Youth-led community building in Lira, Uganda
What do you do when there are no trained healthcare workers?
Picture yourself permanently camping in the deep woods. You have built yourself a small hut, and each day seek greens to eat. You go to the bathroom outside (only 46% of those in Uganda have indoor plumbing and it's not a priority for a child-headed household). Preventable diseases like dysentery, cholera and diarrhea are rampant.
You hope at night roving theives didn't steal the fruit you were raising in your trees. You find your own water and carry it long distances. If you are lucky you are enrolled in school and spend your days there, your hut untended.
This is how most of our child and youth partners live. When you're in the jungle and are cut, bitten by a malaria carrying mosquito, or drink bad water, you have little to no chance to get medical care.  You don't have transport and if you did,  you couldn't pay for the care. You just try to get by.
Some of our beneficiaries have HIV/AIDS, an inherited illness from their parents, many of whom died leaving their children to make their way on their own. The youth in Lira have contracted  HIV/AIDS  at a rate of 11.9%, almost twice the national average of 6.2%,
The most fortunate ones have drugs to help them. However, the drugs must be taken with food and so  young childen must get up before sunrise, gather greens to eat, then make it to school.
If you do have access to health care, the situation is risky. According to a late 2010 report from New Vision, patients are at times ignored contrary to Uganda's Anti-Corruption laws. One report found nurses were listening to a radio report while a mother in labor cried for help. The mother and baby died, and the nurses explained that they were only there to help after the baby was delivered.
Finally, if our partner is female she may have suffered worse things. Rape is all too common and the resulting sexually transmitted diseases and trauma of such violence creates deep pain. As well, the desperation of poverty leads some women into situations where they will do anything for survival, leading to renewed cycles of illness and despair. 
Such chilling realities are our world. In these situations its important to find those needing care and advocate for better community care.
There is one doctor per 60,000 people in the Lango subregion. CCYA staff visit the kids in the village as well as frail widows, who serve as guardians.
What we can do:


CCYA staff member (in white t-shirt) comforting a young beneficiary (in blue) upon the death of his guardian, an elderly woman. Our partner has HIV/AIDS and will now live as a member of an impoverished extended family. His life, as hard as it was before, is now harder. It's made more bearable with comfort and the advocacy of a "big brother," as CCYA provides.