March 17th, 2014

The PAORINHER project in northern Uganda

Uganda is facing an HIV/ AIDS crisis, with a national average of 7.2% of the population testing HIV positive. Nowhere is this problem more acute than in the Agago District, where 11% of the population have tested positive for HIV, many of whom are young children.

The Agago District has faced 20 years of war and has been neglected by the government for many years. This means that the people have very limited access to healthcare, education, and food, and have little connection to the outside world as a result of the poor infrastructure.

The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group was very active in the area for many years, using sexual violence as one of its weapons of terror. This issue, combined with a lack of education about prevention and treatment, have led to a high instance of HIV infection.

The PAORINHER (Patongo Orphan Infants Health Rehabilitation) Centre is HART’s Partner in northern Uganda, which exists to support and treat HIV-positive children and their care-givers. HART has supported the clinic for the past 6 years. The clinic now provides medical aid, counseling, nutrition and education to 215 children and their caregivers, who are often grandparents looking after orphans and abandoned children. Despite these impressive achievements, there is still much need and vision for growth: it has been estimated that there are almost 500 children in the area who are still in desperate need of treatment.

Today, the project is facing a crisis; the possible threat of closure. That is why I will be running the Luxembourg ING half marathon for this project. The event is on the 31st of May, so I am currently running 4-5 times per week in order to reach my goal of running the half marathon in less than 2 hours and 10 minutes. I am raising funds towards the wonderful work of helping and treating the vulnerable children in northern Uganda after too many years of suffering and neglect. You can help me reach my goal of £350! Please visit https://www.justgiving.com/Erika-Nordblad and donate as much or as little as you want. Remember that every penny counts and will help keep the PAORINHER Centre open, providing invaluable treatment and a greater quality of life to these young children.

Erika Nordblad

By Erika Nordblad

Erika Nordblad is an intern at HART. She studies politics with international relations at the University of Bath. She is interested in women’s rights and international development.

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