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Ugandan Family’s Food Security Boosted

​Prisca*, 42, lost her husband to HIV/AIDS in 1998 and has since received testing and health services for herself and four children through the Civil Society Fund subgrantee Kitovu Mobile.
Two years later, she fell ill and decided to take an HIV test, which turned out to be positive. In 2003, she enrolled for ARV treatment with The AIDS Support Organization in Masaka. She also had her four children, ages 4 to 16, tested, and thankfully they all turned out to be HIV-negative, the youngest one having been protected through prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission services.
 


However, Prisca’s woes were not over. She did not have any property in her name, and was only a caretaker of the mud-and-wattle house that she called home. Providing for her family was difficult because she had to rent pieces of land on which to grow food, and she could hardly afford basic items such as beddings. During a mapping and identification exercise of the most vulnerable households in Prisca’s home parish in 2010, her household was selected for food security interventions. The mapping and analysis was conducted by Civil Society Fund sub-grantee Kitovu Mobile.
 
As part of Kivotu Mobile’s interventions, Prisca and her older children participated in training covering agronomic practices and animal husbandry. The family was provided with 5 kilograms of beans, 5 kilograms of maize, cassava cuttings, sweet potato vines, and vegetable seedlings to plant in their rented garden. They also received two hoes and a machete ― implements to help them enhance food production ― and an expectant pig, to enable them to start a piggery project to boost their income. To improve their sleeping conditions, Kitovu Mobile gave the family mattresses and blankets.
 
The family has reaped the first harvest of maize, beans, and vegetables. The sweet potato and cassava garden is doing well, and the family is hopeful that they will get enough food from it, as well as vines and cuttings to plant next season. With the savings from maize and cassava sales, Prisca plans to buy her own piece of land in the future. She also looks forward to earning extra income by selling piglets when her sow gives birth.
 
The Civil Society Fund is a multi-donor (USAID, the Danish International Development Agency, U.K. Department for International Development, Irish Aid, and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency) funding mechanism that brings together CSOs in support of national HIV/AIDS and orphans and vulnerable children responses in Uganda. The fund currently supports 30 CSOs involved in HIV/AIDS prevention work and 42 CSOs providing a range of services to orphans and vulnerable children.
 
*Name has been altered for confidentiality.

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