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Community Stories

Providing Clean Water to Villages in Kenya

Majaso Human Development (MAHUDE) is an NGO working in Kenya to provide the local villages with clean water. Since open water sources typically are more susceptible to being contaminated, polluted, or depleted by evaporation, they decided the first step to reducing water-borne illness was protecting the springs that serve as the main water supplies for villages.

Gardening Toward a Healthier Community in Riverside, California

My Neighbor’s Garden/Our Healthy Fridge (MNG/OHF) is a service provided by the Community Settlement Association (CSA) in Riverside, California. MNG/OHF’s goal is to improve the overall health in the Eastside neighborhood community. CSA promotes a healthy lifestyle by providing fresh produce, exercise programs, and cooking and nutrition classes. CSA’s clientele is predominantly Hispanic (87.5%) and extremely low income (76.8%).

Working to Reduce the Recidivism of Homelessness in Michigan

In 2008, South Oakland Shelter (SOS) initiated a redesign of its supportive services for people struggling with homelessness and began working with previous shelter clients to prevent repeated episodes. They provided departing clients with an array of services and support after exiting into the community or while receiving housing assistance. This program substantially increased services available to former clients, including ongoing individualized case management; education and life skills-based classes; mentoring; and support groups.

UYP: Promoting the Quality of Young People living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda

Uganda Youth Positives (UYP) is a group of mobilized and coordinated young HIV-positives with a mission to promote the quality of life for young people living with HIV/AIDS and to reduce the HIV prevalence rate among young people. The UYP drama team conveys messages of HIV protection, anti-stigma, and discrimination in schools and communities. UYP also trains peer educators in schools who pass on messages of protection and anti-stigma to their fellow peers. This has yielded a great result of behavioral change amongst the young people.

Providing HIV/AIDS Education in Lusaka – Zambia, Africa

The community had a problem with high death rates of parents due to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. These deaths were attributed to lack of HIV/AIDS prevention literacy, condoms, sensitization, and treatment and led to a growing number of orphans and vulnerable children without parental support who, as a result, often became involved in harmful practices.

Making Wellness a Priority at the University of Maryland

In January of 2008, the University of Maryland Campus Wellness Coalition formed to address the health and wellness of the College Park campus community. Student wellness affects academic success, but it seems that often wellness is seen as an individual concern, rather than a campus priority.

Grandmothers Growing Mushrooms for Income and Nutrition – Uganda, Africa

St. Francis Health Care Services, located in Njeru Town Council near the Source of the Nile in Uganda, is an HIV/AIDS non-government organization established in 1998. St. Francis Health Care Services recognized that many HIV positive children in the Buikwe District of Kampala were suffering from nutrition-related illnesses. So, they set out to establish a child rehabilitation centre for extremely ill children with HIV. Following the treatment and nutritional support, many of them were able to recover in a month or two, but still faced the challenge of proper feeding back home.

Using Environmental Technology to Support Wetland Villages – Kenya, Africa

Lake Victoria Wetland Villages experience multiple problems. These problems include many water-borne diseases as locals depend on rivers, lakes, springs and wells with water that is contaminated with human fecal matter and other contaminants for household consumption. Additionally, wetlands are experiencing degradation, and biodiversity is decreasing through anthropogenic activities such as reclamation for farming and settlement, burning, and over-harvesting of wetlands vegetation. These practices lead to the impairment of crucial ecosystem goods and services.

Providing Produce for Low-Income Populations

America’s dependence on processed food has produced an array of detrimental effects—heart disease, diabetes, and obesity chief among them. These interrelated problems are particularly pronounced in low-income minority populations, and especially so for women and children. The District of Colombia exemplifies this crisis. Feeding America reports that 29% of DC’s children—over 30,000 in all—live in poverty. Our food insecurity and unemployment rates both exceed the national average. For far too many people, poor health and poverty constitute a vicious cycle of dependency.

Training Hospital Staff in Teaching Child Patients How to Play

The Life is Good Kids Foundation helps kids overcome life-threatening challenges such as violence, illness and extreme poverty. Their Playmakers Initiative provides training, resources and support to the adults dedicated to caring for these children so that all involved lead healthier, more joyful lives.