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i.HUG Foundation Receives International Grant: Hires a School Nurse to Improve Student Health and Learning
Date:2/13/2009

KABALAGALA, Uganda, Feb. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- In the midst of the AIDS crisis and other rampant diseases that have ravaged its impoverished community, the Kabalagala Community Academy (KCA) has finally begun to take its first steps toward healing. A $5,000 grant from the Virginia Gildersleeve International Foundation has enabled the school to establish a formal school clinic program where children can get the healthcare services they so desperately need. The KCA was founded in 2007 by the I Help Uganda Grow (i.HUG) Foundation.

"We are extremely grateful for the generous donation that the Virginia Gildersleeve International Foundation gave to i.HUG," said Joanna Breitstein, i.HUG co-founder and president. "The school nurse will make a significant difference in these children's ability to remain in school."

"Nurse Margaret," as the children call her, serves some 85 disadvantaged and orphaned children who live in the slums of Kabalagala, outside the capital of Kampala. When not in school, many of them subsist on minimal food and no running water.

"These children suffer from a variety of afflictions that wreak havoc on their physical, social and emotional development," said Breitstein. "Because of the unsanitary conditions they're forced to live in, diseases like malaria, worms and fungal infections strike, leaving the children unable to attend school. Through i.HUG and the new school clinic program, these children now have a better chance of growing up to live healthier -- and happier -- lives."

The school nurse not only will watch over the health of the students, but also will provide health services to the children's immediate families and the KCA staff. Educational programs will be implemented to help inform the families and the community about the importance of hygiene, safe drinking water and malaria prevention. This work emphasizes i.HUG's commitment to wellness and stability in the broader community, where extreme poverty often undermines access to basic healthcare.

Through a combination of school outreach and home visits, the nurse handles routine but important tasks that greatly contribute to the lives of the children. i.HUG's efforts are also strengthened through its alliances with the local-area Hope Clinic, which provides HIV testing and treatment, and Medical Access Uganda Limited, which pays for a consulting physician and other vital resources.

About i.HUG

Established in January 2006, The I Help Uganda Grow (i.HUG) Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit group whose mission is to reach out to disadvantaged and orphaned children in Uganda by providing them with an education, access to healthcare, and an environment that fosters their physical, social and emotional development. In order to ensure the sustainability of the mission, i.HUG strives to use local resources and to leverage its successes to benefit the entire community. For more information, visit www.iHUGfoundation.org.


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SOURCE I Help Uganda Grow (i.HUG) Foundation
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