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The ROI became a recognised UK
charity on 2nd September 2004
and its number is 1105706.
Reflexology Outreach International

Expedition 2003 to Uganda - Follow On Training Team

This was the fourth organised expedition that the R.O.I. has made to Uganda and involved working with HIV/AIDS Carers, and continuing and building on the work already achieved by previous expeditions. The expedition took place between 13 November to 2 December and the team consisted of three Reflexologists, Mari Singleton MAR, Sue Felgate and Irene McRae. Our fourth member Jean Auty is a nurse.

Unlike previous expeditions it was decided that the expedition would focus on one organisation, TASO (The AIDS Support Organisation), which was established in 1986 by Dr Noerine Kaleeba.

TASO provides free treatment to HIV/AIDS sufferers. There are several clinics within Uganda and they also operate on an ?outreach? basis. Our TASO driver Michael, who was also a counsellor and who collected us for work each morning, described a typical day on outreach:

... A four to six hour return journey, two to three hours to treat approximately 200 patients. This, with just four doctors and seven therapists? ...

We taught at two venues; the rural location of TASO MBALE and in the capital Kampala at the TASO HEADQUARTERS KAMPALA.

Taso Mbale
We received a very warm welcome on arrival. We were delighted with our work place, an open air round house, rather like a bandstand with a thatched roof!
We had 17 students. The teaching was extremely effective and by the end of the week everyone was able to give a full reflexology treatment. One or two students seemed to be 'naturals' and took to reflexology like a duck to water, instantly mastering the 'thumb walking' technique. They were keen to set up their own self help group, and planned to meet regularly and start their case studies.

As we worked the maribou storks strutted around the discarded rubbish nearby, and in the background (and sometimes very much the foreground!) we competed with drumming, drama and singing as TASO rehearsed for the forthcoming concert in recognition of World AIDS Awareness Week. In this way they help patients address the stigma of AIDS through the Arts, teaching them to express their fear or pain and learn to be more ?open? about their condition.

As well as helping us with all the day to day administration, Jean, the nurse amongst us, was able to observe the doctors working in the Clinic. She was shown around the laboratory and spent time with the children waiting for their mothers who were attending the TASO clinic. It was distressing to be told that HIV+ mothers had no option but to breast feed their babies as no finance was available to buy formula milk.
By the end of the week all students looked happy and proud when receiving their ROI certificates. They certainly looked far more alert and healthy too thanks to the positive effects of Reflexology.

Louis, a previously trained Ugandan reflexologist, spoke to the group at the end of the week ? ?You do not have money to give, but now you have the gift of reflexology. It will cost you nothing to give but your time and you can help your friends and family? ? It was very moving.

Taso Headquarters Kampala
Our second teaching venue was the TASO Headquarters training centre in Kampala, a light airy hall with a raised stage.This was such a contrast to our wonderful roundhouse in Mbale. Many students were professionals working within TASO, who had generously given their staff time off to study, and also provided refreshments and lunch.

Again they were totally focused and quick to learn. Spare moments would be used to read the reference books we set out, or study one of the large laminated anatomy charts we had hung on the walls. Emirates Airline gave us substantial excess baggage allowance enabling us to take more teaching aids, text books, work packs, etc., all of which we left in Uganda for ongoing reference and training.

We split into three groups. Mari taught 12 advanced students. Sue and Irene taught basic groups of 14 and 16 students. We also had the valuable assistance of three Ugandan qualified ROI Reflexology trainers.

We worked from 6 hours daily with the advanced students, all passing their exams, and successfully presenting a condition to the group and how it related to reflexology.

Overall, the teaching was extremely effective with an outstanding 100% attendance of students! We were greatly encouraged by the results being obtained from previously trained reflexologists, as well as everyone?s sincere desire to continue their study of reflexology and produce further trainers, thus ensuring this wonderful therapy is available to as many people as possible. During the expedition we trained 73 people.

In Appreciation
Our special thanks goes to Mary Kaketo Lukubo of TASO who professionally co-ordinated the ROI training programme and to Dr Alex Coutinho, the CEO of TASO, for his support.

On behalf of the Team

Mari Singleton AOR, MROI & Sue Felgate AOR, MROI


Copyright © 2012 Reflexology Outreach International, all rights reserved.