As we wrap up one year and move onto the next, we often find ourselves looking for ways to give – not just to our friends and families, but to the causes we care most about. This holiday season, why not give to HIV-positive women, men, and children, and an organization you can trust?
Here are a few ways you can help support Alive Medical Services’ mission this holiday season.
Alive Medical Services is seeking support for three major projects: Stop the Cycle of HIV: Support Women and Children!, End HIV Stigma Through Storytelling, and Transform the Lives of 13,000 HIV-Positive Ugandans. Donations made toward these causes will help AMS support our clients in 2018 and beyond.
Across Uganda, hundreds of thousands of women are living with HIV. Without the proper support, HIV positive mothers will give birth to HIV positive babies, making an AIDS-free Uganda an impossibility. This project will help Alive Medical Services, a medical centre in one of Kampala’s poorest neighborhoods, support women and children with free HIV treatment. By donating, you will have an impact not only on the lives of our patients, but on the lives of families and communities as a whole.
In Uganda and around the world, HIV positive individuals are subject to severe stigma and discrimination. A biased perception of HIV results in staggering outcomes for those affected, impacting an individual’s ability to connect with others and adhere to their treatment. As a result, many fear getting tested and treated for HIV. With your help, this project will work to change perceptions of HIV through the power of storytelling – reshaping an HIV positive person as a fighter, not a victim.
Join us in transforming the lives of 13,000 Ugandans by supporting the work of Alive Medical Services (AMS). Strategically located in one of Kampala’s most impoverished neighborhoods, AMS provides holistic, free medical care 24/7. Clinicians, counselors and nurses serve patients with love and dignity, ensuring those living with HIV can live healthy, full lives. We provide medical care, income-generating programs, psychosocial support, nutrition aid, youth initiatives, and more.
Alive Medical Services has teamed up with 10 partners around Kampala to build a library in our Youth and Children’s Wing. Keep an eye out for our red donation boxes, and drop your change in as you leave! No amount is too small to donate, and every shilling counts.
Guardian Health (Guardian Health has agreed to 100 percent match all donations!)
Locations: Kabalagala, Kisementi, Bunga Road, Jinja Main Road
Locations: Garden City, Kampala Road, Acacia Mall
Locations: Muyenga, Kisementi
Location: Kingsgate Mall
Location: Tank Hill Road (next to BBROOD Muyenga)
Locations: Parliamentary Avenue, Garden City, Ntinda
Location: Tank Hill Road (next to Italian Supermarket)
Food and Goodies
Locations: Haji Musa Kasule Road, Wandegeya, Kampala Road
Location: Acacia Mall
Even if you can’t contribute money, there’s so much you can do to help! Organize an event at your school, office, or in your community, and donate the proceeds toward Alive Medical Services. Options for a fundraising event include:
The amount that you raise doesn’t have to be huge. Even $20 (or 20,000 shillings!) can mean the world to a client living with HIV. We can help make your event a success by offering details about our programs and the impact they have; event planning advice; communications materials; digital copies of promotional materials; and recognition of your event on our social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram).
If you’re interested in hosting a fundraising event for Alive and would like support, please contact Elissa at email@example.com.
Donate to Alive Medical Services via Mobile Money!
As an HIV clinic that provides comprehensive care to our clients, we could use much more than just money – medical supplies, books, clothes, soap, personal hygiene items, blankets, food, and toys are all greatly appreciated, as each item will go directly toward an HIV-positive individual in need. Any and all of these donations can be dropped off at Alive Medical Services in Namuwongo, Kampala (we’re open 24/7!), or mailed to us at Plot 5, U.N. Rise First Close, Namuwongo, Kampala.
On December 2, 2017, 100 children gathered at Alive Medical Services for Children’s Day.
“Even though they’re children, they still experience stress,” said Lorna, a counselor with AMS’ youth and children program. “Children’s Day gives them a chance to be free and have fun together. They can forget their troubles for a little while.”
Throughout the day, youth peer educators led children in a number of different activities. They sang, danced, and played games, sometimes with their caregivers, other times with their peers.
The youth educators talked to children about the importance of adhering to their medication, along with other child-friendly health topics.
“Our youth educators really take charge of these events,” Lorna said. “They serve as good role models for the children, and encourage them to stay healthy.”
As children interacted with youth educators and staff, their caregivers participated in their own type of programming: music therapy. Our music therapy program was recently relaunched by two new members of our staff, both of whom arrived two weeks ago from the United Kingdom. These two staff members, Ella and Isabel, engaged caregivers in music therapy sessions throughout the day.
While in these sessions, caregivers were given the chance to unwind, share stories, and enjoy each other’s company. They talked about motherhood, care, and HIV, connecting over the challenges (and of course, the benefits) of raising HIV-positive children.
“A great part of today is the fact that children get to share love with their parents,” said Martin, a clinician at AMS. “We encourage children to dance, sing and spend time together, which is so important.”
One week from today, people around the world will celebrate #GivingTuesday. First launched in 2012, #GivingTuesday was created to kick off the charitable giving season, boosting the impact of organizations and connecting individuals with causes they care about.
To wrap up 2017 in the most impactful way possible, Alive Medical Services has teamed up with Global Giving to raise funds for our most vulnerable clients: HIV positive women, adolescent girls, and children. We’ve created this new project page to strengthen our programming for women and children, boosting our support for those most disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic in Uganda.
In addition, Global Giving will match every recurring donation made from November 28 to December 31 by 100%, amplifying your impact for HIV positive women, girls and children at AMS.
Every time we work together, we get closer to an AIDS-free Uganda. We are so excited for #GivingTuesday, and we hope you are too!
Across the world, young girls struggle to balance their menstruation cycles and their daily lives. Without the proper resources, a week-long period can mean a week out of school – and because in rural areas, sanitary pads can be expensive and nearly impossible to find, 30 percent of Ugandan girls miss class during their periods.
“I was an orphan, and when I was young, it was so hard for me to get sanitary pads,” said Carol,* a client at Alive Medical Services (AMS). “I had to rip my regular clothes and use those as pads.”
Remembering such experiences, Carol joined AMS’ Kisakye Group as soon as it was launched in February of 2015. AMS established the Kisakye Group for two reasons: the first, to help HIV-positive individuals earn a sustainable income; the second, to support girls and women with menstruation management. AMS trained six clients to cut, sew and create reusable sanitary pads – or “super kits” – for donation.
Each super kit contains four cotton pads, two “shields,” two Ziploc bags and a cloth drawstring bag. These super kits help women use their sanitary pads discretely and with dignity.
Since then, the women have continued coming to the clinic nearly every day to sew. The Kisakye Group produces approximately 200 super kits per quarter, each of which can last up to three years. AMS pays women for each super kit they produce, all of which are donated to vulnerable populations and other AMS clients.
“These pads are so important,” Carol said. “You can wash them easily, which prevents disease and infection.”
The sale of these pads has helped women like Carol change their lives: because of her income from the Kisakye Group – and because of her treatment at AMS for the last nine years – Carol’s health has remained under control. Her two children are HIV-negative, happy and healthy. And, Carol reports that her financial stability has helped her look past the stigma and misconceptions regarding HIV.
In addition, Carol’s husband left her last year. Instead of falling apart, the small family picked themselves up, built a new home, and started their lives on a healthier foot, all because of Carol’s savings from the Kisakye Group.
“I love being here,” Carol said. “Kisakye helped me build a one-bedroom house. It helps me budget for my children. Because I know how to make these pads, my daughter won’t have to deal with her period in the same ways I did.”
* we have changed the name of this client to protect her privacy