This past summer, a group of SAFE’s international interns worked to launch a new eRanger motorcycle ambulance program. The Launch Day celebration brought together some of the most compelling aspects of SAFE’s work. Over the next two weeks, we’ll be doing a series of posts about those efforts. Enjoy!
Working with community groups is a crucial component of SAFE’s approach to community-based work. Community groups are comprised of both genders, and include men’s groups, women’s groups and co-ed development associations. Members come together to identify problems affecting their collective community, and work with SAFE to understand the real origins of these challenges and the best ways to address them.
The community groups’ influence in promoting maternal and child health goes far beyond what SAFE advocates could do on their own; because they are members of the communities SAFE serves, they bring an intimate and essential knowledge of local viewpoints, challenges and culture.
Bukoteka Bead’s Development Association (Bubeda) is a wonderful example. Bubeda felt that a key problem in their community was adolescent pregnancy and apathy. Beyond addressing this problem in their programs, they decided to directly recruit youth members to join their group. Now roughly half of their total membership is made up of Ugandan youth, and because of it, they are able to influence vulnerable teens and young mothers in positive ways. Many of Bubeda’s members were present at Launch Day, lending helping hands wherever they could. Their performances were youthful and vibrant, appealing to a wide range of audiences.
All of the community groups’ were celebrated at the launch and presented with certificates of appreciation and recognition by the District Nursing Officer who represented the District Health Office.