Today we carried out first community needs assessment with Thrive. While Thrive has typically worked with children and families one-on-one, we are working with them to expand programs to an entire village!
While there are hundreds of villages in Kalungu, we have decided to expand our work in Namwanzi village. Namwanzi is not only where most of our beneficiaries currently reside but it is also one of the largest and poorest villages in Kalungu. Further, the leadership in the village is strong and community members have taken an active role in our activities.
To better understand the village and its needs, Thrive, with the involvement of three community leaders, carried out a community needs assessment. Over the span of three days we visited and assessed over thirty households of the 300 households in Namwanzi. We have used our findings to compile a report and plan, with Namwanzi, our activities for the Village for the remained of 2012 and for the upcoming year.
Here are some of our findings:
- Many children are being cared for solely by elderly grandmothers
- HIV/AIDS prevalence is high and has taken the lives of many parents and left many children infected with HIV
- Most families live on small plots of land, making it difficult to generate food or income from the sale of crops
- Families are living off one to two meals a day
- Many school ages children are in school, however families are struggling to provide the required scholastic materials, uniforms and school meals
At the same time we also learned about some of the support that is coming to the village. One HIV/AIDS organization has built homes for vulnerable families in the village and does some outreach with HIV/AIDS treatment and counselling. It is partners like these who we hope to collaborate with to ensure our work can have the biggest impact possible.