How local voluntary efforts are making a positive change in the lives of HIV-positive children in Entebbe

While the effect of the support provided by New Dawn cannot be calculated, parents and children alike say the foundation has had a huge impact on their lives.

Richard Musisi has brought his two sons, ages 8 and 10, to the foundation for the last two years following the death of his wife. It was his wife who initially brought the boys.

“When they first cam they were not looking good,” he says through a translator.

Providing for his family as a single father is a challenge.

Being able to count on the monthly food package from New Dawn is a big relief. Musisi says he also grows vegetables at home — a skill learned through the foundation. “I know about the balanced diet that can help the children out,” he says.

The opportunity to see his boys healthy and having fun is a source of happiness for him, he explains.

“When the children are playing with each other they are happy, and the care New Dawn is giving them is good enough for them to feel at home,” Musisi says.

And it is not just the children who have changed for the better.

The community effort has inspired a culture of philanthropy and volunteering. The coordination of the monthly gathering relies entirely on volunteers.

“I know where these people come from,” says Nakanjako, who has volunteered with New Dawn from the beginning. “We found kids (sic) who were dying, and I have seen them grow up.”

“This additional support, I know it is doing great work in their life,” she added.

Even parents, who struggle to feed their children, have found ways to give back to the foundation. Segirinya recalls a mother — who arrived at the foundation barefoot — offering a sack of avocados to the group.

“I almost cried. She had nothing on her feet and here she is, bringing many avocados,” Segirinya recalls.

These instances of people helping one another are encouraging to New Dawn’s founders. Segirinya hopes that in the coming years, the community will take over the leadership of New Dawn Foundation, allowing him to start up other projects.

“We should be our brother’s keeper,” Segirinya says. “When you see some of these positive things, you get motivated to do more.”

SOURCE: DAILY MONITOR

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