Community action for AIDS prevention
The Community Action for AIDS Prevention project
(CAAP) in Kampala takes advantage of the urban setting to jointly train
religious and community leaders of many faiths. Due to the density of the
population in their communities, trained Muslim and Christian leaders place less
emphasis on home visits and more emphasis on spreading AIDS education messages
through group talks at mosques, churches, and Local Council meetings.
CAAP reaches beyond religious leaders and trains groups of
bicycle taxi drivers (boda boda boys) and market vendors to pass on
information about HIV/AIDS through their interaction with the public - at market
stalls and while delivering passengers to their destinations.
We work in a densely populated area. Every home in our
congregation has been affected by AIDS. And it is not only AIDS that is killing
our people - there is cholera, dysentery, malaria, and typhoid. The area next to
us is Katanga Valley, one of Kampalas largest slums.
I joined Muslim leaders in Kampala at IMAUs AIDS
Education Workshop. Since then I have worked with women from Katanga Valley to
start Income-Generating Activities. These women can be very bitter. They have
already lost their children to AIDS. Some call their body their shop
and feel they have no other means to support themselves. It is the local men
here, the mechanics in the garages, who misuse them. They give them enough to
buy a meal for that day. Socially, these women become misfits then opt for
drinking and more prostitution.
We meet weekly as a group, for fellowship and to develop
self-respect as women. The women are from many faiths - Catholic, Protestant,
Pentecostal, and Muslim. They enjoy coming together to learn, but feel they
already know everything about HIV/AIDS. I vary the topics of our weekly meetings
and bring in guest speakers. We talk about AIDS, but we have also had lessons on
basic hygiene, recycling waste into fuel briquettes, cookery, and how to wear
the traditional dress.
Starting with a small amount of money for IGAs, the project
has grown incredibly. Women take out loans from the group to start small
businesses, like selling doughnuts or cassava chips. All they need is a charcoal
stove, a frying pan, and a slotted spoon. Many of them used to do something,
like work in a salon, but then got pregnant and the father ran away.
They have children and no source of income. Our village bank
helps get these women back on their feet.
Womens Group Leader
Peters Church, Kampala
Organizations represented at CAAP workshops
To date, the 70 organizations that have participated at
CAAPs Kampala workshops have included:
· 29 Catholic and Protestant
· 4 born-again churches
· 16 local Council parishes
· 1 group boda boda boys
· 1 group market