General Saleh, who is also the Senior Presidential Advisor on Defense said in a speech delivered by Major Ruranga that he was happy to associate with the initiative of TASO to build skills of the vulnerable children with the confidence that the support will be put to good use in creating opportunities for the young people. “TASO is a transparent organisation that has done a lot to save the lives of the people of this country from the support it receives from its partners and I trust they will still do a good job through this initiative”, the General noted to the pleasure of the members present. The General informed the meeting of the various empowerment opportunities the Government has put in place to support the people improve the quality of their lives, including the NAADS programme and OWC. He pledged his support to facilitate TASO Clients including OVCs to benefit from those initiatives for their improved welfare.
The breakfast meeting was organized by TASO Jinja as part of the local resource mobilization strategy for increased ownership and sustainability of the response. The theme for the day was “Child client empowerment and development through vacation Skills”. Each of the TASO service Centres and Training Centre has targets of local resources to mobile each year. TASO Jinja is the first Centre to host a fundraising event this year. The event was well attended by over 100 Friends of TASO from the Jinja region and they included members of parliament from the region, service providers, implementing partners, members of the Centre Advisory Council, Clients and Staff of TASO at the Centre and Headquarters. TASO Executive Director was represented by Dr. Kenneth Mugisha, Director Programme Management. TASO Patron and Founder, Dr. Jajja Noerine Kaleeba was in attendance.
In her remarks to the meeting, Dr. Noerine appreciated all the partners for their continued support that has sustained the TASO response over the years. It is that commitment to the response that is providing the hope many people who are affected by HIV infection and disease need, the TASO founder said. She gave the history of TASO, which started from a love story in their family with the Late Christopher Kaleeba, her wedded husband who succumbed to HIV. She urged all to continue upholding the mission of providing hope to people affected by HIV and AIDS, which was Christopher’s desire at the time of his death.
During the meeting, a beneficiary of OVC support Intervention shared his success story, which showed that the skills training and seed capital he received from TASO has enabled him to start a growing income generating business. He now earns enough income to sustain his family and have some savings to re-plough to his investment. He also employs and trains on-job other youths in his tailoring business. A slide show on success stories on the OVC intervention was projected throughout the meeting.
The event climaxed with the auctioning of a beautiful framed Red Ribbon by the Guest of Honor, Major Ruranga. The item that was finally bought by a staff from Barclays Bank Jinja fetched over Uganda Shillings 1,500,000/=. The total amount of money realized from the event in cash and pledges was over 20,000,000.