Feb 17, 2021

Food distribution in the slums

In the wake of Coronavirus the government of Uganda on 18th March announced a number of restrictions and suspension of all public gatherings. This led to the closure of schools, bars, churches, shopping malls and arcades and all non food business operations. This move rendered many people jobless and was worsened by the ban on public transport after Uganda registered her first COVID19 case on 21st March. While most people who were earning wages had no work or income anymore, the children were sent back home from school and they needed to eat. Majority of the caretakers/ parents of the children on our programs have been benefiting from informal work, most of which has been deemed non essential with the recent Covid-19 guidelines. This has made many parents and or caretakers run short of income and savings, making them more vulnerable to starvation and poor health as a result of COVID 19 outbreak. As such, these can hardly feed their families because they have no savings or source of income at their disposal. 

The Government of Uganda embarked on supplying food aid to the very vulnerable families as a measure to minimize the effects of COVID19. However, from the virtual home visits we conducted we learnt that the food is insufficient. This situation has left many families able to afford just one meal a day and some going without a meal for over 24 hours.  It’s upon this background that the organization embarked on a campaign to raise money that can feed an average of 400 families and 1200 children in the slum communities we work with. 


Achievements

  1. $1,526 has been raised of the $6,354 goal for the food aid distribution exercise that intended to provide 25 and 10KGs of maize flour and beans respectively to 400 households in the slum communities that we work with.
  2. 17 teenage mothers, 49 mothers of children with disability, 60 single mothers including widows and 50 other vulnerable families in our slum community groups have so far received food.
  3. A total number 206 of 400 households projected to have at least 1,200 family members have benefited from food aid distribution exercise in the slum communities of Kampala (Mulago, Bwaise, and Makerere Kivulu).
  4. 88 families including those with children with disability in Bwaise, a slum which is commonly known for flooding during the rainy seasons were able to get the food care packages. 31 families of children with disability were happy to get the food care packages in Nabweru. 40 more families in Makerere Kivulu and 47 in Mulago including those of children with disability benefited. 

The people were undoubtedly happy with some of them even kneeling down to say thank you. You are so appreciated.

Lessons learnt

There are many families in need of food even those that are not part of the groups.We would have loved to reach as many people as possible but are limited by resources. We call upon you to help us at least reach our target beneficiaries.

Future plans.

  1. Reach out to raise more funds to cover the remaining 194 of the initial planned households.
  2. Distribute food to the remaining 194 households.
  3. Continue sensitizing the community of SOPs such as wearing masks, washing hands with soap and clean water, keeping social distance.
  4. Provide the selected households with appropriate low cost handwashing facilities with soap that will be made by women groups. 
  5. Provide loans to boost women’s businesses that have been greatly affected by more than 3 months of lockdown.
  6. Partner with school administrations and Newspaper companies to procure study materials for school-going children in the slum communities to foster home-schooling. 
  7. Provide more sponsorships for boys and girls to continue with education - with increasing economic hardship, many children are likely to drop out of school.
  8. Provide psycho-social interventions
Feb 9, 2021

Growing up in the slums

A girl child is a first casualty of a slum, she is born in a sprawl of overcrowded tenement buildings,hard living conditions thrust her prematurely into adult responsibilities and rob her of the learning processes and joy of childhood. Due to deprivation of social-economic factors, incidents of abuse and neglect are very common .The poor sanitary conditions alongside lack of sanitary wear causes a serious risk to the health of the girl child, poor health conditions makes them vulnerable to infections and waterborne diseases, particularly adolescents.

Generally, the health infrastructure In the slums is very poor in the slum areas, sexual reproductive health services for adolescents is hardly existent, there is often a shared toilet for all the slum dwellers with minimal privacy and this sometimes exposes the girls to defilement.

For the past 7 years, Joy for Children Uganda has been implementing projects on protecting the rights of the girl child, both in rural and urban settings, A recent baseline study undertaken by the organization in the slums of Bwaise, Mulago, Kivulu and Bukoto reveals high rate of child marriage and consistent violation of sexual and reproductive rights of girls, evidence from slum communities in Kampala, Uganda`s capital city indicate that adolescent girls living in the slums engage in riskier sexual behavior than their counterparts in the sub-urban and urban areas, additionally there is limited knowledge and access to contraceptive methods ,impinging at the teenage girl`s ability to control her reproductive desires.

Joy for Children Uganda has been at the fore front of sensitizing and empowering girls in the slum communities about the consequences of early marriages and un wanted pregnancies, this has been achieved through a number of interventions highlighted below:

  • Weekly home visits to families of the selected projects` beneficiaries; here girls are organized in groups of at least 10 members where they are taught about  good values and social norms in the society, encouraging them to complete school through regular counseling and guidance.
  • Encouraging parents to supervise and monitor their children’s` activities. Knowing where the children are at all times to ensure safety.
  • Distribution of reading materials to children in the selected households, this has aided reading of the learners who have been at home since march 2020 due to the school closures by the government of Uganda, this helps the girls to have meaningful goals and options for the future that are much attractive than early pregnancy and parenthood.
  • Sensitization of Community leaders to access information and openly discuss issues affecting girls in their community and devise relevant solutions.

Ending child marriage and teenage pregnancies calls for a comprehensive and collective effort of different stake holders in the development process, the public and private sector, civil society organizations, Parents and community members at large. The government of Uganda through ministry of Gender and social development has to ensure safe space for adolescent girls in the slums.

Jan 28, 2021

Appreciation message

Thank you for your generous donation toward feeding the children and women in these hard times. We are thrilled to have your support. Through your donation we have been able to support 1200 women 400 children with food during the Christmas holidays,  and continue working towards improving the lives of women and children in the slum communities. You truly make the difference for us, and we are extremely grateful!

Your willingness to help the unprivileged children in our community weather the crises in their lives makes all the difference for the families. Each house hold received a Christmas basket containing 5 kgs of rice, 1 whole chicken, 2 kgs of sugar,2 bars of soap,1 litre of cooking oil and extra tin of powdered milk for children with disabilities. we have shared some of our moments with you in the photos.

There is still a huge need to feed the children and support the women with income generating activities so that they can be able to support their households our campaign is still running and we have $5,128 to go.

 
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