Sep 3, 2020

Impact of covid-19 induced lock down.

Uganda is still under a national wide lock down on some sectors like eductaion and transport,this has had it major impacts on the lives of people especially the women and children,some have lost their jobs,families have been broken and young girls defiled.When we carried out home visits,we talked to some of the women in thecommunity and these are some of their stories in this report.

Meet Betty(not real name) she is a single mother of 10 children,her husband abandoned her and married another wife but while befor with her,she used to work a forest reserve on government land in Kyankwanzi in the western part of the country but they were later evicted from the land and that is how she ended in the slums. She was lucky enough that the SDA church offered her a room to stay in temporarily.

Before the pandemic,Betty(not real name) used to wash dishes and clean at a neary by school where she could earn some income and feed her family but that has changed since schools were closed in march,as a result of this she is left with little or no income to feed her household anymore,the children pick food from markets and garbage pits,some of the government releif food that was distributed was poor qaulity so some households in the neighbourhood would donate it to themand that is how she managed to survive for some days.She is also worried on where to go incase she is evicted because they are occupying government land,however,she is grateful to the donors and Joy for children Uganda for thr releif food was donated to them when the counrty was still under a total lockdown and her children are healthy exept for her daughter who has chronic athma. “if given the opportunity,I would like to start a hardware business because that is where I have expertise” she told our field officer.

Annet (not real name) is also a single mother of 3 who lives in Mulago,she thanks the donors so much for the kind gestures rendered to them,she says during the total lockdown,women were worried,no jobs,no markets,no transport and most of them tapped into their savings. Before the pandemic,families used to have the basic needs,have three meals a day but now they only feed once and the meals are not even balanced.Pregnant women were neglected,increased infant mortality rates,high transport costs and long distance to hospitals and the governent food which was distributed was not fit for human consuption.Business has been slow on her side but she appreciates the support from Joy for children and the donors,she is atailor and trins other women in the community to the same,she says,if given the opportunity and enough capital,Annet wishes to start a school where she can train young girls in hands on skills like tailoring.

We are still fundarising to feed the children and women in these hard times and the gap is still huge,please support our cause.

Sep 1, 2020

Child Marriage,one of the silent evils in Uganda.

40% of girls in Uganda are married before their 18th birthday and one in 10 is married before the age of 15.

According to UNICEF, Uganda has the 16th highest prevalence rate of child marriage in the world and the tenth highest absolute number of child brides globally – 787,000.

Customary marriages or informal marriages, where a girl lives with an older man, are more commonly registered civil or religious marriages.

11% of currently married 15-19 year old girls are married to men who have more than one wife.

A 2017 World Bank study shows that ending child marriage in Uganda could generate USD514 million in earnings and productivity.

Amid the covid-19 induced lockdown, many young girls have been married off, poverty is one of the key drivers of child marriages in Uganda because parents want money and bride price. The magnitude of child marriage consequences is equally sad most especially to girls. From sexually transmitted diseases, leaving school early and psychological trauma, the future of teenage girls remains at crossroads.

Another terrible consequence of child marriage is teenage pregnancies.

The Population Secretariat indicates that of the 1.2 million pregnancies recorded in Uganda annually, 25 per cent of these are teenage pregnancies.

This means that more than 300,000 teenagers who get pregnant also account for the bulk of unwanted pregnancies, which end up in unintended births or abortion. A lot needs to be done. We need to move beyond legislation and ensure that laws around early marriages are implemented. We need to also adopt a community based approach where we raise awareness in communities about dangers of child marriage.

We recognize the importance of working directly with the target groups as they are the ones who know best what their needs are and what works and what does not work for their communities. Joy for Children Uganda, with support from Girls not Brides Global and the Uganda alliance are working on accelerating the progress to end child marriage; the main goal is to accelerate reduction in Child marriage. Key strategies to achieve the goal include; empowerment of the girl child as an individual; increasing access to information and services for the girl child; creating a favorable and protective social and legal environment for the girl child. This will eventually help in realization of equality and equity among all sexes.

Aug 31, 2020

Feeding Patterns in the Covid-19 times.

Dear Friends,

Thank for your generous contributions in feeding the hungry during these times of the pandemic,because of your support we have been able to disratirbute food to 30 families in two communities in Kampala,we operate in four slum communities where we support women with hands on skills such as bakery,hairdressing and catering,however most of these have been affected by the prolonged lockdown making it hard for them to continue with their businnesses.

"Alot has changed interms of feeding patterns and the quality of food being prepared,many thought the lockdwon would onlly last a month as it was proposed but instead the governmnet pushed it further,the food that was set to last a month got done within the first phase of the lockdown,there was no income at all,"says Juliet(not real name) who is a member of the womens savings group.Feeding is only done in the morning which is usually porriedge and in the evening and this is the same for both the adults and the children.

Other observations when Joy for children team visted the communities were,

  • Congestion in the communities,most families occupy a single room,while others share the room with poultry which is absolutely harmfull to their health.
  • Some households leave in fear of evictions since they are occupying government land.
  • Beastfeeding mothers lack food supplemnts to boost the production of breast milk.
  • There are no drainage patterns hence sanitation is very poor.

There is still a huge gap interms of feeding especially for the children ,support our cause today the campaign is still on $5,824 to go.

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