUWU) learned about her plight efforts were put in place and Josephine underwent psychosocial counseling by a professional counselor. The Africa Program Director, Sarah Muzaki, and Family to Family Education Support Manager, Christine Anyango, took off time to advise her. Her father was called into the GUWU office to discuss the aim of improving the situation. It was out of such efforts that a cost sharing arrangement was reached to enroll Josephine into a boarding section. Josephine settled down and started concentrating on her studies.
Josephine’s teacher, Madam Joy, recently had this to say, “Today Josephine is a very happy pupil. She mixes with other pupils freely. Her performance has greatly improved, her body hygiene also has greatly changed and she is very neat and smart at school. Josephine has also been identified to have a strong sports talent. Recently we had a net ball competition with another school and we won with a very big margin thanks to Josephine’s great skill in net ball.”
She has also developed confidence and high self esteem. This is noticed when she campaigned to be a chairperson of the school reading club and she was elected. This confirms the teacher’s explanation above. This clearly shows the effectiveness of the holistic approach that Give Us Wings is applying to improve the lives of the children who are marginalized and hence improve the quality of education.
Community Health Insurance Comes to Kayoro
Only 2% of Ugandans have health insurance and medical care is expensive, so people often do not seek preventative care and delay going to the clinic when they are ill. Unfortunately, this results in people getting sicker and the health care bills being even higher.
Staff at St. John’s Kayoro Community Health Center (SJKHCII) recognized that they could greatly improve the health and productivity of community members, if people would seek health care before they became seriously ill. In October, SJKHCII launched a community health insurance program. The participants named the program “Afya Bora” which means “better health”. Already, over 2,000 people have enrolled. The program will promote preventative care and will make it possible for more people to access quality health care at the clinic without the fear of incurring burdensome medical bills.