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"Creating a world that is truly fit for children does not imply simply the absence of war. It means having the confidence that our children would not die of measles or malaria. It means having access to clean water and proper sanitation. It means having primary schools nearby that educate children, free of charge. It means changing the world with children, ensuring their right to participate, and that their views are heard and considered. It means building a world fit for children, where every child can grow to adulthood in health, peace and dignity."

 

All AINU projects are designed to strengthen the capacity of local partner institutions, catalyze community and national development, and contribute to individual growth. AINU supports the development of many types of indigenous non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) and local schools to achieve long-term results.

This section presents AINU's approach and projects in the various sectors in which we work.

a) Improving Maternal Health

Every year, an estimated 358,000 Mothers die from pregnancy related causes and 7.6 million Children die before their fifth birthday. The vast majority of maternal and child deaths occur in the world's poorest countries. Diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria and measles, which are no longer burdens in rich countries, are still the leading cause of child death worldwide. Women in sub-Saharan Africa have a one in 31 chance of dying in childbirth, compared to only one in 4,300 for women in developed regions. Weak health systems are one of the biggest reasons behind this enormous gap. A lack of health care workers, clinics and equipment means many women and children don't have access to basic health services including immunizations and care for expectant mothers.

The Opportunity

Millions of lives could be saved if known technologies were available to mothers and children in the world's poorest countries. If women had access to basic maternal health services, 80% of maternal deaths could be prevented. Many of the solutions are extremely affordable, especially for children. Childhood vaccines are one of the most cost-effective ways to save lives and prevent disease for a lifetime and could help prevent more than 2.5 million deaths each year.

Investing in the health of mothers and children could have a lasting impact in the world's poorest countries.  Children who lose their mothers are five times more likely to die in infancy than those who do not. Healthy children, meanwhile, are more likely to attend school and learn better in their classes, which will help them grow up to be productive as adults.

b) Gender-based Violence

Around the world, up to six of every ten women experience physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime.* During war or other humanitarian crises—such as the famine and conflict currently occurring in the Horn of Africa—the risks to women and girls are further heightened. With the breakdown of moral and social order that occurs during emergencies, they are particularly vulnerable to physical abuse and exploitation, rape and human trafficking. Perpetrators may be family members, neighbors or others in the community, members of armed groups or in some instances, humanitarian workers. Even after a crisis abates, gender-based violence (GBV) may continue at high levels as communities struggle to heal and rebuild.

For survivors, the impact doesn’t end when the violence ends; those who have suffered it often face severe psychological trauma and stigma from their communities. Many struggle to participate in education, to care for children and other relatives or to be active in community affairs. And because women are the linchpin of families and communities, particularly during conflict and post-conflict periods, GBV can be a major barrier to future stability, reconstruction and development in war-torn areas.

Gender-based violence is usually committed against women and girls, although sexual violence against men and boys also does occur in conflict and post-conflict settings and must be addressed.

c) Sexually Transmitted Infections

Sexually transmitted infections thrive under crisis conditions and in unstable societies, where extreme poverty and lawlessness are prevalent. And, women and girls are particularly vulnerable to infection, with limited access to prevention, treatment and care—and their family and community lives disrupted.

During crises, adolescents may be gin to have sexual relations at an earlier age and women and children may be coerced into having sex in order to meet their survival needs. During times of war or conflict, the risks of sexual abuse, domestic violence and exploitation rise. Additionally, close proximity to peacekeeping forces, military and police has long been associated with higher rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Sexually transmitted infections have significant consequences for global public health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO):

  • Each year 448 million new infections of curable STIs (syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis) occur.
  • In pregnant women with untreated early syphilis, 25 percent of pregnancies result in stillbirth and 14 percent in neonatal death.
  • STIs are the main preventable cause of infertility, particularly in women.

d)  Disabilities Among Refugees

December 3 is the 29th annual UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This day raises awareness of issues and rights of persons with disabilities around the world. The World Health Organization estimates that between 7 and 10 percent of the world's population lives with disabilities. It can therefore be calculated that between 2.8 and 4 million of the world's 40 million displaced people are disabled. In fact, the percentage of people living with disabilities maybe even higher among those who have fled civil conflict, war or natural disasters.

Sadly, people with disabilities remain among the most hidden, neglected and socially excluded of any population in the world today. They are often not counted in refugee registration drives or identified in data collection. Because of physical and social barriers, they are unable to access mainstream assistance programs offered to other refugees. AINU works to promote inclusion and access for displaced persons with disabilities.

We've been on the ground in Uganda conducting a series of workshops on facilitating access and promoting inclusion for people with disabilities.

e) Youth

Ensuring Opportunities for both Urban and Rural Youth

Young people under the age of 25 now make up nearly half of the world’s population, and nine out of ten of them live in developing countries.

In conflict-affected and fragile states, 40 million children and youth are out of school; they make up over half of the 75 million out-of-school young people worldwide. Girls—whose education and employment opportunities are further limited by gender-based violence and discrimination—are worst-off.

Without school or vocational training,  youth sit idle in camps all day long, or if in urban areas, they take their chances working informally. With growing frustration and little hope for the future, these youth can become a source of violence and insecurity. Meanwhile, their enormous potential to contribute to their families and societies goes largely unnoticed and unsupported. 

Education is a human right that all children and youth are entitled to regardless of where they live. Yet, although essential to the development of a stable society, schooling and job training in conflict-affected regions are often hard to come by.

The AINU works to ensure that  youth have opportunities to learn and grow so they can contribute to their communities and one day be able to support themselves and their families. 

Protecting and Empowering Displaced Adolescent Girls

In a humanitarian crisis,  whether it’s war, famine or natural disaster, lives are turned upside down. Families are uprooted, separated or destroyed. Access to education deteriorates. Safety and security dissolve. In the midst of this chaos, displaced adolescent girls are often the most overlooked, neglected and vulnerable. When girls ages 10-16 lose their homes, families or schools, they are more exposed to:

  • exploitation and abuse
  • sexual and gender-based violence
  • early pregnancy
  • forced marriage, often by age 16
  • forced labor

For girls to be safe and to have a chance at the future they deserve, they need security and education, health care, social supports and adult mentors. And they need opportunities to develop the confidence, critical thinking and support networks needed to make good decisions for their lives.

We learn from the girls themselves what works and what doesn’t and then we partner with local organizations to design unique projects to meet these needs. As a result of our work, girls will learn how to live safer lives and, with support of adults, build brighter futures.

Our work aims to enable displaced girls develop the skills they need to protect themselves. We partner with local groups who provide safe spaces and help adolescent girls build skills through workshops, peer support networks and mentor-ship. We also engage and educate families and community leaders about the importance of protecting and empowering adolescent girls.

f) Support to Children

strives to ensure all children enjoy the blessings of good health, education, and happiness. In order to advance this goal, AINU develops programs and partnerships in two main areas: Health Security and Educational Outreach.

g) HIV and AIDS

 

AINU., brings 50 years of domestic and global leadership building the skills, abilities and resources of individuals, communities, local institutions, and societies to the fight against HIV and AIDS. At the center of all AINU's work in HIV prevention are seven guiding philosophies:

  • Engaging multi-sectoral organizations to combat the epidemic
  • Strengthening the skills, talents and resources of local communities through participatory technical and organizational s  kills training
  • Working with communities to stem the spread of HIV
  • Targeting people and communities most at risk of contracting HIV
  • Developing and adapting technical and organizational skills training for people at all levels of education and literacy
  • Effectively monitoring and evaluating programs
  • Documenting  and disseminating best practices

AINU,  plays an active role in addressing the prevention, treatment, and support needs of people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS, particularly those who are most vulnerable. 

h) Sustainable Agriculture

 

AINU promotes sustainable agriculture and natural resource management within rural farming communities by providing training and technical support to farmers. Sustainable agriculture is an approach to agriculture that is ecologically sound, economically viable, and contributes to social justice in farming communities. Natural resource management is a way to lessen the exploitation and use of natural resources without losing their function and value over time. AINU's approach is to train farmers in how to conduct their own ecological experiments so that they may develop appropriate methods to increase productivity in their farming systems while simultaneously reducing environmental degradation and health risks.

One way that we train farmers is through "Farmer Field Schools", where experiential learning activities take place in farmers' fields. 

In its sustainable agriculture programs,AINU collaborates with local NGOs that work directly with farming communities. We provide these partners with technical support and institutional strengthening to ensure that they can sustain their services to farmers over the long term. These partners build up the capacity of farmers' groups to access information, conduct research, and advocate for changes in local agricultural.

i) Literacy and Health

 

In the Uganda, the link between low literacy and poor health has been well established. AINU has been at the forefront of equipping low literacy adults with the vital health information through innovative programs that combine literacy with health AINU has found that introducing knowledge and strategies for good health into literacy programs is an effective method of reaching those most at risk for poor health and other damaging consequences of poverty.

AINU develops adapts and disseminates health curricula and student materials for adults with basic literacy and English skills, designs and implements teacher and program professional development programs, develops leadership among practitioners and learners, and advocates for public awareness and policy changes to emphasis the powerful connections between low-literacy, poverty and poor health outcomes.

j) Capacity Building

 

One of AINU's hallmarks is helping technical experts understand the learning needs of less formally educated practitioners and apply that knowledge to design and evaluate training programs.

Traditional training programs are often designed for technical experts with high levels of education and literacy, while other equally important practitioners - with lower levels of education - are passed over. These practitioners are at the front-lines of development: auxiliary nurses who are the backbone of isolated health facilities, farmers attempting to apply the latest research to growing crops, counselors who struggle to upgrade their skills in working with people living with HIV. While these people have a lot of experience in their jobs, they often do not have the literacy levels and the formal technical background that helps them grow in their areas of expertise.

AINU helps local partner organizations think strategically and thoughtfully about who really needs to be trained and for what purposes, to determine training content and methodology, to identify and select facilitators and program participants, and to develop meaningful evaluation indicators and techniques. AINU helps local organizations figure out how to integrate training initiatives into existing structures-at governmental, NGO, or community levels. By building skills at the local level, AINU increases the abilities of local communities to identify and address their most pressing issues by making sure all practitioners - particularly those on the front line, in greatest need of technical and literacy skills- receive the training they need to effectively do their jobs, and that they are able to use their new skill and knowledge long after they have left the classroom.

j)  Helping the Elderly in the Community

The elderly are among the most vulnerable in any community and as the average age of the population increases, there are more of them, a figure that’s only going to grow over the next few decades. Many are active and fiercely independent, but inevitably there will be a percentage, and a growing percentage at that, that will have mobility problems.

k) Environment Awareness Campaign

Environmental protection should not only be of concern to the government, but also of every individual. The success of a policy depends on public awareness. An important role of AINU is to increase the environmental awareness of Communities. By improving the environmental awareness we believe that hosts will take ownership and exceeding the environmental benchmarks.