Children supported by KICWA
International Childcare Trust has been working with Kitgum Concerned Women’s Association (KICWA) since 2008, supporting Education & Training for Children. This project aims to increase access to education for war-affected children and improve the livelihoods of their families in Kitgum District, northern Uganda. International Childcare Trust has now secured funding for the next five years of the project, therefore will no longer need to continue fundraising efforts. We would like to wholeheartedly thank everyone who supported this vital work!
Here is a summary of achievements over the last year.
During the past year, KICWA supported 184 pupils (96 female, 88 male) in primary school and 20 children in pre-primary school (12 female, 8 male) with basic educational support and payment of school fees (nursery) in six sub counties. Of the 184 pupils supported, nine pupils who were in Primary Seven have graduated to the next level; three have joined secondary school and six have joined vocational skills training institutions. There were 33 pupils in Primary Six, who have all been promoted to Primary Seven and are waiting to sit for their Primary Level Examinations. The remaining 142 pupils are all continuing with their education. Of the 20 children under pre-primary support, 12 have graduated to primary level and eight are still being supported in nursery schools. Scholastic support has included provision of books, pens, pencils, maths sets and sanitary pads to girls in upper primary school.
The provision of educational support has relieved parents of the burden of providing school materials for their children, especially child mothers who face many difficulties in providing for their children. According to most pupils in school, the main reason why many children drop out of school is due to lack of scholastic requirements. The provision of scholastic support has enabled nine children to complete full primary education and the remaining 175 pupils remain on course to complete their primary education. The support has also promoted enrollment, attendance and retention of pupils in school, especially for girls e.g. schoolgirls in puberty are provided with sanitary pads, improving their well-being while at school and therefore increasing attendance.
At the beginning of the project, KICWA formed six groups of Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) in six sub-counties in the two districts of Kitgum and Lamwo. The groups usually meet once a week to save and borrow from the money, which they save as a group. Each member has been able to invest in businesses, through which they are now making a profit. They are now able to support the basic needs within their households, including medical care, paying school fees for their children, and buying food.
“I can now afford to take tea with bread despite the high price of sugar; something I never thought of.” Child mother part of a savings group
The VSLA has enabled the child mothers to pay for their children’s school fees, nutritional food, and medical care for their families.
“Before I joined the VSLA, I used to experience domestic violence from my husband; I do not experience any problem with him. He acknowledges my contribution of about 50% towards the family upkeep.” Group member
KICWA also supported two farmers’ groups with improved seeds (beans, groundnuts and sesame). So far there has been a good harvest from these crops with the exception of sesame, which is yet to be harvested. The groups have sold a proportion of the harvests earning around Sh500,000 (£145) per group, which they divided amongst the members. The farmers also distributed part of the produce to each group member to be used as food and seeds for the current planting season.
The project also supported nine child mothers to take six-month courses in fashion, design and tailoring. The women successfully completed their training and have been provided with start-up equipment (sewing machine and cloth). With the skills acquired, the women have become self sufficient as they have already started earning an income from their newly established businesses. This has enabled them to meet the basic needs of their families.