Youth Alive is a Catholic organization that promotes the values of abstinence as an HIV/AIDS prevention strategy among young people. It operates in 26 of the 56 districts in Uganda. AIM and Youth Alive collaborate on two levels-national and district. An AIM grant at national level focuses on strengthening key systems to build organizational capacity. AIM has supported Youth Alive activities in Apac district, specifically. The grant from AIM has enabled Youth Alive to reach about 2000 adolescents in primary and secondary schools. Youth Alive uses a peer to peer approach through formation of "Youth Alive Clubs". Club activities include regular information sharing and discussion sessions, drama, sports, group and individual counseling, and signing of certificates of commitment to abstinence and faithfulness.
Faith-based organizations play a vital role in the delivery of health and community services in Uganda, particularly HIV/AIDS services. These organizations may vary in size from large hospitals to small rural clinics and community-level organizations serving well-defined populations. What they have in common is that they are trusted institutions, dedicated to helping persons in need. Moreover, they are often linked to external partners that may provide heightened access to information, resources and technical expertise.
The AIM Programme engages with districts (16 of the 56 in Uganda) to provide support for the delivery of HIV/AIDS and TB services. This support frequently includes training of service providers, upgrading of infrastructure, equipment, technical assistance, organizational capacity building, quality assurance and support supervision. In collaboration with the District AIDS Committees (DACS), AIM implements a competitive grants program to fund organizations in the public sector and civil society to deliver clinical and community services.
In little more than two years, AIM and DACS have awarded 285 grants in the 16 districts. Of these, 43 (15%) have gone to faith-based organizations. The pie chart (left) shows the distribution of the grants among the different types of organizations in the districts. The total value of the 43 AIM grants to faith-based organizations (FBOs) in the districts is $1,033,702-an average value of $24,000 each.
In Mubende district, AIM supports an FBO called St. Padre Pio that offers an important set of services. The small clinic (HC III) offers care appropriate to its level, and refers patients needing ART to higher level facilities. St. Padre Pio also provides housing, educational support, income-generating activities and food to nearly 800 orphans and vulnerable children. AIM grant support and related technical assistance has helped St. Padre Pio provide much-need services to a larger population using its existing infrastructure.
Grants from AIM also support national-level FBOs like CHUSA, Youth Alive and National Youth Forum to build capacity and implement national and district activities. The five grants to national FBOs represent 13% of all national-level grants. Their average value is about $275,000.
With the funds and technical support received from AIM, the faith-based organizations are able to provide high quality services to persons infected and affected by HIV. Health facilities run by FBOs provide counseling and testing services, PMTCT, treatment of opportunistic infections, laboratory tests, and other services. Faith-based organizations that deliver services in the community and the home offer support for orphans and vulnerable children, education on how to prevent HIV/AIDS, home-based care, legal services and spiritual support, and referral for clinical care and treatment.
Faith-based organizations work harmoniously with both governmental and nongovernmental organizations that, collectively, comprise the multi-sectoral response to HIV/AIDS in Uganda. AIM is pleased to support FBOs and other partners who are working together to overcome the challenge of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.