Empowering people living with HIV and AIDS
Case study: Empowering people living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda
Dominic Kanyonyozi is aged 35, and married with 7 children. He is a grade 3 teacher at Kyezimbire Primary School in Kikagate Sub County, Isingiro District. Kanyonyozi declared his HIV status in 2005 while teaching at the same school.
In August 2009 the Ministry of Education instructed the District Education Officers to reduce staff numbers in primary school. The education office was to conduct this exercise with the help of the school management committees of the affected schools. Unfortunately for Kanyonyozi, the Kyezimbire school happened to be among the schools identified. The school was told it had two excess teachers.
To implement the directive of the District Education Office, the school management committee of Kyezimbire primary school met and decided that Kanyonyozi would be one of the teachers to be relieved of his duties. The committee based it's decision on the fact that Kanyonyozi was HIV positive, which they considered therefore made him a liability to the school.
When Kanyonyozi came to know of the iminent retrenchment he appealed to the district HIV/AIDS Focal person and explained his fate. The District HIV/AIDS focal person took up the matter with the District Education Office and later the retrenchment of Kanyonyozi was put off and he has continued to teach at Kyezimbire primary school to date.
Kanyonyozi testifies that he was able to seek redress from the offices mentioned above due to the awareness of the rights of people living with HIV and AIDS and the advocacy skills which he had received from various trainings conducted by ACORD. Kanyonyozi thinks that, some other teachers in other schools could have faced a similar fate and therefore advocates for training on the rights of people living with HIV and AIDS to continue in the communities and more particularly in schools.