Saturday, May 30, 2009

KIFAD telecentre Introduce use of ICTs in its community

Kiyita Family Alliance for Development (KIFAD), a community based non-profit organization in Nansana Town Council, Wakiso District Uganda operates an offline-driven telecentre with a focus on families infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. Noting a deficit of information and poverty among families in the Wakiso area, a few families came together to work to rid their community of these evils, thus the formation of KIFAD telecentre.

The telecentre is equipped with four computers with CDroms, a photocopier, digital camera and lots of paper content including books, brochures, posters, pamphlets. The telecentre is run by the programme manager who oversees all the activities undertaken and a group of volunteers who are always on hand to research for information beneficial to the families under the telecentre program.

How KIFAD telecentre Operates


The telecentre takes on an intermediary role in connecting HIV/AIDS support organizations with the people in the Wakiso community. These include;

  • AIDS Information Centre, specializing in HIV/AIDS counseling and testing, a service now available to the community every month free of charge.
  • Infectious Diseases institute, working with discordant couples care and HIV/AIDS counseling and testing.
  • Naphofanu, an umbrella group for people living with HIV/AIDS. These are offering training to mostly women to setup and run income generating activities, demystifying HIV/AIDS and promoting positive living.
  • Uganda redcross society. KIFAD telecentre being a member of this society in involved in practices like blood donation exercises to save lives. Red Cross has also offered to train members in providing first-aid treatment.
  • Mildmay, family Hope – are some of the organizations that are providing free HIV/AIDS care and treatment but albeit unknown to many HIV/AIDS patients.
  • Support to children of families affected with HIV/AIDS with education funding agencies.

Successes

  • KIFAD has given hope to so many people in the Wakiso community. From humble beginnings of a couple of families to a sizeable number of over 200 working together for development.
  • More people are getting are becoming aware of the dangers of HIV/AIDS and are more willing to undergo HIV/AIDS counseling and testing.
  • Several children and women run families have been equipped with business skills. There are some already producing very good products, which include; fruit jam, flour, operating a retail shop
  • More children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS are now attending school
  • Stigmatization has greatly reduced. HIV/AIDS carriers can now open come out to talk about their experiences.

Future

  • To use information communication technologies (ICTs) including mobile phones, computers, portable devices (PDAs) in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Using the freely available web 2.0 resources (blogs, wikis, social media) to tell story of living positively with HIV/AIDS online.
  • Have couples freely undergoing HIV/AIDS counseling and testing sessions together. At the moment, most men shun these sessions leaving them to only the women and children

For further reading,

An idea in offing on how to use ICTs in fighting HIV/AIDS

A donor's experience supporting one of KIFAD's HIV/AIDS projects

A volunteer's experience working with KIFAD

Submitted as an entry to the telecentre.org Blog Contest.