Due to the tough financial times experienced in the post COVID 19 era, many families especially those of orphans and vulnerable children have been doubly impacted. Before they had fully recovered from the negative impact of COVID-19 lockdown, again they were plunged into sky rocket inflation following the war between Russia and Ukraine which has led to the cost of living to be very expensive. This predicament has led many orphans and vulnerable children to drop out of education as schools have drastically increased school dues because of the rise in prices of essential commodities.
In line with Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning, with support from friends and donors from GlobalGiving, Empowerment for the Poor Uganda has been able to support 54 critically vulnerable children with scholastic materials to help them keep in school. This was a big push because amidst these challenging financial difficulties we are facing today, because every coin matters. We are committed to supporting make children keep in school but we cannot do it alone.
It’s upon this background that I have the honor to express our indebtedness to our friends for your sustained support to our programs that without your support, we would not have been able to celebrate this big achievement during this period under review.
We are forever grateful and look forward to your continued support! We say thank you.
Due to the fact that many learners faced several challenges during COVID-19 lockdown which included teenage mothers, others got involved in the business and that upon re-opening of schools, many parents were still hesitant to take children back to school because they lacked funds to support their education.
During this period therefore, Empowerment for the poor -Uganda focused on encouraging the parents and guardians to take the children back to school, offering counseling and psychosocial support to both the children and their care takers while showing them the importance of education tha; every child has the right to education and Uganda has pledged to uphold this through Articles 28 and 29 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Evidence shows that education and learning lead to better-improved development outcomes for countries, families, and future generations
The campaign involved changing the mindset especially amongst the children who had lost the hope of going to school again, their guardians as well as the teachers most of whom had absconded the profession due to the untold financial stress which had been brought about by the COVID -19 lockdown.
To the most vulnerable children, scholastic materials like books, pens and pencils were offered so that they also can go back to school just like their counterparts despite the desperate financial situation of their families. However, due to extreme financial difficulty caused by the pandemic, only 112 orphans and vulnerable children benefited from our service, which also would have been impossible without the kind support and generosity of our donors.
We are therefore grateful to our donors for the huge sacrifice that you have made during these difficult times and for the continued support you have always made in creating a lasting change in the lives of orphans and vulnerable children. Thank you, for without your generous support we could not go this far. We hope and pray for your continued support so that we can retain in school as many children as possible.
Keeping the hope for education alive amidst COVID-
By James Claude Mutyaba | Executive Director
EFPU Social Worker delivering messages to children
The closure of schools to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Uganda and the subsequent economic hardships in many families of orphans and vulnerable children has put many children, especially adolescent girls, under intense mental distress, anxiety and frustration. It should be noted that since the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020, many children have never stepped again in classrooms. On top of restricting their access to learning which is a fundamental human right for children, the lockdown has also limited the children’s interactions with peers which has again increased more of their frustrations and anxiety to an extent that this situation has placed many of orphans and vulnerable children at risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections such as HIV/AIDS, having unwanted pregnancies and engaging in early marriages. Regrettably to say, many girls who have entered early marriages have become victims of gender- based violence and single mothers.
During this period, Empowerment for the Poor Uganda has been aiming at empowering children with psychosocial and resilience support to enable them doesn’t lose out on their education. We have organized psychosocial support sessions in which we have given children a chance and platform to interact with their peers as well as supporting them with key messages to enable them overcome stress and other psychological problems as well as in keeping them safe from early marriages, domestic violence and HIV infection. During this period under review , we have been able to reach out to 617 children with critical messages which helped to revive the hope for education alive among these children . We have also distributed literacy materials to these children to enable them keep in school and disseminated messages and supplies to prevent their families from COVID-19 infection.
We thank our donors for your generosity and continued support which has enabled us reach at these milestones because without your help, we would not have been here celebrating this achievement. We are greatly indebted for your generosity and kindness. We look forward to your continued support because in January 2022, schools will officially resume again but there are many children who will not be in position to afford school due to poverty. We hope that with your continued partnership, we shall be in position to enable orphans and vulnerable children access, retain and complete school. Thank you.
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