The Mpoma Community HIV/AIDS Initiative / / Mpoma, Mukono District, Uganda
The Mpoma Community HIV/AIDS Initiative was founded in 1999 by a group of caretakers affected or infective by HIV/AIDS and worried about their children’s futures. They have since developed multifaceted programs focused on education, food security, health, livelihoods, and orphan care. In 2002 they opened the Johnson Nkosi Primary School to provide the vulnerable youth with consistent access to education and a safe environment for them to learn and prosper.
The Mpoma Community HIV/AIDS Initiative works closely with Komo Learning Centres (KLC) to develop a strategic plan for program structure and implementation. KLC was established in 2008, with the intention to provide educational solutions that address the major gaps in the Ugandan school system. Since its inception, KLC has focused its efforts on empowering the Mpoma community members to improve their own well being via education, agriculture and food security, health, and income-generating activities. More broadly, KLC is working to identify and fine-tune a model for the sustainable development of rural communities.
Located in south-central Uganda, the Mpoma Parish is a sub-region of the Mukono District, with approximately 7,000 residents. A mere 20 km outside of the country’s lively capital of Kampala, yet the semi-rural community lacks many of the services, opportunities, and resources found in the city. The Mpoma Community HIV/AIDS Initiative hopes to change this through programs that promote sustainable internal development of the community.
Its location on the trans-continental highway, which links central Africa to the Indian Ocean coast, has made Mpoma extremely susceptible to disease transmission, specifically the HIV epidemic. Although there has been a nationwide drop in HIV-prevalence over the past few decades, the Mpoma community still suffers from a shocking rate of 15-20% HIV positive. The Mpoma Community HIV/AIDS Initiative believes that improved education and awareness will dramatically reduce this statistic, and secure a brighter future for the families of Mpoma.