On Wednesday 18/02/2015, one of UPHLS District coordinators carry out a HIV&AIDS prevention outreach in Nyamwiza village, Mwumba Cell, Buyoga Sector, Rulindo District in the Northern Province of Rwanda. The area is in a mountainous and the majority of the population depends on agriculture and or works in tea plantations for a living. Travelling around and working in tea plantations are very difficult for persons with disabilities (PWDs) especially those with physical impairments and those with visual impairments.
It is for this reason that KOYIMABU cooperative, in which a big number of members are persons with disabilities, started to work in bee keeping, a shared activity which will help them to increase their income. In this cooperative, during an outreach campaign session organized by UPHLS in order to prevent HIV among PWDs, the leader (president of that cooperative trained as a trainer) explained to participants what is HIV and AIDS, consequences to the community, prevention measures and rights of PWDs.
This awareness creation session was participatory. At the end, the Executive Secretary of Buyoga Sector who was also present appreciated the role of UPHLS in community mobilization on HIV prevention and other subjects. He says that this kind of activity contribute to reducing stigma and discrimination towards PWDs. He therefore promised a good collaboration with UPHLS as whole and with the cooperative in particular. He said that from then onwards KOYIMABU would be allowed to use the sector ‘meeting room for its activities. Thus the outreach session steered up a good collaboration with local authority and in a way it worked out as an advocacy tool.