Living empowered begins with giving their beneficiaries the resources and education to live well both mentally and physically. Because most of their beneficiaries have little to no education, they’ve found the following initiatives to be a critical part of establishing sustainable well-being. Periodically they offer opportunities for spouses to get involved, to promote health and stability for the whole family.
They offer regular classes on psychosocial topics such as domestic violence, parenting, creating community in your neighborhood, and more.
Their health courses cover a variety of topics such as nutrition, hygiene and sanitation, family planning, HIV and STI awareness, and prenatal care.
HIV Testing and Treatment
In a culture where sickness is associated with an extremely negative stigma, 31 Bits provides an environment where women can speak freely about their health. They can seek advice and treatment in a loving and caring atmosphere. We partner with a local organization called TASO to provide onsite HIV testing. They connect those who test positive with the necessary medication and education for treating HIV.
Many of their beneficiaries are dealing with tough situations, resulting from both current and past circumstances. Their onsite counselor, Gladies, has an open door policy, allowing one-on-one time to meet with beneficiaries throughout the work week. She has over six years of experience mentoring and counseling women in problem solving, decision-making, grief, marriage, and more.
For real empowerment to take place, it’s important for the whole family to be involved. Their quarterly “Men-To-Men Talks” provide an opportunity for our beneficiaries’ husbands, fathers, and adult sons to have honest discussions about their part in improving the well-being of the family.
Social Support Initiatives
The motto at the 31 Bits Ugandan headquarters is “We Are Family.” We strive to create a family atmosphere for our beneficiaries and staff members. We discovered in our annual evaluation with our beneficiaries that having a strong family and support system is what they value most in our program.
A person feels valued when they are known. Our staff members know each of our beneficiaries by name and truly care about their lives. Every week our managers meet with each beneficiary to check in with both their work and their lives. 31 Bits isn’t just a workplace, it’s a family.
They think the best way to start a week is with prayer, so every Monday morning our staff and beneficiaries take turns leading a time of worship and prayer. We love walking into our headquarters to the sound of singing, often followed by some pretty amazing dance moves.
They think one of the best ways to get to know someone is by sharing a meal, so we offer lunch at a discounted rate at our headquarters to promote spending time with the Bits family.
31 Bits aims at empowering the whole family, so we invite our beneficiaries’ spouses to join us for a “Spouse Day” twice a year. This provides an opportunity for spouses to get involved in what we’re up to at 31 Bits. We bring in speakers to discuss family dynamics and communication.
Community Impact Initiatives
There is no doubt their beneficiaries are experiencing change in their lives and living empowered, but for that change to be sustained, their community must support healthy living and positive decision making. They have implemented opportunities for their beneficiaries to be part of empowering their own communities through sharing their knowledge.
Their quarterly “Serve Day” provides an opportunity for their beneficiaries to go into the community and use their skills and knowledge to make a difference. They’ve volunteered at hospitals, prisons, and more, hoping to impact their neighbors and make the community a better place.
Each of their beneficiaries makes an income that is sufficient for sending their children to school. They are playing a part in raising up the next generation to be educated dreamers who will continue having a positive impact on their community.