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Uganda
countryflag
Uganda got its independence
1962
Population
35,918,915
% of population in multi-dimensional poverty
25%
Language
English and over 40 ethnic languages
Year ChildFund entered
1980

Under-five Mortality Rate (2015): 55 deaths per 1,000 live births (ranked 40 of 193). Source: UNICEF SOWC Report, 2016.

Human Development Index (HDI) (2014): 0.483 (ranked 163 of 188). Source: UNDP, Human Development Report, 2015.

“To make the lives of children better I would construct many schools” – Fatiah, 12 years old

“To make the lives of children better I would construct many schools” – Fatiah, 12 years old

Number of enrolled children (FY15): 33,850
Number of beneficiaries (FY15): 305,027

ChildFund International has been working in Uganda since 1980, operating development as well as emergency relief and disaster mitigation programmes, focusing on children and their families. ChildFund has established relationships with international, national, and community-based organisations, academia, private sector partners and central and district local governments. ChildFund International’s Uganda programme is part of the global alliance for children driven by children’s inherent potential to thrive, free from abuse and exploitation.

We focus on working with children from birth to young adulthood (0-24 years old), as well as with families, local organisations and communities globally, to create the environment children need to thrive. Currently, ChildFund Uganda operates in 36 districts, covering 48 communities through nine Local Partners, with support from over 1,500 community-based volunteers and 700 home-based caregivers.

Brief Programme Overview

Healthy and Secure infants: ChildFund supports interventions focused on maternal and child health, including: constructing and equipping health centres; organising and conducting public health campaigns and outreaches; and providing community education support in water and sanitation, child nutrition, immunization, safe motherhood, malaria prevention, and positive living for HIV/AIDS affected families.

Educated and Confident Children: ChildFund’s interventions for children and young adolescents ages 6-14 focus on improving learning and using the child friendly school approach. Some of the initiatives include organising child rights and readers clubs; implementing participatory school governance; supporting teacher development; and providing child friendly learning facilities by constructing libraries, classrooms, houses for teachers and sanitation facilities; and providing learning and instructional aides as well as extra curricula activities like counselling desks, talking com-pounds, sports, music, dance and drama; promoting improvement in school governance; and supporting the continuous assessment of children’s performance in schools.

Skilled and Involved Youth: ChildFund provides a wide array of opportunities for youth to become young adults, parents and leaders who bring lasting and positive change to their communities. Interventions such as training in life skills and vocational skills (apprenticeship training and business skills development), sexual and reproductive health education and services, sports, civic engagement and others help make a healthy transition from youth to adulthood. Further, business capital and start-up kits, organising youth groups around income generation, and offering vocational skills training in welding, motor vehicle mechanics, carpentry, tailoring, and catering provide opportunities for youth to fulfil their potential and become fully participating citizens. In addition, ChildFund Uganda spearheads child and youth leadership forums that help youth find and use their voice through policy advocacy to address youth issues that are critical to advancing their progress.

Healthy and Secure Infants

2015 Programme Achievements

Healthy and Secure Infants

Ensuring better health for mothers and their unborn babies increases the chances of survival for both the mother and her child. In FY15, ChildFund sensitised 5,290 pregnant mothers on the importance of antenatal care (ANC) and provided mama kits to 711 mothers to encourage them to use a health facility for their delivery. In addition, we conducted immunization outreaches in hard to reach areas where 8,431 children were immunized.

In Uganda, access to safe water in targeted communities during the dry season increased from 72 percent in FY13 to 98.5 percent in FY15. This was achieved as a result of interventions aimed at improving home environments including; community outreaches on sanitation and hygiene, provision of water harvesting tanks, quarterly hygiene and sanitation campaigns, construction of boreholes and alternative water sources and training water user committees on operation, maintenance and management of the safe water chain. These families now have an uninterrupted supply of clean and safe water, reducing the number of children catching waterborne diseases.

In our continued effort to foster high quality preschool, ChildFund furnished and equipped 58 Early Childhood Development ECD Centres; trained 1,355 ECD centre management committee members on the management of ECD centres, and sensitized 12,501 caregivers and parents on the value of ECD, and managing children’s transition from home to an ECD centre and from the ECD centre to primary school. As a result, 18 percent (1,297) out of the 7,155 ChildFund-supported children transitioned from ECD to primary school and the percentage of households with children 3-5 years at-tending ECD learning centres increased from 28 percent (baseline) to 37 percent in FY15.

Healthy and Secure Infants

Educated and Confident Children

In FY15, ChildFund improved access to basic education for a total of 23,860 children in 112 targeted schools across Uganda by supporting 134 teachers in their effort to complete refresher training in thematic curriculum, transition management and child centred learning. Further, 23,860 pupils received scholastic materials to keep them in school. Assessment results indicate that 97 percent of children 6-14 years old remained in school.

ChildFund has fostered community participation in school governance in the supported schools which has led to improved accountability of schools to the communities we serve. This has resulted in a more cost-effective use of resources and responsiveness to local needs. In this effort, we con-ducted 117 awareness campaign sessions to promote parent participation in school governance. A total of 53 schools in Soroti, Mbale, Masindi, Lango, Busia and Acholi areas trained their School Management Committees and pupils on their roles and responsibilities in school governance.

To improve social and life skills of primary school children, ChildFund supported school clubs in sports, debating, music dance, drama, and reading which enabled children to identify their talents. Through the supported clubs, children have acquired skills in communication, critical thinking, decision making, emotion management and sexual reproductive health. To ensure continuity of these skills, we trained 133 senior men and women teachers in child counselling and established child counselling desks in 59 schools.

Skilled and Involved Youth

The number of youth engaged in gainful non-exploitative employment grew from 25 percent to 30 percent in the supported communities. This improvement was realized through training 318 youth in enterprise selection, vocational and business skills, providing 850 youth with start-up tools and training a total of 1,382 in Village Savings and Loans Association approaches.

Promoting access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care services, including family planning information and education was one of the initiatives implemented in FY15. The purpose was to strengthen youth awareness and empowerment to, with an aim of increasing young people’s use of SRH and HIV prevention services. ChildFund Uganda reached 13,889 youth with adolescent sexual reproductive health education, counselling and medical examinations. As a result, youth are now empowered to make informed decisions regarding their reproductive health, as evidenced by the growing number of youth offering peer to peer education to fellow youth.

Child Protection

In the past financial year, ChildFund Uganda invested in advocacy to promote child protection. In doing this, ChildFund Uganda engaged in national, regional, and international campaigns, echoing the position that one important domain and group that should be given priority in the Post-2015 agenda is children—by far the biggest demographic group in Uganda and the African continent, as well as the most vulnerable segment of Ugandan society. This demographic group is by far the most important and decisive element for not only Uganda, but Africa’s sustained growth, prosperity and participation in the world economy.

ChildFund together with a network of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) spearheaded the development of a CSO position paper on the Post-2015 agenda, including capturing children’s voices and thoughts about the agenda, and engaging with government ministries, Members of Parliament, and the African Union, among other players. In all these engagements, we advocated for inclusion of violence against children in the Post-2015 agenda.

The Uganda Children’s Act Cap 59 does not capture a number of emerging child protection concerns thus allowing perpetrators to continue abusing vulnerable children in the country. Given this alarming trend, ChildFund Uganda joined efforts to advocate for the amendment of the Act. We organised a number of meetings with Members of Parliament, identified champions within the Parliamentary Forum for Children, and facilitated the drafting of the CSO position paper on the Act. We remain positive that the amendment will be passed.

Healthy and Secure Infants

Disability Inclusion

All through our programming, disabled children are brought on board right from needs identification to implementation. We intentionally target this vulnerable group to ensure that they are included in all activities, as all other children. Through sponsorship and grant funding, we have identified children with special needs and supported them to get care and treatment from specialized institutions. This is very important for children with disabilities, especially since some communities, and in many cases even their own parents, often con-sider them outcasts. When constructing any building like classrooms, latrines, libraries, we follow the National Union of Disabled Persons guidelines so that the buildings are usable by people with disabilities.

Innovation

ChildFund is piloting an integrated package that focuses on resettlement of children from the streets and residential institutions back to family, kinship and alternative care. This is expected to guide the country on how to reintegrate children back into family care.

Mobile Technology

ChildFund Uganda uses mobile technology to support the linkage between the informal and for-mal child protection systems. We provided mobile phones to child protection focal persons who are community members identified by the communities. The community members report cases of child abuse to the focal persons who in turn report the cases to formal authorities, for example, the probation and social welfare officer and police, thus supporting the child protection referral network.

Use of mobile technology has also improved our programme delivery in the areas of maternal health where follow ups by health workers to pregnant mothers who miss on their antenatal care visits are made. Additionally, in Busia Area, by use of bulk SMS, hundreds of youth are mobilized to listen to radio youth programmes, which has increased youth awareness and participation in local government programmes.

Programmes—Agriculture

Agriculture remains the backbone of Uganda’s economy, accounting for 25.3 percent of the country’s GDP in 2013. In line with this and through numerous agricultural livelihoods interventions, Child-Fund supported households to expand their acreage and enhance yields and storage for food security and income. ChildFund Uganda provided famers with improved, fast growing seeds, farm equipment, training and facilitated peer-to-peer support and learning. As a result, many households have formed groups through which they cultivate their lands, grow crops and harvest higher yields than was the case before. Families now have more food to eat and surplus to sell.

Civil Society

ChildFund conducted a number of capacity building trainings for its local partners’ staff to engage in strategic initiatives and partnerships for resource acquisition and organisational growth. The training covered grants acquisition and management (GAM), Human Resource Management, Procurement, Enterprise Risk Management, Business Ethics, and fraud. In addition, we provided support to the Kampala Area Federation of Communities (KAFOC) and Community Effort for Child Empowerment (CECE) to review their 3 – year Area Strategic Plans and develop new ones for FY2015-18.

ChildFund has been able to engage with different civil society networks and platforms such as Uganda Child Rights NGO Network, in shaping the specific aspirations included in the post-MDG agenda for further sustainable development. The key focus was to ensure that violence against children is particularly articulated in the sustainable goals.

Financial Report

During the FY15 ChildFund Uganda received grants from members of ChildFund Alliance to fund projects related to promoting safe motherhood and sexual and  reproductive health care, HIV/Aids, safe water, household income security, ECD services and malaria control. One of these projects, funded by Irish Aid through ChildFund Ireland, is in its fourth and last year of implementation. It is aimed at improving the quality of ECD services within target areas, strengthening community structures for childcare, protection and case management, and improving the culture of learning and knowledge management in ECD. The grant has achieved commendable results in parenting education, in relation to ECD, nutrition, and immunization, and established fully functional structures, which are in place, including the district technical working group on ECD. The local government now has a budget for ECD monitoring activities which has never been the case before.

You can see a breakdown of ChildFund Uganda’s expenses further below.

Challenges

While significant progress has been made to increase access to primary education in Uganda, there is a big challenge with the quality of education manifested by over 50% school dropout rates. The high rates are largely attributed to insufficient school infrastructure (furniture, classrooms, latrines), lack of girl-child friendly facilities at school, teenage pregnancies, lack of meals at school and poor motivation of teachers.

In Uganda, youth unemployment is high, labour productivity is low and the labour market is fraught with great inequalities. Although efforts have been made to implement the national youth employment policy, strengthen labour market information system, establish non-formal skills development targeted at women and youth and to improve access to finance, the progress is very slow.

Although there is a considerably good policy and legal environment for child protection, there has been very inadequate implementation of this to curb abuse and violence against children including neglect.

Why Sponsorship is Important

Paul Mudhasi is a former sponsored child from Kamuli Community in Eastern Uganda. He is the second born in a family of four children. Paul’s family entirely depended on subsistence farming and did not have money to cover for their basic needs. “Kids at school made fun of my brothers and me because we had a few torn clothes which we shared,” he recounts. Paul dropped out of school in primary four because his parents could no longer afford to pay his school fees.

Paul’s life took a turn for the better in 1985, when ChildFund enrolled children from his village. “I remember being mostly excited about going back to school. I had received books and pens and a school uniform and nothing was going to stop me. My sponsor Holly from Canada used to inspire me through the letters he sent. I used to wait so eagerly for his response whenever I wrote to him. He always reminded me to work hard at school,” narrates Paul who now holds a diploma in primary education from Kyambogo University and is a teacher at St. Pius Primary School, his former school.

Paul’s parents were trained in modern farming and received improved coffee, oranges, beans and maize seeds. This ensured that his family had enough food at home. His mother sold the excess at the local market and the money she earned was what the family used to take care of all their other needs.

Without being sponsored, perhaps Paul would never have found his way out of poverty. Sponsorship restored his confidence and his sponsor encouraged him to pursue his dream of becoming a teacher.

Financial Report
Uganda FY15
Sponsorship Expense $5,154,103 50%
Grant Expense $2,557,567 25%
Contribution Expense $168,827 2%
Operating Expense $2,372,730 23%
Total Expenses $10,253,227 100%
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