Kitovu Mobile began in 1987 in response to the overwhelming impact of HIV/AIDS in Masaka and Rakai districts of Uganda. The organization was founded by Ursula Sharpe, a medical missionary working in the area. Initially the main purpose of Kitovu Mobile was to care for people with HIV and AIDS and conduct preventative education. Today its operations have expanded to include the communities affected by the disease not only the patients themselves. At this point Kitovu Mobile cares for over 4,000 people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHAs) as well as training 450 disadvantaged youth in modern sustainable agriculture each year to ensure they have a source of income.
Since the inception the project in 1998 over 5,000 youth have been trained under this project. The staff is approximately 66 fulltime and a dozen of rotating interns/volunteers. Its main offices are located within Masaka town with several centers dispersed throughout the districts they work in.
Kitovu Mobile aims to create an empowered community with the ability to cope with HIV/AIDS and its impact.
To improve the quality of life of people affected by HIV and AIDS, Kitovu Mobile works with communities in the areas of prevention, care, support and capacity building. Their specific objectives are the following:
- Improve the health of people living with HIV and AIDS
- Improve the coping mechanisms of HIV positive people
- Improve the standard of living in the organizations targeted areas
- Improve access to counseling services for traumatized orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs)
- Build stronger resilience among OVCs through education and life skills
- Improve agricultural production and use of available natural resources among households with OVCs that have dropped out of school
- Strengthen ability of target groups to deal with the psycho-social and economic consequences of HIV/AIDS
Kitovu Mobile’s clients consist of people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHAs) as well as orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) and in general the communities of Masaka, Rakai, Lyantonde, and Ssembabule where the organization works and promote awareness of HIV/AIDS. The youngest generation is greatly affected by HIV/AIDS due to the fact that the disease often removes them from their parents and impacts this critical part of their developmental growth.
Kitovu Mobile has introduced multiple initiatives in the community focused on empowering the livelihoods of individuals/families effected/affected by HIV/AIDS. The organization has identifies several potential research topics to strengthen their programs and build the organization’s capacity:
- HIV/ART Treatment outcomes for PLHA and Cancer
- Palliative Care for people living cancer
- Chemotherapy Treatment; mortality studies
- Documentation of best practices in Kitovu Mobile HIV program
- Stigma and discrimination among people living with HIV
- Social economic support
- The income-generating activities, capacity building, and community sensitization.