Report, 2011

THE NEXT STEPS, MARPS IN UGANDA
NO-HATE.jpg RIBBON.jpg MARPS IN UGANDA ©         ANNUAL REPORT 2011
Kampala Road Zone, Kawaala P.O. Box 27530 Kampala www.marpsinuganda.org                                                                                                                                                     
Greetings from CEO, Thomas Muyunga
              MOST AT RISK POPULATIONS’ SOCIETY IN UGANDA
Dear Sponsor! We have established ourselves as an organisation having action around violence, violations, abuse, discrimination and stigma. We have made a significant contribution, commitment and consolidation of our work targeting marginalised sub-population groups in Uganda. The groups include (but not limited to); Persons with disabilities, MSM, Substance users, PLHIV, Sex-workers, LGBTIQQ, Young People, Men and Women in informal sector ( CSOs, Truckers, artisans, fisher-folk and food vendors). We have conducted leadership improvement sessions and were able to interact with; security personnel, community leaders and the Civil Society (sorority and fraternity) of Uganda. We have established 172 social spaces (groups or community- halls) where we shall continue conducting thematic talks and planning on: Violence, abuse, discrimination, stigma, sexuality, gender, diversity, HIV, Health, STIs, Poverty, Development and Social responsibility. This is our contribution to democracy and good governance.
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Well-wishers, friends and a voluntary spirit of founders was the route through which USD 280,000 was mobilised to: pay for office space up to December 2011; pay for a transitory home up to December 2011; attend 3 study conferences; conduct 13 seminars on sexuality, gender, HIV, Human rights; provide medication to 250 attendees; procure 5,000 mls of water based lubricant;  generate a vulnerability/MARPs Profile; conduct 15 health fares and; conduct 73 talk sessions interrogating  behaviour/practices (risky or violent)  that fuel HIV/STIs in communities.

 Our organisation’s name is shortened as MARPS IN UGANDA; we did start in 2007, under the present day MARPs Network. MARPS IN UGANDA is pursuing a different mandate, objectives and strategy. We have indeed contributed immensely to what is known as at-risk populations’ planning and programming. We engage individuals and organisations in doing something about discriminative contexts. We also engage in activities that improve uptake of HIV-related services without discrimination.  We foresee a society where there is unconditional positive regard when it comes to dealing with human beings.  We do implement activities around that vision.
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We have a resource center which is also doubling as an office space and a care facility for LGBTIQQ. We do provide anonymous counselling through a hotline and callers call toll free. We have 4 medical doctors who have been with our organisation since inception. A fifth medical doctor has just joined us recently. All these medical doctors are friendly and ethical. We do have 3 counsellors, 5 laboratory technologists and 20 social workers who have all been trained through seminars and workshops on sexuality, orientation and gender identity. They are now skilled in handling marginalised sub-populations. We shall be able to effectively conduct our reach-out health fares.
Mentorship drives included capacity building trainings to 37 groups to which we passed on leadership, management, research, report-writing and documenting skills. Grass-root communities which are empowered are able to generate experiences for informing policy, programming and trends. We intend to work with more groups in the next months and years.
We have reached over 35,000 beneficiaries with health services and have networked with 35 ART-Provider health facilities. At our resource center it is possible to provide sit-in talk sessions on themes such as; Young Peoples’ issues, IGAs, Poverty, development, sexuality, gender and diversity. We do operate a non discrimination social space where we also have theme moments with films. We partner with communities and organisations to cause more action against Violence, abuse, Discrimination and Stigma (VADS). We take to communities HIV testing, use identified social spaces or fares to address VADS and we intend to produce a report document on this. We are working towards empowering the minority communities to address Violence, Abuse, Discrimination, Stigma and linking same to poverty, disease.
We do have a website (www.marpsinuganda.org), 3 internet-based social interactive spaces on face book (MARPS IN UGANDA, SOGIAH UGANDA, Say no to Homophobia) and have gone into cyber partnerships with 4 other internet –based spaces (e.g., AmfAR..) to continue accessing and providing information.
MARPS IN UGANDA operates an income generating activity project where 24 beneficiaries have benefited in form of: a motor-cycle hire business with 4 bikes were unfortunately pronounced DMCs and written off; 1 grocery kiosk; 1 beauty boutique; 3 upcoming photo shooters; 2 music/talent groups and; a stationery kiosk with printing services in one university. We have provided a revolving credit up to Ugx-500, 000 (USD 200) to 5 persons: 2 who were dealing in used clothier vending and 3 who are operating hair grooming salons. These persons have all been provided with a start-up credit and are doing business normally. An earlier revolving credit extension was for 13 manicure/paedicure operators who have since been able to continue with their work successfully.
This year, 9 persons evicted from their places of residence and homes approached us for refuge at our transitory home. 2, it was alleged were gay, 3 were photographed in same sex embrace and 4 male sex-workers.  In Uganda, same sex relations and sex-work are criminalized. We do receive first hand reports of ridicule, of evictions from homes, expulsion from schools and all sorts of homophobic backlash.  We provide counselling and possibly space up to two weeks and not beyond.  We encourage the persons to, as much as possible, look for somewhere to go. Through our networks we have managed to find safe spaces in tolerant residential communities. While with us we do provide: upkeep and self awareness, self esteem and good conduct counselling. We do regular check-in to ensure discipline. Our transitory home has given refuge to 129 persons since 2008. Below is the picture.

As a result of our efforts to generate an at-risk populations (MARPs) stakeholders’ mapping for the whole of Uganda and our dedication to eradicate violence, abuse, discrimination and stigma, we have initiated the first ever National Coalition of organisations targeting MARPs annual meeting            (NACOMAM) as a proprietary platform where all organisations will commit to eradicating violence, abuse, discrimination and stigma in Uganda. Through our list serve we have sent out a draft plan (agenda of sorts) through which we asked all these organisations to make inputs and constructive comments pending funding to conduct such an august meeting.
THE NEXT STEPS:
Kindly support our cause in form of:  providing targeted sexual reproductive health commodities (water-based lubricants, condoms, dildos, finger cots and dental dams), funds, used books, furniture for offices and resource center: for the next 12 months we need funds worth Ugx. 281,700,000 (USD 112,680 at the exchange rate of 1 USD= Ugx-2,500) to do the following;
1.       Pay internet for 12 months- Ugx. 500,000
2.       Hotline airtime for 12 months_ Ugx. 2,400,000
3.       Rent for Transitory Home: Ugx- 8,400,000
4.       Rent Offices: Ugx- 14,400,0000
5.       Pay Security: Ugx-4, 800,000
6.       Pay utilities fees: Ugx-4,800,000
7.       Salaries for 5 medical doctors:  Ugx-30,000,000
8.       Salaries for counsellors: Ugx-20,000,000
9.       Salaries for Laboratory Technicians: Ugx-20,000,000
10.   Purchases for sundries/Consumables: Ugx- 1,200,000
11.   Purchases for medications: Ugx- 10,000,000
12.   Administration/Travel/ Gay-related Medical education scholarships: Ugx-18,000,000
13.   Conducting reach out health-fares: Ugx- 36, 000,000
14.   Purchase for clinic wares: Ugx- 50,000,000
15.   Purchase for computer/printing unit: Ugx-10,000,000
16.   Purchase for furniture for 4 offices: Ugx-30,000,000
17.   Pay for World AIDS Day Commemoration Health-Fare targeting gay community-Ugx. 4,500,000 (to go towards: medication purchases, retainer for health workers and venue).
18.   Pay for printing 1,000 reports at Ugx. 10,000,000. Reports are used to show-case our work.
19.   Pay for administrative meetings: Ugx- 4,000,000
20.   Pay for membership to 5 major bodies: Ugx- 2,000,000

Our products include: Planned targeted programmes promoting democracy and governance without discrimination at grass-root levels;   increased number of  organisations able to access health services for members, increased spaces for democracy and governance values; democracy and governance education that will increase conversation, awareness and skills at community level; documenting experiences, seeking redress for abuses and; actions to eradicate violence, abuse, discrimination and stigma in communities.

With your support it is possible to share more stories, experiences, achievements, challenges but most of all an opportunity for those who are marginalised to have their contribution or chance to access services they were formerly denied due to their status, belief, gender, identity or orientation and therefore a chance to avoid infections. Indeed, with your contribution we have been able to create demand. With further support we can do even more. Thank you!! We do look forward to updating you on more of the experiences.

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