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SOTENI Village of Hope (SVH) Ugenya serves Nyanza Province's Ugenya District, which has at least 3,000 AIDS orphans. The prevalence of HIV in this part of western Kenya is about 24% of its 520,000 residents, most of whom are members of the Luo tribal culture.
In this area, poverty is severe. Women are at great risk for HIV/AIDS, which gives rise to high numbers of other vulnerable children. Wife inheritance is a common practice, which contributes to the spread of HIV/AIDS. Few local institutions ease the burdens of AIDS orphans, who face the stigma of being associated with the deadly disease. Many people living with HIV/AIDS do not even know their HIV status, due to lack of education and awareness.
In 2004, the Kenyan government recognized SVH–Ugenya as an official Community Based Organization. Volunteer leaders comprise the village's locally elected management committee.
As with all SVHs, the key elements of Ugenya's program are food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, education, income generation, love, psychosocial encouragement, and hope.
Empowering Youth on HIV/AIDS Prevention through Behavior Change Communication
SVH-Ugenya has just received a grant for The Empowering Youth on HIV/AIDS Prevention Through Behavior Change Communication Project that will last six months beginning in May 2012. The goal of this project is to promote the prevention of HIV and AIDS among young people through Behavior Change Communication (BCC). THe $4375 to support this project came from the Constituency Aids Control Council (CACC) through TOWA 5 (Total War Against HIV and AIDS). Throughout the duration of this project, the SOTENI Village of Hope staff will also be strengthened by receiving additional training on BCC to increase HIV and AIDS awareness.
A local landowner donated four acres to SVH–Ugenya for development. In 2007, 400 banana seedlings were planted at SVH–Ugenya's Rambula farm site to generate income, enhance food security, and expand the opportunities of local growers. In 2009, some of the trees were harvested for the first time and the farm continues to be worked.
AIDS Barefoot Doctors
Six AIDS Barefoot Doctors work in SOTENI Village of Ugenya on two main projects, the P&G Children's Safe Drinking Water project and CHAPP (Community-led HIV/AIDS Prevention Program)funded by the Positive Action Children Fund. Follow this link to learn more about AIDS Barefoot Doctors. The CHAPP project is to support intervention services in promoting Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT).
The SOTENI International Sponsorship program directly supports 10 of the most at-risk children through the generosity of sponsors. Sponsors provide funds that enable the children to complete their education.