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Stopping child abandonment in Uganda

by Kids Club Kampala
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Stopping child abandonment in Uganda
Stopping child abandonment in Uganda
Stopping child abandonment in Uganda
Stopping child abandonment in Uganda
Stopping child abandonment in Uganda
Stopping child abandonment in Uganda
Stopping child abandonment in Uganda
Stopping child abandonment in Uganda
Stopping child abandonment in Uganda
Stopping child abandonment in Uganda
Stopping child abandonment in Uganda
Stopping child abandonment in Uganda
Stopping child abandonment in Uganda
Stopping child abandonment in Uganda
Stopping child abandonment in Uganda
Stopping child abandonment in Uganda
Stopping child abandonment in Uganda
Stopping child abandonment in Uganda
Stopping child abandonment in Uganda


COVID-19: Ewafe Project Update

In our previous update we let you know how COVID-19 had resulted in us having to suspend or reduce the capacity of our regular projects, with our focus instead shifting to provide short-term food relief to vulnerable families through our Feeding Families: COVID-19 Emergency Appeal. Thanks to our loyal supporters, and the dedication and hard work of our Ugandan team and volunteers, I am pleased to say that we have managed to distribute an incredible ONE MILLION FOOD PARCELS to the most vulnerable families living in the slums of Kampala, Uganda! This has not only saved thousands of people from starvation, it has also reduced pressure for families, provided social connection during a crisis and helped to build a sustained sense of community.

However, whilst it is important to celebrate this incredible achievement, sadly the impacts of COVID-19 will be much deeper and longer lasting. We are already aware of an increase in domestic violence, family breakdown and child abandonment within our communities and as a result are expecting to see a surge in demand for our Ewafe Project. Thus, as we switch our focus from short-term relief to helping our communities rebuild, your kind support has never been more vital. 

Although our Ewafe Project has remained open throughout lockdown, unfortunately we were unable to take any new children into our home due to the government guidance on social distancing. Despite this we decided that we would keep all staff on to ensure that all children who remained under our care were well looked after and to enable us to make several renovations to the home which we will show you later.

However, as lockdown has now begun to ease we are pleased to say that this has meant we have been able to start rescuing and rehabilitating children. During lockdown our social workers continued working to trace children's families and thus once restrictions eased we were able reunite several families. In the above photo you can see Sarah* finally being reunited with her mother and later on we will also tell you Emily's* story, who was reintegrated with her family just before lockdown restrictions came into force. 

Our 'Brand New' Ewafe Office

During the lockdown in Uganda, our staff at the Ewafe home were working extremely hard to create a 'brand new' office space. The new office was actually created using an old shipping container, repurposed into an office space. Below are before (left) and after (right) images, and I am sure you will agree that the transformation is incredible and really does showcase recycling at its best.


Furthermore, by moving the office from inside the Ewafe home to the container (left), we have now have more space within the home for the children. We are now also utilising space within the home more effectively by introducing bunk beds (right). These are not only new and fun for the children but also enable us to increase the capacity of our home which means we can ultimately rescue more children. 
 

Another Child Reunited With Her Family!
 

 
In September of last year, we welcomed 10-year-old Emily* to our transitional home, referred to us by the police as a missing child. When she arrived Emily was initially very quiet and spent most of the time on her own, however, as time passed she became more confident and began to enjoy playing with the other children.
 
Emily spent 6 months in our care and was provided with food, clothes, shelter, medical care and counselling, whilst our social workers attempted to trace her family. Thankfully back in March they made a breakthrough and soon after we were able to resettle Emily back with her mother, aunt and siblings.
 
Once returned Emily’s mother shared with us how she had ended up in Kampala:
 
“Shortly after Emily’s father passed away in 2016 my elder brother suggested that he and his wife take my daughter to Kampala to enroll her at school. As I had six children and was not capable of looking after all of them by myself I had no choice but to accept. From the time my brother left with Emily I only heard from them once in 2017, when he told me that my daughter was doing very well. However, I now know that he had not enrolled her in school or been looking after her properly which forced her to run away. Thank you very much Kids Club Kampala for bringing my daughter back to me. I can never thank you enough. May God bless you and the good work that you are doing.”
 

Emily* (centre) being reunited with her mother (right), brother (centre) and aunt (left).

Thank You and Call to Action

Thank you so much for your continued interest and support for our Ewafe Project!

However, with the impacts of COVID-19 exacerbating the demand for our Ewafe Project we are in need of more Family Champions to help make a difference. Could you forward this update to a friend and encourage them to donate to our Ewafe Project through GlobalGiving?

 

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Dear Friends,

I hope that you are well and keeping safe at this difficult time?

Thank you for all of your continued support for Kids Club Kampala, it is making a big difference, especially at this time. I wanted to give you an update on the current situation in Uganda, how this is affecting our Ewafe project in particular, and how your support is having a real impact.

Uganda has been in lockdown since the end of March, and as people who live in Kampala’s slums can’t go to work or grow their own food, many people are struggling to survive. Heavy rain is now also causing flooding, life is really tough.


When Uganda went into lockdown, we were determined to do whatever we could to help Kampala’s slums through this crisis. Working closely with local leaders, we have converted our community classrooms in the heart of the slums into foodbanks. We have also installed hand washing stations in the slums, where most people don’t have access to clean water, benefiting over 60,000 people so far.

We were expecting around 1,000 families to be accessing these foodbanks, but they have so far fed over 25,000 families! We have given out over 214,000 food packages, and for the elderly and disabled who aren’t able to access the foodbanks we have been safely delivering them parcels of food at home. Including the children at our Ewafe project home, we have fed 150,000 individuals – and counting! The need is great but we are proud to be a community led, community driven organisation which is supporting vulnerable people in need.

Our CEO, Olivia, provides an update about our Feeding Families: COVID-19 Emergency Appeal.

Our Ewafe project home is still open and continuing as normal as much as it can. We are increasing the food supplies at the home, have installed handwashing stations and are making sure that children with HIV or medical needs have enough supplies of medicines that they need. Your kind monthly support is making this possible. As the whole country is in lockdown we are unable to carry out any reintegrations at the moment but we are planning to resume normal activities as soon as we are allowed to do so.


 

The children at our Ewafe Project have been learning remotely so they can keep up with their education.

We have installed hand washing stations at our Ewafe Project and have been teaching the children how to wash their hands properly.

Our biggest concern is what the long-term effects COVID-19 and the lockdown will be. Family members dying from the virus, families slipping into poverty and parents being unable to work due to the lockdown could all lead to increased incidences of poor mental health, child abuse, neglect, domestic violence and family breakdown. We are expecting as a result of this emergency situation to see an increase in the numbers of children being abandoned and an unprecedented demand for our Ewafe project once the lockdown is over.

We need your help. Can you forward this update to a friend and encourage them to donate to our Ewafe Project through GlobalGiving?

 

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Another Child Reunited with Her Family! 

In April of last year we welcomed 12-year-old Jessica* to our transitional home. She was referred to us by the police and on arrival she shared with us her story:

"We used to live at home peacefully as a family, but one day my father abandoned us. Soon after my mother became sick and I was forced to drop out of school as she could not afford to pay the fees on her own. As I was now doing nothing at home a distant relative asked my mother if she could take me to Kampala to baby sit her child. My mother had no other choice but to accept as she was too sick to work and could not afford to care for me."

"After spending just two weeks living in Kampala my relative started to beat me, stating that I did not know how to do anything as I was from a poor family. I decided that my best option would be to run away and try and go back home, but I soon got lost in such a big city. Thankfully, a kind man saw that I was in trouble and took me to the police station to seek help. This is where I met a Kids Club Kampala representative who promised that they would take me to the Ewafe home and take care of me."

Jessica spent almost 8 months in our care and was provided with food, clothes, shelter, medical care and counselling. In December our social workers were able to successfully trace Jessica's family and soon after she was resettled with her mother and siblings. Jessica's mother was delighted that her daughter was safe, explaining:

"I had lost all hope of ever seeing my child again so I am so glad to know that she is still alive and doing well. Thank you so much (Ewafe Project) for your kindness and the good work you are doing."


Jessica* (bottom left) being reunited with her family.     

Gemma's Story Update 

In previous updates we shared with you the story of Gemma*, our first child to be resettled with a foster family. Our social workers are continuing to undertake regular follow up visits and we are pleased to report that Gemma is still doing really well in her new home. Below is a recent photo of Gemma and her foster family!

                            

We are absolutely delighted that Gemma has settled in so quickly with her new foster family. We hope to be able to find suitable foster families for more children but we also lack the funding to roll this out on a large scale, so please do share the word about our fostering programme to those who might want to donate. 

Ewafe Project 2019 Highlights

  • In 2019 we managed to rescue 28 new children and admitted them to our transitional home, with all children being provided with counselling, medical care and rehabilitation.
  • Throughout the year we also successfully and safely reintegrated a further 17 children back into loving and caring families.
  • We even resettled an abandoned child with our first ever foster family. This went extremely well and Gemma is loving her new home!
  • Our transitional home was also blessed with a new paint job which has made it a nicer place for the children to stay.
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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! 

Naguru Updates 1.png

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.

completed Katanga classroom.JPG

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.

The Ewafe Project page image.jpg

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.

IMG_1819.JPG

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. 

Gemma with foster family.JPG

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.

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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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Organization Information

Kids Club Kampala

Location: Birmingham, West Midlands - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @kidsclubkampala
Project Leader:
Kids Club Kampala
Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom
$11,756 raised of $24,200 goal
 
155 donations
$12,444 to go
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