At our Ewafe Project for abandoned and at risk children our aim is for children to live in families. The Ewafe Home is a transitional home and we have been reintegrating children with their own families for the past 3-4 years. In total we have reintegrated 38 children. Sometimes children can go back to live with their mother and father, sometimes a grandparent or an aunty or uncle. It is so important for children to be connected to their families. However, there are of course situations where children are not able to live with their own relatives. For example in cases of abuse, violence or in cases where there are no family members that we can find for them to be reintegrated with. In these cases we have wanted to launch a foster care program so that these children can live in families and feel like they belong. Formally becoming a foster carer is a new enough concept in Uganda and therefore we want to make sure that families are fully vetted, trained and prepared to take on the responsibility of a precious Ewafe child. With the support of local social services we have been able to bring one family through this process and make our first ever foster care family placement. Read Gemma's Story to find out more.
Gemma's* Story (*name changed)
Gemma was 8 when her mother became very unwell and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Gemma was referred to the Ewafe Project and we took her in and gave her a safe place to stay back in 2018. The hope was that Gemma's mum would recover but sadly as time went on her mother was still not showing signs of recovery to the point where she would be able to take care of Gemma again. With no other family options we found a loving family who have been going through the process of being approved foster carers. This month the final approval and placement took place and Gemma went to live with her new family. This Ugandan family have the means to take care of Gemma, provide her with an education and all she needs to thrive. Not only that, but they also 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.
We are delighted for Gemma and will be following up on her journey and how she settles in to her new 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.
Photo: Gemma* with her new Foster siblings, settling into her new home.
David was 5 years old when he and his mother ended up living on the streets because of poverty. His mother was suffering from a severe mental health issue and her family did not know where she and David were. When David’s mother was admitted into hospital there was nowhere for David to go and no family to contact. The hospital contacted Kids Club Kampala’s Ewafe Project and we took David into our transitional home.
Over the next few weeks, with the help of authorities our social workers amazingly managed to track down David’s uncle who lived in Kampala with is wife and child. David’s uncle and his wife were so delighted to have found him and so glad that he and his mother were safe. With his mother still in hospital, our social workers were able to reunite David with his uncle who has been able to take great care of David and enrol him in school. When parent’s are hospitalised and there is nowhere for their children to go, they can often end up in long term orphanage care in Uganda.
David is now with his own family, loved and taken care of and we hope that his mother will recover very soon.
Your generous support means that we can continue to search for children's families and reintegrate children into loving homes. It also allows us to follow up with these families and continue to support them. Thank you for choosing to make a difference in the lives of children and families in Uganda.
The Ewafe project was launched in June 2013, to address the problem of the increasing numbers of children being abandoned in Kampala’s slums. The project aims to bring hope and love to vulnerable children, to rescue children who have been abandoned and to give them a home, a family and a place where they feel they belong. Since launching this project we have achieved so much and we wanted to give our supporters an update on the project to date.
At the end of last year, we began building a new kitchen for the Ewafe project, this means that our cooks will have a safe place to plan and prepare food for the children we are caring for. Prior to this children were being cooked and served meals from a make-shift outdoor kitchen. The structure did not provide adequate protection from the elements which made it difficult to cook and to prepare food safely and hygienically, particularly during the rainy season. Thanks to a generous donation from the William Leech Charity we were able to construct a new purpose-built kitchen which now houses stoves, a store room and space for the children to be served their meals. This new kitchen has already revolutionised the way that the home runs and provides a safe and hygienic space for the children to receive their food.
Our Ewafe project co-ordinator was delighted with the result. She said: “We can now store and cook from one place, serve and eat our food in a hygienic environment which is a good health practice.”
We were able to paint the new kitchen recently thanks to a donation from the Rotary Club of London, thank you. We also want to highlight Julia Harris and thank her for all her fundraising efforts which are ongoing. Finally we have also begun to construct a small staff cottage thanks to generous donations from our supporters Ron and Elizabeth Kearney, please see a photo below.
The Ewafe project home consists of 2 large bedrooms, a project office, a rehabilitation room, 4 washrooms, a bathroom, a rain water harvesting system and solar powered electricity. The compound also has a children’s playground and land where crops are grown as food for the Home.
The support of our donors has been invaluable to us and we have been able to provide the children and the staff with a safe place to live and work, without your support we could not have done it. We are so excited about the progress of this project and would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to bring us this far. We still have a vision to see the Ewafe project grow and expand in order to support more vulnerable children, to do this our next steps are to raise funds to build a dining hall and counselling room.
Thank you so much to all who have donated, fundraised and spread the word about this project, we really appreciate your support. We welcome any donation as every donation goes a long way, if you wish to donate please do so below.
Over 80% of the children living in orphanages in Uganda have at least one living parent or family member, who are willing to raise them. Some children are being raised away from their families because of poverty not because they are unloved or abandoned. By becoming a family champion you will be helping to bridge the gap between parents and their children, we do not believe that poverty should be the reason why a child should be taken away from their family. Jennie came to our Ewafe Project transitional home and our social workers searched for her family. A lady from her village said she would take her to Kampala to start school, but when she arrived she found out that the lady wanted her to work as a maid instead. Jennie ran away and found herself lost and alone in Kampala. Jennie came to our Ewafe Project transitional home and our social workers searched for her family. After just six weeks Jennie was back living with her grandmother in the village who was delighted that she was safe.
At Kids Club Kampala we believe children grow best in families and so we want to support families to love and grow together and to prevent children being separated from their families. We have discovered that many children had nowhere to go, had become abandoned or had run away from abusive situations. That’s why the Ewafe Transition Centre is so important as it supports children who have been abandoned or orphaned in the slums of Kampala by providing them a safe place to live while our committed staff members look for their families, the long term aim of this project is to reunite abandoned children within loving families. This year our Ewafe project hopes to reintegrate more children back with their families and by becoming a family champion you can help us to do this. This means that families that were once separated due to poverty and desperation will be reunited and supported towards a brighter future. We would love for you to partner with us and become a family champion in order to help to build strong families and create a safe and happy place for children to grow up.
We are working hard to keep families together and children out of orphanages as we believe that children belong in loving safe families. Your support will mean that we can bring more families together and we hope that you can partner with us to do this. Please donate today if you can. Thank you.
In Uganda the state of institutional care is shocking, there are an estimated 600 child care institutions in the country, home to tens of thousands of children. 30% of these institutions don’t have a single qualified social worker. Therefore, children do not receive the individualised care they need, nor the professional counselling services to support them through the trauma of their scenario. Most lack any sort of child protection policy, leaving children vulnerable to violence and abuse. For some, even their basic needs are not met; many orphanages failed to test for HIV. We know that institutional care is detrimental to children’s wellbeing; this is even more so in Uganda.
Contrary to popular belief, most children do not end up in institutional care because of parental death. It is estimated that, globally, 85% of children in orphanages have at least one surviving parent. Studies show that poverty is the main cause. Parents living in poverty may send their children to such orphanages as the only means of providing basic material goods. In doing so, they leave their children vulnerable to the detrimental effects of institutional care. This current system is costly, both in terms of resources and child welfare. Orphanages are using up resources doing a job that families could do, with the right support. In Uganda, over half of orphanages have no resettlement programmes, meaning that the children have no chance of returning to their families. Rather than putting funds into institutional care, we should use these funds to support families living in poverty, and train foster parents where the child is unable to be reunited with their family.
The Ewafe project is working to change this system. It recognises the need for immediate emergency care for abandoned children, and offers them safe temporary accommodation. From then on, we work to trace their family members. We provide resources and education in order to facilitate successful resettlement. If reunification is not possible, we work to place that child in foster care, still providing the advantages of family based child care. To target the problem in the long term, the Ewafe project invests in training foster parents, such that abandoned children will always have the opportunity of growing up in a family, not an orphanage. Additionally, we are working to tackle poverty in these slum communities, through education, and initiatives like family income generation projects. We hope that this will reduce the rate of poverty induced child abandonment, and keep families together.
The Ewafe project adopts three main methods to address the problem of child abandonment. It provides emergency shelter for abandoned children. It pursues family reunification and foster parenting programmes that help place that child in family-based care. Finally, it engages with the community to tackle poverty, the root cause of child abandonment. The Ugandan government report gives us reason to have worries about the state of child care institutions in the country, alongside the substantial problems associated with institutionalised care demonstrated in a number of studies. These studies recommend transitions to alternative care systems, based around family-based forms of childcare. This is the recommendation of the UN, and the Ugandan government and other charities are actively working towards this end. KCK’s Ewafe project can play a vital role in that fight, in order to improve child welfare in Uganda.
If you would like to learn more about the Ewafe project please click here, or if you would like to donate to this project please do so!
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