Similar to Women’s Groups, Community Mobilisation Teams (CMTs) are teams of volunteers, trained by UWCM, to extend their work into the many rural communities around Mbale and the foothills of Mount Elgon. Team members are drawn from the villages, usually through church connections; they form a committee and then commit their time, skills and resources to serving the most vulnerable families in their local area.
These families are in great need, struggling with sickness, bereavements and/or extreme poverty and include both frail elderly individuals and ‘child-headed’ families of young orphans or abandoned children. There is no government support available for these marginalised people. The support offered by CMTs includes regular visits to give physical, emotional and spiritual care alongside practical assistance such as gifts of food and clothes, or even rebuilding a traditional home.
UWCM assists CMTs in their initial set-up and structure and offers the teams training in many skills including HIV/AIDS care and prevention, basic counselling skills and the management of income generation activities (IGAs).
The CMT, together with staff from UWCM, identify individual families who would benefit from (IGA) funds eg one woman we met, Petua, whose husband had left her and their 5 children when she was pregnant was given a small sum of money to set up a small business buying and selling ‘bogoya’ bananas at different markets. Business is now doing well and she can buy household items and food for her family.
Sometimes, however, it is difficult for some families to buy a goat or start a small business when they do not even have the basics like a mattress, bed, bedding, cooking utensils or clothes for the children and therefore each case is assessed on an individual basis and the appropriate level of care and assistance is given.
Scholastic Support: Our funding also enables UWCM to give CMTs (and Women’s Groups) money to buy scholastic materials (exercise books, pens, pencils) for orphans and vulnerable children within their communities.
Psycho-social support: CMTs and Women’s Groups also identify individuals and families who need psycho-social support and through our funding, UWCM are able to provide individual and specific assistance. Families are occasionally given burial support when they lose their loved ones, particularly spouses and children. This kind of help and support builds and maintains relationships in the community.