Children

Orphans and Vulnerable Children

Uganda has over 2.5 million orphans; of which about 1.2 million are orphaned by AIDS. The Uganda orphan population constitutes about 20% of the child population, 12% of children under age 18, and 2% of the entire population. Too often, children from socio-economically disadvantaged families are neglected, charged with the responsibility of caring for younger siblings, or made to seek employment. Widespread poverty combined with a huge population of orphaned children creates a staggering reality; more often than not, utterly vulnerable children are left to fight for survival fall victim to abuse and exploitation.

~Luhwahwa Orphaned Children

A group of orphans and vulnerable children who LUYODEFO serves.

Rwenzori region and Kasese District particularly has for many years been affected by wars, which, being compounded by HIV/AIDS and other detriments are resulting into several children who lack basic care and the basic needs. While there are several children lacking humane care, love and the basic needs, many families are unable to take-upon the new responsibilities of an additional child (be it an orphan or not), because they already lack resources to meet the basic needs of its own family members.

We want to create a sense of humor among these children, while providing long-term, sustainable benefits to the communities solely responsible for the development of children into responsible citizens. We will promote access to safe living conditions and provide services to meet the four levels of needs to ensure the normal growth of children such as health, education, physiological and livelihood support. For this to happen, LUYODEFO proposes to utilize the Children’s Community Center (CCC) model.

The CCC model is highly flexible and responsive to local realities intended to help connect the needs of OVCs to sustainable growth of the entire community; provide jobs within the community, enhance adhesion (social asset) of community members where children are supported, and the resilience of the local communities rewarded through economic development.

Proposed CCC Model

This is a non-residential rehabilitation facility (though may serve as a transitional care centre) with a fundamental commitment to enabling children to fully claim their rights. It will be a safe haven providing recreation (meet, play, learn and have fun), quality care and loving attention, rehabilitation and counselling to the most needy orphans and vulnerable, destitute children, many of whom would otherwise turn to a life of crime and become a strong detriment to the overall community.

Quality education is virtually inaccessible to the poor of this region.  A free school to OVCs, while providing an affordable, quality education to the other children would initiate a profound change to the impoverished, ultimately catalyzing lasting benefit for generations to come. While the school provides access to low-cost quality education, it also doubles as community hub for educational support such as an after school/ weekend academic tutoring for the children and a study centre for functional adult literacy (FAL) for women in impoverished areas; hence creating new opportunities for employment and literacy promotion. This will contribute to an improvement in the over-all well-being of the community, providing hope for a better tomorrow.

This will become a vehicle to transform society by taking strategic measures to reduce poverty and increase opportunities, particularly for destitute children and their families.  This will provide a location for volunteer accommodation, vocational training (innovation and empowerment hub), recreational and other community activities such as seminars and retreats for leaders, youth and other groups, providing both a much-needed resource, and generating income for the programs.

There is a desperate need for a medical clinic to provide a much needed healthcare services for the poor communities.  The clinic will offer free primary healthcare to children under our OVC program and those attending our school and affordable quality health services to the he local community (population circa 12,000) communities, provides low-cost, high quality care and medicine includes consulting rooms, lab / health screening, dispensing rooms, patient rooms /in-patient services, and a pharmacy. Through the clinic, it will be easy to collaborate with international health professional (medical students) to organize mobile health interventions, run family based micro-insurance, and refer those needing ongoing care to government health facilities in the region.

There is great need to develop the capacity of and create income generating activities for those looking after the OVCs and the immediate children. These families need strengthening to help them be able to meet the basic need of the children and their families and achieve sustainability at household and community levels.