Supporting vulnerable children in Uganda's slums

by Kids Club Kampala
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Supporting vulnerable children in Uganda's slums
Supporting vulnerable children in Uganda's slums
Supporting vulnerable children in Uganda's slums
Supporting vulnerable children in Uganda's slums
Supporting vulnerable children in Uganda's slums
Supporting vulnerable children in Uganda's slums
Supporting vulnerable children in Uganda's slums
Supporting vulnerable children in Uganda's slums
Supporting vulnerable children in Uganda's slums
Supporting vulnerable children in Uganda's slums
Supporting vulnerable children in Uganda's slums
Supporting vulnerable children in Uganda's slums
Supporting vulnerable children in Uganda's slums
Supporting vulnerable children in Uganda's slums
Supporting vulnerable children in Uganda's slums
As a valued Kids Club Kampala supporter, we are thrilled to introduce you to our brand new Quarterly Projects Update. At Kids Club Kampala we are extremely grateful to supporters such as yourself, as without your generous support our projects in Uganda would simply not be able to reach as many children or families who rely on our vital services.

Project Updates

Our overall focus for 2021 was on the Road to Recovery; to help rebuild Uganda’s slum communities and protect the most vulnerable following the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure that they not only survive, but thrive. To do this, we focused on 4 key areas: Feeding, Educating, Protecting and Skilling.

In 2022 we will be continuing to focus on Feeding, Educating, Protecting and Skilling; thus, these key areas will form the structure of your quarterly updates.

How our Projects Help Break the Cycle of Poverty

Feeding - Feeding Futures Appeal

At the beginning of 2022 we were optimistic that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic was behind us and we had begun to scale back our food relief services. However, as you may be aware, Kampala is now facing a new crisis, as in the last 2 years food prices have risen a staggering 400%. A meal that cost just 20p in 2020 now costs £1!
Last month we launched our Feeding Futures appeal to combat this crisis and build a brighter future for families in Kampala. We have been truly blown away by the generosity of our supporters, who have so far helped us raise an incredible £7,244, enabling us to provide 16,960 meals to families in need!

Educating - Back To School

Children in Kampala missed over 300 days of school during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, Uganda had the longest period of school closures worldwide. During this time we ensured that the 311 students enrolled on our education projects were supported through homeschooling, so that despite the lockdown they could continue to learn. 

In January 2022 schools in Uganda were finally able to reopen, so we are now hopeful that children can look forward to a year of undisrupted classroom learning.

Our education centres, which were used as foodbanks during COVID-19, have been reverted back into classrooms. During this quarter 86 children attended our Encouraging Education Project, accessing free non-formal education and a hot nutritious meal every day.
The 164 children enrolled on our School Sponsorship Programme were able to return to school in January. This means our team have been very busy ensuring the children have the correct uniform, providing stationary packs and organising transport to school if required.

Protecting -  Recruiting Volunteers, Girls Support Groups & Ewafe Expansion 

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a rise in cases of abuse, neglect and exploitation towards children living in Kampala's slums. Therefore, a key focus area for us has been the expansion of our projects which focus on protecting children and this continues to be a priority in 2022.

In order to keep children safe we require safeguarding volunteers within communities who are able to assess concerns. In 2021 we recruited 50 new volunteers and so far in 2022 we have already recruited a further 34 volunteers to help keep children safe.
Our Teens Project supports girls by providing period products and support groups which teach them about menstrual hygiene and health. This quarter we conducted 11 counseling sessions with our Girls Support Groups and distributed sanitary products to 753 teenage girls across 10 communities.
Last year the demand for our Ewafe Project continued to rise, with more children than ever needing a safe space to call home. In response to the rising demand, and with huge thanks to a generous benefactor, the Ewafe home has expanded. The renovations were completed in January, with the additions including a new therapy room, a new dormitory, staff cottages, a solar-powered kitchen and 3-acres of land to grow crops.

Read our 'Ewafe Home Expansion' blog

However, despite the exciting expansions, the repercussions of COVID-19 coupled with rampant inflation has meant that child abuse, neglect and abandonment have continued to rise in Kampala. This means the Ewafe Home remains at full capacity with 65 children currently staying at the home.

Skilling - Graduations & *Julie's Story 

Our skilling projects are vital to breaking the cycle of poverty for families in Kampala. In the wake of COVID-19, our vocational training is needed more than ever to ensure families can recover their incomes and have hope for the future. This quarter we have several achievements to share:

  • 54 people graduated from our tailoring and knitting course
  • Another 43 people were enrolled on the next intake
  • 4 young people are currently undertaking training on our carpentry course

"Every end has a new beginning. Today might be the last day for some of us as students of KCK, but I believe our learning will actually start from today. When I left home and took the decision to pursue this course 4 months ago, I wasn’t sure what I will get in return. I was excited but at the same time a little scared of the new reality. But today as I stand here, I am proud to say that I made the right decision to come to Kids Club Kampala. I am now excited for the future and the opportunities that my new skill will bring me." - *Julie

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The future. It’s sometimes scary to think about. Or an exciting prospect. Over the past few years, it has been almost impossible to predict. But, with your help, we have shown resilience and strength when it comes to adapting to uncertain futures and global challenges.  

So, we know that whatever the future has in store Kids Club Kampala will be ready. This is because our projects put Futures First. 

Our projects help break the cycle of poverty by creating new opportunities, supporting healthy bodies and minds, and teaching life-changing skills.

What is the cycle of poverty?

The cycle of poverty is defined as ‘a vicious spiral of poverty and deprivation passing from one generation to the next. The cycle ties generation after generation to poverty with few opportunities to escape. When a family lives in poverty they do not have access to the tools needed to break free from the vicious cycle. Limited access to even basic education, income opportunities and nutritious food keep families stuck in poverty.

Children born in Kampala’s slums are born into poverty. 3 out of every 4 children who enrol in primary school in Uganda will drop out, 5.8 million people living in Uganda are malnourished. Without basic education and nutritious food, when they become an adult they are forced into low paying employment or no employment at all. Therefore, their family remains in the cycle of poverty for another generation.

We help families lift themselves from the cycle of poverty by tailoring our programmes to both the immediate and long term needs of our communities. Through educating, feeding, protecting and skilling we give access to the tools needed to create stronger futures. 

How do we break the cycle of poverty?

We know that breaking the cycle of poverty has no quick fix. It is a step by step process that puts futures first. Our projects support both children and adults so they may build stronger futures for their families. 

Education projects give out of school children the opportunity to learn. By going to school and getting an education, kids will gain important knowledge and skills to help them go onto higher education or find a job. 

Feeding projects provide children with healthy, nutritious food to help kids grow big and strong. Feeding also supports healthy brain development so kids can concentrate more. 

Skilling projects give adults an opportunity to learn new skills. With more skills comes more economic empowerment meaning parents can pay for their children to go to school and families can buy healthy food. 

Protecting projects work with the community to help keep children and adults safe. We invest in people's futures so they may create safer communities in the future.    

How can you put futures first?

Putting Kampala’s future first starts today! 

When you make a regular donation you will be investing in Kampala’s future. Each month, your donation will support education, feeding, skilling and protecting projects that help break the cycle of poverty. 

By giving regularly, you also give Kids Club Kampala an opportunity to plan for Kampala’s future. Expanding projects is only possible when we have a predictable income. 

We know that transparency is important, so when you become a regular giver, you will receive a quarterly update to see how your donation is supporting families in Kampala’s slums.

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What a year we have had at Kids Club Kampala!

We can’t talk about 2021 without mentioning the COVID-19 pandemic. As things opened up around the world, we were hoping Uganda would be the same. But, in June, a strict lockdown was imposed on Uganda closing schools, markets, businesses and churches. 

Our greatest achievements in 2021 reflect the resilience of our communities, volunteers, our teams in Uganda and the UK as well as the passion and kindness of our supporters in the wake of continued lockdowns and restrictions in Uganda. 

Take a look at 21 of our phenomenal achievements in 2021! 

Here’s what the future of Kids Club Kampala has in store…
We will continue our work providing education by supporting over 100 children with free access to education. The £26,910 raised through the Big Give Christmas challenge will mean we can reach more children with essential education.
With the Ewafe home expanding, we will welcome more children. We will continue to rehabilitate and reunite children with loved ones but will also launch our Foster care programme in partnership with the Ministry. 
Demand for our skills programmes has been growing. We plan to extend our tailoring & knitting and carpentry intake in 2022 so more people will be equipped with life-changing skills. 
We will continue to safeguard and protect children and teens in the slum communities we work in. By working with the communities, we will form a good foundation for more people to notice and report safeguarding incidences.
We look forward to visiting you!
Here in the UK, we are looking forward to visiting more churches, schools and community groups. We are excited to offer fundraising challenges and volunteer opportunities so we can all work together for a brighter future in Kampala. 
Get in touch to organise a Kids Club Kampala speaker for your community group.
Thank you for another special year at Kids Club Kampala.
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It’s back to school, but not for everyone.

Students in Uganda have gone over 300 days without stepping foot in a classroom. For those living in Kampala’s slum communities, remote learning is not an option.

Children in Kampala often stay with family as parents are unable to afford their basic needs or are working away from home.

Children in Kampala often stay with family as parents are unable to afford their basic needs or are working away from home.

Imagine…

You are living in Kisenyi, Kampala’s biggest slum. You are staying with your grandmother, three siblings and four cousins in just one room. You have no internet access, no tv and no radio. Your school has been closed for over 300 days. Remote learning is not an option.

This is the reality for children living in Kampala’s slum communities where education is even more inaccessible. The UN has estimated that in East Africa and the Pacific 80 million children have no access to remote learning. 

How has lockdown impacted education in Uganda? 

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In Uganda, moves to accommodate home learning have been through digital means; online lessons, school programmes on TV and radio. However, only 10% of households in Uganda have internet access and many live without a home tv or radio set. Only 20% of the 15 million children out of school in Uganda have received learning materials from the government. 

Without technology, it is down to parents and carers to educate their children. But, a long history of limited education access has left many adults in Kampala’s slum communities without appropriate formal education to teach their children from home.  

It is not just education being impacted by school closures, but also access to food. 2 in every 10 children are having less than 1 meal a day due to being unable to access meals provided by school feeding programmes. 

What does this mean for the future of students in Uganda?

Without access to educational support and nutritious food, children in Kampala’s slum communities will be left behind. 

The longer schools stay closed, the greater the number of student dropouts. The loss of household income during Uganda’s lockdown and the economic burden of repeating years and retaking exams will drive more students to pursue income opportunities rather than return to the classroom. 

It is not just students who have turned to more lucrative options. Teachers in Uganda have abandoned the profession, many turning to bricklaying and boda boda driving to support their families. 

For girls, the increase in teenage pregnancies is another obstacle forcing many out of education. Between March 2020 - June 2021 there was a 22.5% increase in pregnancy between 10 - 24 year olds

Uganda risks slipping behind on the Sustainable Development Goals, not just for education but for poverty, hunger and gender equality.   

What are Kids Club Kampala doing to keep education opportunities alive in Kampala’s slum communities?

Throughout Uganda’s most recent lockdown Kids Club Kampala have been providing educational support including home education packs to students and advice to parents and carers. Our volunteer teachers have also been making home visits to keep children on track.

11,590 children have been reached with Kids Club Kampala’s COVID-19 relief through our Serving Communities in Crisis emergency appeal. This includes both educational support and food packages.

We have resumed our Teens Project in line with lockdown easing to help educate girls and boys on sexual and reproductive health and to encourage them to stay in school, as well as providing teenage girls with essential period products. 

We are unsure how long schools will remain closed, but we will continue to be there for our communities. 

Kids Club Kampala volunteer teachers have been giving lessons and materials to children living in Kampala’s slums

Kids Club Kampala volunteer teachers have been giving lessons and materials to children living in Kampala’s slums

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The team at Kids Club Kampala want to keep our supporters up to date on the changing and challenging situation in Kampala. We have learnt a lot from the initial lockdown in Uganda and hope to continue supporting slum communities through this increasingly difficult period.

As society begins to open up more in the UK, unfortunately Uganda is grappling with another wave of COVID-19. In mid June, the President of Uganda imposed a partial lockdown with schools, places of worship and markets ordered to close and suspension of inter-district travel for 42 days.

As of Monday 14th of June, the total number of confirmed cases in Uganda stood at 60,250 with 423 deaths according to WHO. Uganda has had more than 30% rise in cases in the space of a week. The country’s health system is under serious strain with many struggling to find medical care. The harrowing reality is that both vaccines and oxygen are running low, leaving many vulnerable to the effects COVID-19.

The Kids Club Kampala team have began handing out food parcel’s in the slum communities.

The Kids Club Kampala team have began handing out food parcel’s in the slum communities.

COVID-19 lockdown procedures are having a devastating effect on the slum dwelling communities we support in Kampala.  Kids Club Kampala have been pursuing sensible solutions to contain the outbreak and provide essential supplies to those most in need. Wherever possible, we are using creative solutions to enable children's learning to continue amidst widespread restrictions, and to ensure they are safe whilst they are cut off from regular protection services. 

In slums children are locked down in cramped conditions, with parents not furloughed or working from home, but totally cut off from the means to earn. Not only are children denied food and education, but they cannot access the child friendly spaces and social structures that are desperately needed to keep them safe. Unfortunately, there has been a steep escalation of violence and safeguarding issues with the Kids Club Kampala team identifying 42 safeguarding concerns in just the last 2 weeks. 

We are ensuring our volunteers and recipients of support are protected as we continue to safeguard vulnerable children during the lockdown.

We are ensuring our volunteers and recipients of support are protected as we continue to safeguard vulnerable children during the lockdown.

Our projects are initially focusing on immediate needs and providing food to vulnerable children and families. We are also ensuring children continue their education by providing home school packages as well as teacher home school visits. Our safeguarding volunteers are doing house to house visits and supporting families and communities when they can with counselling support and often mediation. Our sewing, knitting and carpentry training continues with very small groups all socially distanced. Our Ewafe transitional home is full to capacity as some of the children have returned as schools are now closed.

We have learnt a lot from our response to the first lockdown in Uganda and are doing all we can within the government guidelines to support vulnerable communities get through this difficult time.  The road to recovery is a long one, and the impact of COVID-19 on the communities we work with will last a long time.

We are ensuring that communities can maintain a protective environment for their children throughout this pandemic. Our work can continue as many of our volunteers and staff live and work in the communities. 

We are incredibly grateful for the generous support we have received over this time, which has made it possible for us to stay connected to the children and communities who are most on the edge. 

We’re in it for the long term- we need to build resilience and not reliance.  

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

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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
$10,972 raised of $35,000 goal
 
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