If you’ve been following our progress, you will recognize the words that are the title for this month’s post. The small steps mantra is one we talk about often, and we believe that paying attention to small actions and small changes in behavior, make a big difference over time. One example of this are the actions that Josephine Dhizaala,one of our community partners, is taking.
Since retiring from teaching in Uganda several years ago, Josephine has devoted herself to improving the lives of people in several communities in rural Uganda. Josephine knows the impact that disease, malnutrition, and poor sanitation have on children, and she takes steps to improve the living conditions for families.
Many people are affected by parasites that thrive in the hot conditions in the soil. By teaching people how to mud over their floors and walls, the para
sites are greatly reduced. Josephine has also brought treatments to remote villages to help remove parasites from people’s feet and skin. She then educates about the importance of proper footwear and clean clothing in repelling the parasites and disease.
Josephine has brought information about proper drainage and sanitation for family latrines so that disease is greatly reduced from contamination. She has researched designs for stoves that are more fuel efficient and produce less smoke to improve women’s health. Josephine is working to reduce the impact that drought and climate shifts have had on crops and the availability of food. Since families in rural Uganda rely on their own crops for food and income, a failed crop results in malnutrition. On a recent visit, we saw Josephine teaching people how to start a smaller backyard garden with essential foods, and also how to start a smaller crop that can be transplanted once the rains come.
Partnering with Josephine, a well-respected member of her community and an activist, allows us to have a big impact. She is able to direct the foundation’s efforts to areas where they will be most effective. This is one example of how we work with communities from the inside out.
We have seen Josephine work tirelessly on many, many projects on each of our visits to Uganda. She repeatedly demonstrates for us that small actions, taken consistently, make a big difference in the health of children.