Jan 2, 2020

Kids Club Kampala Updates 2019

Thank you for all of your support for Kids Club Kampala over 2019 - we have had a fantastic year and could not have done it without you! It has been a year of change and a year of growth and also a year of celebration - most notably celebrating our 10 year anniversary this summer! 

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In January 2019, partly thanks to a grant received from UK Aid (the UK Government’s De3partment for International Development), we expanded our Early Education for All project to Naguru slum community. Naguru slum is home to over 10,000 people, the majority who live in abject poverty and lack basic services. Since January, we have provided free education and a hot daily meal to 300 children every day in this community, the majority of whom have never been to school before and are unlikely to have another opportunity to learn. Alongside this, we have built new toilets in this community for the children, and we have been providing women with vocational skills through running tailoring and hairdressing courses.

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In July, heavy rains and widespread flooding badly damaged our community classroom in Katanga slum, which is a safe haven for hundreds of vulnerable children who come every day to receive free education, a hot meal, hope and love. Heavy rains in early The foundations of the building were partly washed away causing subsidence and broken windows, and a leaking roof and the overflowing of a sewage channel that runs alongside the classroom meant that we were sadly forced to close the classroom. In August, we launched an emergency fundraising appeal to raise the money to fix the classroom and enable children to learn in a safe environment once again. We amazingly reached our target and by the beginning of October the classroom was reopened as is even bigger and better than before! As we raised more than our target we were also able to buy some new tables and chairs which has made a big difference to children’s learning too.

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Whilst working in the slums, Kids Club Kampala discovered that many children were becoming lost, abandoned, orphaned or even becoming victims of abuse or trafficking. The Ewafe Project was started in 2013 to address this growing problem. Our Ewafe project helps children who have been abandoned, provides them with emergency help and a safe place to live, whilst searching for and reuniting children with their families. To date the project has rescued 75 children and reintegrated 49 with all children being provided with counselling, support and medical care and rehabilitation. To date, of the 75 children who have been rescued by the Ewafe project: 18 were missing children; 15 were abandoned due to parental mental health; 12 were abandoned through family breakdown; 12 were victims of abuse; 7 were abandoned through family homelessness; 6 were rescued from illegal orphanages and 5 were rescued from child labour. To date, we have we have so far reintegrated 49 children: 44 of those have been resettled with family members; 4 children are in the resettlement process and will be going to live with family members in the next few weeks; and 1 child is in long- term foster care.

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Olivia, UK Director and Nicole, Charity Development Manager went to Uganda in October. Nothing beats visiting Uganda and spending time with the children, listening to their stories and seeing the projects in the flesh. This was the first time in two years that Olivia went to Uganda and she is really excited to return to see all the developments since her last visit in 2017. Here’s what they had to say about their trip:

Olivia: "It was such a joy to be back in Uganda and it was incredible to see all of the progress and development of our projects and to catch up with our fantastic staff and volunteer team. Seeing the difference that people's donations are making in vulnerable children's lives - there is no greater feeling!".
Nicole:  "It was absolutely amazing to be back in Uganda and it was even better to see our projects go from strength to strength particularly our new Katanga classroom and the Ewafe home . I'm so proud of the work of all our staff and volunteers in Uganda and it's great to come back to the UK with a renewed passion and  focus. 

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In June we resettled an abandoned child with our first ever foster family. Gemma* was 8 when her mother became very unwell and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. As a result, Gemma was at risk of homelessness, so in 2018 she came to stay at the Ewafe home. The hope was that Gemma's mum would recover but sadly a year passed and her mother was still unable to offer Gemma the consistent care that she needs. With no other family options, we found a loving Ugandan family and took them through the process of becoming approved foster carers. In June the final approval and placement took place and Gemma moved in with her new family! This family have the space in their hearts and lives to give Gemma the love she so desperately needs, along with the one-to-one attention and sense of belonging that is not easy to find when living in a group home. Gemma is also going to start attending school again, and is able to have continued contact with her mum.

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This year we have had 18 new people join us as Child Sponsors, 7 new Regular Givers and 223 new one-off donors! Together we have held 28 events across the year, with 25 volunteers supporting our work. We have had 12 international volunteers heading out to Uganda and 5 new interns working with us in the UK office. This year we have partnered with 15 churches, 8 schools, 2 corporate companies and numerous other community groups.

 

Happy New Year everyone and we hope you can support us to change more lives in Uganda in 2020.

Nov 7, 2019

My Story: How My Life Changed

We all have a story and this month we thought we would take a little time to share three amazing stories about lives being changed by our projects in Uganda. Our work falls into 4 main areas: Access to Education, Keeping Children Safe, Meeting Basic Needs and Transforming Communities. We love to hear and share transformation stories because every story is unique, it’s also a daily reminder of why the work we do is so important.

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Meet Millie

Millie grew up in one of Kampala’s biggest slums with her mum, step-dad and her little brothers and sisters. When she finished Primary School, her step-dad could not afford to send her to Secondary School and pay her school fees of £35 a month. Millie felt so sad because she had always had dreams of going to University.

Millie had resigned herself to not finishing her education, when one day a family friend came to her and offered to pay for her school fees. Millie couldn’t believe it and started going to Secondary School. She thought her future was looking up.However, a few months later this family friend told Millie that when she had finished year 8 he wanted to marry her. She was just 13 and this man was much older. He said that she owed it to him because he had been paying her school fees.

Millie was so scared and told her mum who suggested speaking to Kids Club Kampala to see if we could help.

We helped Millie to refuse this man’s proposition of early child marriage and helped her family to move away from where he lived. At first she was scared to take help from us because of the man’s bad intentions before. We gave Millie counselling to help her overcome her trauma. We found her a Child Sponsor who supported her through the rest of her schooling by paying her Secondary school fees of £35 every month.

Meet Charlie
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Charlie lives with his mum, brothers and sisters in a slum area on the outskirts of Kampala. When Charlie was 8 years old he caught malaria. Although he recovered, it left him profoundly deaf. He had been sponsored by a different charity to go to school but unfortunately when he became deaf the school was not able to accommodate his additional needs so he had to drop out.  

Charlie had been coming along our Saturday Kids Clubs project in his community so was well known to our local community volunteers. When he became deaf and stopped going to school, he suddenly became quiet and withdrawn; he didn’t want to join in the games and activities. It was heart-breaking seeing this once lively, cheeky little boy unable to communicate and unwilling to play with his friends.  

Uganda has limited support and resources for children with additional needs. The majority of children with disabilities in Uganda don’t get the support they need and don’t get to go to school. There is a school for the deaf in Kampala but because of poverty, his mum was unable to afford specialist schooling for him. One of Kids Club Kampala’s values is to be inclusive, and we believe that all children deserve the opportunity to get an education to break the cycle of poverty, regardless of their age, sex, ability or background.

Despite all that had happened to him, we wanted to give Charlie the opportunity to have a bright future. Amazingly we managed to find a Child Sponsor to enable Charlie to start studying again and he enrolled in the school for the deaf. He found it hard at first to pick up sign language but loved reading, writing and learning again. He made new friends and in just a few months Charlie had transformed back into the funny, energetic boy he once was. It was amazing seeing him smile again.

Charlie was actually Kids Club Kampala’s first ever sponsored child! He started going to school 10 years ago and last year he did his GCSEs. He is now 18, he goes to college and is training to be a carpenter. He has a good future to look forward to and can communicate with the world again.

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Meet Joy

Joy lives in one of Kampala’s biggest slums and has never been to school. Because of her lack of education, she struggled to find work. Her husband doesn’t have a stable job and they have two young children. She wasn’t always able to feed her children or pay her rent and constantly worried about how the whole family will survive.  

Joy’s children come to Kids Club Kampala’s Feeding Project every day where they get a hot, nutritious meal. Joy was speaking to one of our volunteers at the Feeding Project who told her about our Tailoring Project. She enrolled on to our tailoring course right away and started learning how to sew, knit and make craft items. After a few months Joy graduated from the tailoring course and she is now excited about her future.  

Joy joined a group of 6 other ladies from her community who had also just finished our tailoring course, and they formed a Women’s Initiative. They share a sewing machine between them, and they work together to make craft items which we sell on their behalf. They also make clothes to order and do repairs.

“We are no longer the way we were. Before Kids Club Kampala we had nothing, now we have skills. I know I will never go hungry because I know how to make clothes. It has reduced stress in my life and I am so grateful. We are no longer striving, life is not so hard anymore.”

Joy now earns enough money from making crafts and tailoring that she has been able to enrol both of her children in school. She is also undertaking training to become a Kids Club Kampala volunteer in her community.  

Oct 8, 2019

Another Child Reunited With Her Family!

We recently welcomed Mary to our Ewafe project Home. After her mum fell ill her parents struggled to pay her school fees and she dropped out of school. A neighbour offered to pay for her to attend school in Kampala, and in return for working for her offered to pay her mum's medical bills. However when Mary arrived in Kampala, the neighbour forced her to work as a maid without taking her to school, without paying her and without helping with her mum's medical bills as promised. The neighbour eventually kicked Mary out of her home and she ended up living on the streets. Mary was frightened so she took herself to the local police station who referred her to our Ewafe project. We were able to provide her with food, shelter, clothing and medical care.  Last month our social workers were able to successfully locate Mary's family! They had not seen her for 2 years and were so happy to see her again. The first few visits have gone really well and Mary will be permanently resettled back with her family before the end of the year. We are also planning on getting her sponsored to go to school. 

       

 
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