Located in central Africa, Uganda has one of the fastest-growing economies on the continent. It is also one of the world’s most youthful nations, with Ugandan children younger than age 15 accounting for almost half of the population. These children are still recovering from the effects of the country’s two decades of conflict, as well as its high incidence of AIDS, but more young people are going to school and training for promising jobs than in the past.
ChildFund has served children in Uganda since 1980. Help make a difference and sponsor a child in Uganda today.
Ages 0 – 5: Healthy and Secure
Our work to help improve the health of Ugandan infants and young children starts with maternal health. In 2015, ChildFund provided “mama kits” — packages of plastic sheeting, gauze, bandages and other necessities for a safe birth — to more than 700 women, and 5,200 other women received prenatal training and advice. We also went to remote areas of Uganda to provide access to immunizations; in 2015, 8,431 children received lifesaving vaccines. Other ongoing programs provided safe water to thousands of families and training about good hygiene and sanitation.
In 2015, ChildFund also built and furnished 58 Early Childhood Development centers, which give children the building blocks they need to start school prepared and confident. We also trained more than 1,300 community members how to productively manage ECD centers and spread awareness among families about the importance of helping their children develop physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually.
Ages 6 – 14: Educated and Confident
School-aged Ugandan children who participate in extracurricular activities are more open to assuming leadership roles and are better equipped to face the challenges that come with adulthood. ChildFund Uganda supports extracurricular clubs in sports, music, dance and drama, which not only teach those specific skills but also help children learn how to resolve conflicts, make decisions and think critically. We also have trained teachers to make their classrooms more child-friendly, involving student participation to a greater degree. More than 23,000 children in 112 schools also received educational materials in 2015, which helped them remain in school and be more productive students. ChildFund also encourages community involvement in school governance, a policy that has helped schools respond to local needs and also spend resources wisely.
Ages 15 – 24: Skilled and Involved
Underemployment among Ugandan youth remains a problem, particularly in rural settings, but ChildFund offers training in vocational, business and entrepreneurial skills, as well as startup funds and tools. More than 850 young people benefited from this program in 2015. We also promote health education, including family planning and HIV prevention. Often, this takes the form of peer-to-peer conversations, as well as helping youth access counseling and health examinations. As a result, young people are empowered and educated to make smart decisions regarding their future.
AIDS Orphans in Uganda
HIV has remained an enormous problem in sub-Saharan Africa, despite some reduction in infections since the 1990s. According to a 2015 estimate by UNAIDS, 7.1 percent of Ugandans ages 15 to 49 — 1.4 million people — are living with HIV, and 660,000 children ages 17 and younger have been orphaned by AIDS. ChildFund’s work addresses multiple issues, including HIV prevention through education and health services, improved care for HIV-positive children, and finding safe and nurturing homes for children orphaned by AIDS.
In the hard-hit Gulu district, a new grant is allowing us to build stronger community services and healthcare options for children affected by HIV and AIDS, including those who are positive. We expect to reach 300,000 children by the conclusion of this project. Also, our ongoing Project Multiply initiative uses a USAID grant to multiply the value of each donation 5.75 times to find safe, loving homes for children and youth living in orphanages or on the streets.