Kalangala District Forum of People living with HIV /AIDS Network (KAFOPHAN) is an umbrella organization of people living with HIV in Kalangala District. It was started in the year 2003, and it is registered as an NGO by the National NGO board and it’s a member of National Forum of People living with HIV Networks in Uganda. .KAFOPHAN coordinates small PLHIV Groups which are village based and do support in accelerating communities to response against HIV and human rights. Since the establishment of KAFOPHAN, several partnerships and linkages have been created with individuals and organizations that share a similar vision in promoting a pro- active and health community of people living with HIV free from any form of social economic exclusion.
Goal: Apro-active health and self-coordinating constituency of people living with HIV/AIDS in Kalangala district free from any form of social economic exclusion.
Mission: To contribute to the restoration of hope to people infected and affected with HIV through influencing district and national HIV response.
- To organize and coordinate all organizations, groups and people living with HIV/AIDS in Kalangala district to influence the District and National HIV/AIDS response
- To act as a network drawing together organizations, groups and people living with HIV/AIDS in Kalangala District
- To mitigate the psychosocial and economic effects of HIV and AIDS in communities.
- To contribute to reduction of HIV prevalence in Kalangala by encouraging positive health dignity and prevention amongst people living with HIV.
- To promote collaboration and networking with other HIV and AIDS related organizations, District Departments and government agencies.
- To lobby government for legal and policy frameworks geared towards protecting PLHIV, widows, orphans and vulnerable children.
- To undertake monitoring and evaluation of policies, programmes and government bodies and other development partners to assess their impacts on both infected and affected persons
KAFOPHAN is made up of a functional board of 11 members of whom 7seven are sub county representatives, 3 executive members and two representatives of women and youth. This organ has enabled KAFOPHAN to come up with different programmatic options to achieve the visionary goal. The board has been responsible for identification and recruitment of required staff for the organization. The board has time and again stood for the community member needs like supporting and spear heading advocacy for improved health and general social service delivery.
Message from chairperson KAFOPHAN
The idea to set up KAFOPHAN was hatched in the year 2000 by the late Molly Mulaaza after there had been an increased suffering form the HIV/AIDS pandemic among the islanders. There was no voice through which ‘their’ out-cry could be heard. There were no voluntary counseling and testing services among the islanders, yet these very services were being offered on the main land freely. This therefore always culminated into ultimate deaths due to lack of immediate intervention and attention. The number of those infected and affected by the virus was on the increase. It was therefore to this effect that KAFOPHAN saw light of the day in the year 2003.
KAFOPHAN was established solely by me together with the help of other 7 (seven) people who unfortunately not all of them have lived to witness the achievements of their dream because some passed away. KAFOPHAN did not get the support from the District by then. This was because there was no evidence of the actual people infected with the virus there by not showing the impact of the ‘just born’ Forum.
It was through the District that Ministry of Health funded the Health Centers to teach people about STDs. Action Aid and NAFOPHANU later joined after the District had acquired the facilities to screen the virus, the CD4 count and some money to make follow up. I therefore thank all our partners who have unendingly joined us in this struggle.
KAFOPHAN has had several strengths that the chairperson need not skip mentioning.
- Many people have openly come out and declared their HIV/AIDS status.
- Co-coordinating and mobilizing members to support advocacy campaigns for improved health service delivery.
- KAFOPHAN has trained people in the sub counties for instance counselors assistants who talk with people.
- Support the victims in agricultural skills, tailoring, farming, etc. KAFOPHAN also provides seedlings to boost this initiative of agricultural development.
- Restoration of hope amongst people living with HIV for health living.
- What started simple in the year 2000 has now become a fully fledged Forum/platform for the PLHIV
- Acquired office and permanent staff.
- Infrastructure and land given by the land board on which Alliance buildings have been built in Kalangala, Bukasa and Bufumira.
- Sensitized children not to lose hope after the death of their parents. .
- Managed to incorporate the members to volunteer at the secretariat.
We have faced a number of challenges some of which include the following;
- There are many people on board who would want treatment but there is some times the pull out of some suppliers like JCRC.
- Distances that people have to move for the CD4 count. Transport has proved a big hindrance because of the high expenses associated with water transport.
- The students who are on HIV/AIDS medication in schools lack trained teachers /personnel who should look after them and mobilize them especially the routine on drugs adherence..
- Insufficient counselors to counsel, and follow up clients who are instead left out in villages.
- The lack of Youth friendly services due to lack of fellow role models.
- The financial constraints where our donors cannot meet any issue as it emerges.
Our innovation rests in the fact that funding sources are being diversified through partnership and social enterprises. Capacity of staff team in growing as a result of exposures. I take this opportunity to thank all partners and individuals who have contributed massively to the growth of the organization and lives of people living with HIV.