Circular - June 2015, with extracts from 2014 Acheru annual report
There is continuing work and discussions following Una and Phyllis’s evaluation, and we hope to have more developments to report soon.
All that’s taking place is only possible because of your help. We restate our commitment to spending all donations on the work in Uganda, with no deductions for administration here.
We didn’t know how we could proceed when we left Cherub and Besaniya, but in the six years since we started Acheru we have experienced such blessing, and seen development we could never have hoped for. The aim continues to be the bringing of a practical manifestation of Christ’s love, as a means of communicating the gospel to people who are suffering, and need more than words.
We have treated large numbers of children, but this only serves to remind us of so many more who need our help.
The following are extracts from the 2014 Acheru annual report:
Message from Samuel Mutumba, Africare Field Director: We have been able to bring a smile to thousands of children with disabilities. Many have come to know what we do through the testimonies of those we have treated before in communities, leaflets, posters, brochures, TV broadcasts and power point presentations.
All these achievements have been possible because of our dedicated staff at Minakulu and Kabembe; we appreciate their commitment and dedication.
Above all I thank our dear donor Africare Northern Ireland. Without their physical, spiritual and financial support many children with disabilities would still live miserable lives. We appreciate all our Partners; CoRSU, Katalemwa, Oyam District, Kibaale Community Centre, to mention but a few.
Acheru remains dedicated to giving quality services to children, bringing transformation and hope, making them resourceful and active members of their families and communities.
Message from Joyce Kayaga Kalinda, Acheru Administrator: Our heart as a project is to reach out to disabled children (discriminated, stigmatized and lost hope) for a bright future. We rehabilitate and equip them to fully participate in the community.
2014 was a good year with fruits of unity among the staff and partners. We appreciate and thank every individual for the support given.
I appreciate everyone who participated in making this dream come true. We are pleased to share with you our annual report for 2014.
May the Almighty God bless you.
Surgery and Rehabilitation: Surgery is the last resort of correcting a problem. Some problems can be corrected by conservative methods. Conditions like club feet can be corrected by manipulation and casting. However, in cases of neglected club feet, post injection paralysis, chronic osteomyelitis, severe genu varum/valgum, Blount’s disease, kelloids, cleft lip/palate, amongst others, surgery is inevitable.
During 2014, many children underwent orthopaedic and plastic surgery, followed by rehabilitation services including physiotherapy, nursing care and psychosocial support.
In total 225 orthopaedic and plastic surgeries were performed.
Example: Opio Sam is a 17 year old boy from northern Uganda, identified through an outreach clinic. He had a right maxillary tumour progressively increasing in size. He was taken to several hospitals, with no improvement.
His father narrates: “It started as a swelling in 2012 and I took him to hospital for medication but nothing was done. The swelling started increasing in size but I had no money to seek further medical care. The community started saying it was witchcraft. I was so worried about my son. He stopped school because children could laugh at him. Community members could also laugh at him. This made him uncomfortable and life became a burden to him. There was no happiness. I had no idea of how to help him. However, after some time I was directed to Acheru through which surgeries were done on him and he became better.”
Reviews: For effective service delivery, reviews were conducted at clinics throughout 2014. These were to assess and examine new patients and follow up on old clients especially those who had surgery. The purpose of reviewing old clients was to know the progress of different children and plan accordingly and also to avoid relapse. In total 723 reviews were conducted.
Nursing: Care continued through 2014. It involved daily wound care for children who had undergone surgery, plus wound dressing, dispensing of drugs and treatment of simple medical cases. 2014 was a good year, with numbers increasing in the wards and dressings room. 4679 sessions of nursing care were conducted.
Physiotherapy: This is a key component in the rehabilitation of disabled children. It involves rehabilitation of persons with physical and mental handicaps. It gives hope to many who were hopeless. It requires a dedicated physiotherapist to assess, examine, plan and implement the treatment, with some conditions have a long duration.
Before the commencement of ‘hands on’ treatment, the therapist has to ensure that the child or parent understands the child’s condition. The therapist ensures that the parent/care giver/child develops a positive attitude and is active in the rehabilitation process. Testimonies of those who have become well after the physiotherapy sessions give hope to others and are a key component towards positive attitude development.
Throughout 2014, 1830 physiotherapy sessions were provided to disabled children at the centre and in the community. It’s sometimes hard to make parents believe that physiotherapy will really improve a child’s life, and they often try to leave, with considerable effort needed to ensure they accept the treatment and become involved. Very significant changes and improvement are seen where none were expected.
Orthopaedic services: These continued throughout 2014, with 1898 sessions such as manipulation and casting conducted.
Psycho-social support: Many parents brought in their children with a lot of worries. Some had previously sought medical intervention but failed to see any progress. Others were unable to pay for treatment to continue. Some had ended up in shrines getting ‘treatment’ from witch doctors. Some had negative attitudes towards disability and the rehabilitation process. Throughout 2014, psycho-social support was provided to caregivers and children, ensuring their needs and concerns were met. There were group discussions and one to one meetings addressing issues of stigma, depression, anxiety, isolation, social exclusion and other emotional challenges. 10142 sessions were conducted.
Community based rehabilitation (CBR): Many disabled children were reached in remote areas. With this approach, Acheru services were taken closer to our beneficiaries. The programme involved the Acheru CBR team, local leaders, volunteers, caregivers and the disabled children.
Outreach clinics were organized in central and northern parts of the country. Through the community leaders and the co-ordinators, the parents of disabled children would be asked to gather at a health centre to be assessed by a therapeutic team from Acheru. The work of Acheru would be described and elaborated to parents and children, and appropriate treatment planned for each child.
Home based care was conducted to follow up children who had received therapy from Acheru. A member of the CBR team would visit the child’s home to assess the child’s condition, and the usage of any available appliances. Some caregivers stop bringing their children to Acheru before treatment is completed, some because they can’t afford transport, some simply ‘give up’ on the children, and some are influenced by local traditional healers who don’t want medical intervention. Counselling is given to the care givers, and they are helped or encouraged to continue with the rehabilitation process. 505 children were supported with this programme.
Estates: A new gate was installed, and improvements made to the chain link fence. The site is ‘open’ and the community can see what we do, but children and animals still have to be kept in or out as appropriate. 600 trees were planted along the boundary. A new kitchen was built with improved cooking stoves to reduce fuel use, and the old kitchen used to make an improved physiotherapy department.
Education: The number of children attending the ‘catch up’ class increased. This helps children who miss school while undergoing possibly lengthy rehabilitation. Subjects include mathematics, science, social studies, English, religious education, fine art, music, dance and drama. 101 children were registered. Acheru’s teacher Juliet received help from a number of volunteers.
Classes had previously been held in the open sided recreation area, but in 2014 moved inside to a better equipped classroom. Parents appreciated the work done, which enabled children to quickly catch up in school, and it’s pleasing to see children go on to do well.
The Christian ethos of the work was maintained through a programme of regular devotions, Bible stories, studies and worship, conducted by Acheru staff, volunteers, and local church leaders.
Finance: The exchange rate is approx 4,000 Uganda shillings for £1.00 sterling. Of the total annual running costs of £100,000 98% came from Africare, 1% from families of patients, 1% from other sources in Uganda.
Item Amount/shillings
Cleaning Materials 1,324,000
Appliances from workshops 830,000
Medicines and Drugs 19,927,511
Utility Bills 10,692,727
Beddings 801,917
Stationary 2,222,600
Transport Services 70,742,800
Food Items 41,968,700
Staff Uniform 152,000
Vehicle Repairs & Maintenance 6,349,400
Administrative Costs 8,998,790
Hospital Bills 50,751,810
Other Office Repairs 2,733,000
Communication 2,078,000
Staff welfare 29,422,880
Staff/patients' support 9,332,500
Mombasa trip 3,450,000
Construction Expenses 29,149,200
Community Work Expenses 7,502,500
Gulu Outreach Expenses 11,498,000
Salaries and Wages 80,710,700
Total Expenditure 390,639,035
Acheru is seeking to develop partnerships in Uganda. So far this has resulted in ventures like shared community work and valuable local cooperation, but now that Acheru is a registered NGO in Uganda, it is hoped there may also be the possibility of applying for financial help from other agencies. For now, however, you will realise how heavily it all depends on Africare. Therefore your continued support is highly appreciated, not least financially but also prayerfully.
The Africare board.

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  Africare is a registered charity, HMRC Charity No – XN 76448
NI Charity Registration No – NIC101141