Historically, HIV/AIDS cases were first noticed at the fish landing site at Kansensero and Lukunyu in the 1980’s. Since then fish landing sites have continued to have a high prevalence of HIV/AIDs cases. Unfortunately, the same is true for Rwenshama.
Due to the many challenges to have proper access to information and resources on HIV awareness, and the difficulty for many people in Rwenshama to access medical facilities (due to distance and danger of traveling through the national park), many HIV-infected adults were not able to avail themselves of the life-saving HIV medications, and have already died of AIDS. To make matters worse, there are a lot of other confounding factors, such as re-marriage of abandoned/widowed/divorced women, absence of love and security in the families, family disputes, and unwanted pregnancy of trafficked/sexually exploited girls.
As a result of many parents who died, there are a lot of orphans and other vulnerable children who are left behind without care and support. These children got involved in small fish picking at the fishing site in order to feed themselves. Some got involved with pick-pocketing and participating in anti social activities and unlawful activities. Therefore, BACHO decided to set up programs to provide care, support and protection not only in our recently set up Sahaya-BACHO home but also in their own huts. BACHO volunteers visit them regularly to check and them and provide assistance. Currently BACHO-K has a total of 155 orphans and other vulnerable children under its care and support.
Among these children and youth, there are 35 who are living with HIV. BACHO provides them with many levels of support: nutritional supplements, education, travel support to the hospital to get the antiretroviral medicines, clothing, housing, counseling and psychosocial support, and love.
Support for these programs has been coming from Sahaya International via the annual fundraising campaign of Sahaya Walks (click here to learn more or support Sahaya Walks 2022).
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