Wednesday, July 11, 2007

An Introduction to Lyantonde, Uganda

Three of us, Rhea, Lauren and I (Daniel), spent the last four days in Lyantonde, Uganda, a small town located three and half hours southwest of the capital Kampala. Until last year, when district boundaries were modified, Lyantonde was part of Rakai district, notoriously known as the birthplace of AIDS in Uganda.

Introduced by truck drivers from all across East Africa, HIV spread quickly into the surrounding rural community, brought home by young women forced into prostitution by the heavy demands of absolute poverty.

This is the town where Project FOCUS will be working for the next six months. No running water, no internet and unreliable electricity. A region of spectacular natural beauty juxtaposed to the suffering of a community devastated by AIDS.

Prince Primary School

A school of four classrooms constructed by the community in response to an orphan crisis without historical precedence. More than 200 children from the surrounding rural areas attend school daily at Prince Primary. Unfortunately, most of them have lost one or both parents to AIDS. Project FOCUS will be working with the headmaster and school teachers to implement an art curriculum that provides psychosocial therapy and empowers youth with an outlet for creative self-expression and story-telling through different media.

Vocational Training -- (a work in progress...)

Lauren, the photographer of the images in this post, is still in Lyantonde working on a series of photo stories that explore opportunities available for children orphaned by AIDS. The following photographs were taken at a carpentry shop that trains older students with practical skills they can use to support themselves and their families.


Rachel Han said...

sounds like you are all having a wonderful time. i'll keep on checking back for updates

Enos asiimwe said...

Hi, i would like to differ with you on your first statement that Lyantonde 'has no running water,no internet and no reliable power' thats not true unless u were staying outside the main trading center! The main town has water,power and internet ....the next time u re in lyantonde please get in touch i will furnish u with facts.... My e-mail is ''. Enos.