Youth volunteers leading the change in Uganda
Nancy Lakisa, a 19-year-old nursing student, volunteers at Reproductive Health Uganda Gulu branch.
Nancy first went to the clinic as a client when she was suffering from a burning urinary tract infection.
RHU clinics offer integrated youth-friendly services to encourage young people to use health services and staff have been trained to listen and offer services to adolescents with ease and respect.
“When I came for the service, I was welcomed, I felt at home because the service provider handled me in a very good way. Though I was afraid of telling her what was happening to me but the way she was talking to me, I really got that courage and explained to her everything.
"I am inspired to be a caring nurse and now I spend my holiday time at the clinic as a volunteer. I really admired how they do their things and I really wanted to learn more about reproductive health."
Nancy said her experience had changed her life.
“I had many boyfriends, I used not even to care whether somebody talked me. I didn't even used to respect my mum when she tried to advise me but I had counselling about that. I only have one life. Gulu is changing the lives of many people."
Follow a day in the life of our team and clients in Gulu, Uganda
7am: The team prepare for the long day ahead
"Every year tens of thousands of Ugandans come to our clinic. Everyone is welcome. Here are just a few of the people that we served in one day last month."
8am: Nancy, 19, becomes a volunteer
"I was suffering but when I came here, I was treated and I got better. Now I'm inspired to volunteer here"
9am: Monica, 25, a sex worker's story
"I am sex working. I came here for Hepatitis B testing and also counselling. I have so many personal problems, but here….they’re so caring."
10am: Jane, 23, saved by family planning
"After multiple miscarriages, family planning here has helped me a lot. I'm glad we've been able to space the number of children we've had. I am not growing old, I am fresh."
11am: Vicky, handling disabilities
"I'm deaf so accessing services is hard, but here they really try to speak in sign language."
12pm: Dorcus, first time patient
"This is the first time I've ever come here, I like the service. They give good counselling so I recommend coming."
1pm: Christine, 45, a grandmother's tale of living with HIV
"I am living with HIV and had HPV. They treated me and now I'm free of cervical cancer."
2pm: Lilian, struggling mother of six with sickle cell
" I have sickle cell disease and so do all my children. I want to have my tube removed so that I don't get pregnant again but I don't know if my husband will allow it."
3pm: Brenda and Francis get fertility treatments
"Fertility treatment is a sensitive issue in Uganda but they help us a lot and we get proper treatment."
4pm: Joyce, 25, repected regardless of her disability
"I realised that at this place they don't segregate. Us people with disabilities have challenges at the main hospitals. You go there, people around look at you as if you are not a human being and you don't fall sick."
5pm: Mobile clinic provides outreach services to remote villages
"Our outreach to remote communities is a 'one-stop-centre'. We give family planning, vaccines for HPV, malaria, and Hepatitis B, HIV testing and more."
22pm: Still giving the last client our very best
"Together, we have great teamwork. Sometimes we're still working up to 10pm because we never chase out our clients. We’ll never close the place when we have a client inside. People come when they have no hope."