Asamuk's Community News

Coronavirus (COVID-19) impact on World Vision operations

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Thanks to the generous support of donors, we’re making great progress toward the well-being of children and their families. These are a few of the areas we focused on in the past year: 

The Asamuk program is in the eastern region of Uganda, about 45 kilometres from the town of Soroti, and approximately 400 kilometres from Kampala, the nation's capital. And although it's a rural area, the population density is high here.

The area is generally flat, with some gently sloping hills. Most land is cultivated for farming. The rest of the terrain is either grassland dotted with shrubs and trees, or swampy. The shea nut tree grows wild in the area, but it's rapidly disappearing because of its popularity as a source of firewood.

The climate is tropical and semi-arid here. Traditionally, there are two rainy seasons: from March to July, and from August to November. However, the climate has changed in recent years. Rainfall has become irregular, and can no longer be predicted by farmers.This has led to widespread crop failures, food shortages and malnutrition among children.

More than 90 per cent of families are farmers, but many are unable to grow enough to support themselves. Sorghum, millet, maize, peanuts, cassava and sweet potatoes are typically grown for food, and rice is a cash crop.

Children and the elderly make up more than 60 per cent of the population, so the majority of people depend on a small number of adults to support them. High HIV prevalence has resulted in many orphans, child-headed households, as well as sick and dying people. Impoverished families struggle under the added burden to support them.
Child Protection
  • 85 children took actions to help end violence against girls and boys, raising awareness in the community about protecting children from harm and abuse.
  • 19 cases of child abuse were reported to the authorities, providing more support for girls and boys experiencing abuse.
  • 24 youth have learned about hygiene, gender equality and family planning, enabling them to make informed decisions about their futures.
  • 9 books written in the local language were given to schools, providing students with reading materials that are age-appropriate and in their own language.
  • 16 community systems are now implementing child literacy activities in and out of school
  • 9 local volunteers have participated in literacy training, improving how they support children learning to read and write.
  • 1010 community members learned about climate change and the environment, increasing their understanding of their impact on the environment.
  • 400 savings groups were established
  • 2 Value Chain Networks have been established and are functional
  • 284 farming and agricultural groups formed, helping producers work together for better harvests.
  • 1200 farmers accessed extension services
  • 800 households now have multiple sources of income
  • 3242 farmers accessed savings group services
  • 5 acreages were planted with orange fleshed sweet potato
  • 310 households are practicing kitchen gardening
  • 600 households used energy saving stove technology
  • 1210 farmers adopted better farming methods
Water, Sanitation, Hygiene
  • 10 schools are now integrating gender considerations into their water and sanitation facilities and practices

*Results achieved from October 2018 to September 2019
To ensure children can access and benefit from quality education, World Vision will assist the community to:
  • Train school management committees and parent-teacher associations.
  • Promote enrolment of children at the appropriate age of six, to increase their chances of completing primary education.
  • Encourage community action for quality primary education services.
  • Build desks and school latrines to improve school environments.

Health Care
With the partnership of Canadian sponsors and the community, World Vision will work to:
  • Train community health teams to conduct health education and campaigns on the prevention and treatment of common diseases.
  • Encourage community-led action to improve health services.
  • Support immunization, hygiene, and sanitation campaigns.
  • Promote nutrition support for children and pregnant mothers.
  • Train families in nutrition gardening, and how to a balanced diet using locally available foods.
In partnership with sponsors, World Vision will work with families in the community to:
  • Train farmers groups in effective agricultural techniques.
  • Provide improved seeds and cuttings for food crops.
  • Support families with livestock on a pass-it-on basis.

To combat the spread and stigma of HIV & AIDS, World Vision will partner with the community to:
  • Educate community members of all ages on preventing the spread of HIV.
Child Protection
To ensure children and youth enjoy a safe and protected environment, World Vision will work to:
  • Strengthen local systems to protect children from neglect, abuse, and rights violations.
  • Establish children's clubs to give children a voice on decisions that affect them.
  • Educate parents on children's rights and their responsibilities as parents.

Community Leadership
With the support of Canadian sponsors, World Vision will partner with the community to:
  • Train households and community groups in disaster preparedness.
  • Educate community members on environmental conservation practices.

Economic Development
To ensure parents in Kamuda can provide for their families, World Vision will partner with the community to:
  • Support families to set up alternative income-generating activities, like beekeeping. Increase access to loans for farming and small businesses.

Explore Asamuk

current conditions

To protect the privacy of children, this map shows only the general area of the community, not the exact location.

The needs in Asamuk

Primary school dropout rates are high, especially beyond Grade 4. Schools are chronically short of desks and toilets. Girls and boys have to share latrines, which results in older girls avoiding school. This, combined with the practice of early marriage and the long distance to the only secondary school, leads more girls to drop out than boys. The few students who do attend post-secondary school rarely return to the community afterwards, so local children have very few educated role models.

Parents are often away from home for long hours each day, striving to support their families. Many are illiterate and don't see academic learning as practical, so they are reluctant to invest time or money in their children's education. Schools lack parental support and participation, and parent-teachers associations do not exist.

Health Care
More people in Kamuda suffer from malaria than from all other illnesses combined. Malaria cases increase during the rainy season, when stagnant water creates ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Many children die of preventable diseases. Only 46% of children between the age of one and two are fully vaccinated. Many families do not have a latrine, and the lack of sanitation causes diseases like diarrhea to spread. Malnutrition is common, making children more vulnerable to deadly diseases.

The demand for medical treatment overwhelms the two health centres, and they typically run out of drugs for three or four months each year. In-community health teams are not active, so families living far away from a health centre face serious risks. Only the regional hospital 50 kilometres away has the facilities to treat malnourished children. Instead of walking many kilometres to an ill-supplied health centre, many community members instead buy medications from untrained local drug vendors.

Fertile soil, adequate rainfall, and reliable growing seasons are critical to providing this agriculturally dependent community with food. However, this is often not the case. Soils are becoming less fertile, the climate is more unpredictable, and prolonged droughts and floods are becoming common. As a result, crop yields are poor, and natural disasters are more frequent.

Families simply don't produce enough food, and children often experience hunger between harvests. Mudfish, a local food source, is also disappearing as its habitat steadily shrinks.

The HIV rate in Kamuda is approximately 17%, much higher the national average of 6.4%. This is largely due to attacks and atrocities committed in the past by rebel soldiers. A large number of people living with AIDS are helpless or bedridden and many children have been orphaned. They live in households headed by other children, or with impoverished relatives who cannot cope with the added burden of care and support.

Child Protection
Children in Kamuda are generally not consulted when decisions are made in their homes or community, so their rights are not always upheld or their voices heard. There is a high rate of child neglect and abandonment. Harsh discipline of children sometimes becomes abusive, resulting in children running away from home and dropping out of school.

Community Leadership
Many trees in Kamuda are being cut down to clear land for cultivation or for firewood to be used in cooking, charcoal burning, and brick making. This has a negative effect on society as well as the environment. As more trees disappear, women and girls walk longer distances searching for firewood, taking up much of their time and putting them at risk. Swamps are being cleared, which makes this low-lying community more prone to flooding.

Economic Development
In an effort to produce income, farmers are trying to grow rice as a cash crop in the surrounding wetlands. They are meeting with little success, however, and are faced by a lack of income-generating activities in the community.
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Life cycle of a sponsorship community

Asamuk,  is in Phase 2

PHASE 2: Evaluate and grow

We monitor progress and make adjustments to meet goals. More community members become involved, lead projects and gain ownership of their success.