The Umbrella of Organizations of People with Disabilities in the Fight against HIV and AIDS and in Health promotion or UPHLS fights for the rights of people with impairments whether they be physical, sensory, mental or intellectual. We are a small but effective Rwandan non governmental organization (NGO) based in Kigali, Rwanda operating nationwide since 2006.
UPHLS works in a number of ways. Firstly through advocacy, informing government and people with disabilities or PWDs about their rights and lobbying the government and institutions to mainstream the needs of disabled people.
We coordinate activities ensuring that our beneficiaries have access to health services such as HIV prevention information, HIV testing and counseling and follow up treatment. For example we distribute radios to people who are blind or have a visual impairment so that they can hear health education programs. We organize voluntary counseling and testing sessions or VCT for different categories of disabled people - arranging transport for those who cannot travel on the bus because they have a physical impairment.
We know that it isn’t just health services that PWDs need who are affected by HIV/AIDS ; they need jobs to be able to feed themselves. UPHLS looks at the problem holistically and plans to coordinating income generation work for PWDs
Lastly we monitor and evaluate the activities, reporting progress to government ministries and departments.
Across all of our work we now that some of the most vulnerable groups need special support. Our strategy includes separate objectives for women, children and orphans.