The meeting with the staff of the AIDS Awareness Program went fine. Two days were spent in evaluation and two days, with the presence of the two doctors Simon and Claude, Reverend Langa (district of Adi and the local church of Adi), one volunteer from Adi and one from Leiku-Rumu. The decision for their presence was made because all of them followed the training, Simon and Claude could have a big contribution, and we like to use the two others more in working in the program. Also, Reverend Langa is a member of our board and it is good that he knows the program plus he is counseling a lot of people who either come to him or are sent to see him.
In the evaluation the staff workers expressed their difficulties taking care of their families because they do not receive a salary but only a bonus for the work done. They have children at school, children who need clothes and food and medical care. They asked for more money than only the bonus they receive.
Two of them expressed the need for administrative people beside them. Both are weak in administration and recognize that. Even I need an administrator next to me.
Transport is another problem. Ayikoyo (Adja) doesn’t even have access to the motorbike of his father anymore because his parents moved to Aru. For him it is very difficult to move around and visit other villages to follow the work there. The motorbikes the staff uses, small Senke motorbikes, are not really made for the Congo roads, and costs for repairs are sometimes high. All four health zones need Yamaha or Honda bikes of 100cc. Beside the four motorbikes we urgently need a land cruiser to do supervision and visits to the churches that organize several activities from Support and Action Groups to support groups for PLWHA (called CARM) to home visits to income generating projects to assistance for orphans, to be able to take the equipment to show films and so encourage the churches. Even this equipment needs replacement after five years of good use.
So when I am busy doing three to four things in one go, one of these is to write the planning and budget for 2014. The above will certainly be mentioned.
This afternoon we also had our board meeting. Several important issues were discussed and actions decided to solve them. One of the things is that Dr Claude will help me with administration and he will take the interim when I am on home assignment. He will be assisted by the hospital administrator (mainly in the financial realm). It was a good meeting and real progress has been made.