Near the source of the Nile River in Uganda sits Omoana House, a facility providing intensive rehabilitative care to sick and malnourished children in Njeru, near Jinja.
Children with one or two parents who have died of AIDS make up the majority of kids living at Omoana. Across Uganda, about 1.2 million children have been orphaned by AIDS, according to UNAIDS data from 2009. These children may live with social stigma and be neglected by relatives and neighbors.
Local organizations refer kids to Omoana, which then takes on the expense of caring for the children in-house, providing counseling and sending the kids to school. Omoana spends about $600 per child per year for this care, with much of the money coming from overseas donors.
When the children are well enough, they rejoin their families or guardian. "Omoana" means "child" in Luganda, a language spoken in Uganda.
Photos by Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World
Laura Elizabeth Pohl is a photographer and filmmaker working at Bread for the World in Washington, D.C., where she oversees the organization’s multimedia storytelling on hunger and poverty issues. Her stories include videos and photography essays on nutrition in Bangladesh; microfinance in Haiti; HIV/AIDS, nutrition and agriculture in Uganda; and immigration in Mexico and the United States. Her interest in visual storytelling led her to co-found a humanitarian photography group whose NGO and nonprofit members discuss the ethics and use of photographs. Laura is also the founder and editor of NGOStorytelling.com.
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