Onen Michael is 49, and lives in Bunyama village, in Kiryandongo District, Uganda. He works as a support Village Health Team member for Build Africa's Change the Story project.
Michael was forced to drop out of secondary school because his father couldn’t afford to pay his school fees.
By the age of 20, he was married and had started to fend for himself through peasant farming. He now has 10 children.
In 2010, Michael was appointed as a member of Village Health Team (VHT) for Bunyama village.
He said: “I was so happy because I had always wanted to serve my community and being a VHT is a great opportunity.”
Since then, Michael has been supporting the community, helping mothers get immunisations, running HIV counselling and testing, and nutrition counselling and testing.
He also facilitates health sensitization campaigns, and follows up on the registration of new-borns. He gives health referrals, and conducts home visits and antenatal visits.
Michael was recently assigned to work as a support VHT under Build Africa’s Change the Story project.
He said: "I will learn new things, meet new people and also secure some support for my village. I have so far participated in four engagements with the project, including a project start up meeting, recruitment of project beneficiaries and training center assessment, a training center start-up meeting with mothers and their spouses/ male caretakers, and a project review meeting.
"The project’s main aim is to improve literacy and numeracy skills of mothers who in fact are the first line references for their children’s education.
“I am so delighted and I look forward to co-ordinating with Build Africa. I will render all my efforts in follow up and support young mothers/families assigned to me, and conduct home visits so as to foster an enlightened Bunyama community.”
Thank you to DFID for funding this project.