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Blessedyouthministry Byom's Fundraiser:

Vulnerable children need a home

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BENEFITING:

Blessedyouthministry Byom

THE STORY:

“PEACE AND JOY CHILDREN’S PROJECT” of Buloba and Namulanda blessed youth, was initiated in 2000. It was started in order to provide support and impart skills to the increasing number of orphans in and around Buloba and Namulanda, commonly referred to as Buloba and Namulanda urban/rural. The youth through the Peace and Joy is currently taking care of a total of five orphans. Although the project is intended to be a long term one, it will be implemented in phases. The project management team (pmt) will manage the project. The initial phase of the project involves identifying and supporting additional 25 most needy vulnerable children. These children will receive health care, food, clothing, schooling, sports, scholastic materials, shoes and clean water plus moral and spiritual guidance. This will help in the re-establishment of dignity and self esteem among the children. The project is located in a district where Aids was first diagnosed in Uganda in1982. Since then, the socio-economic effects and impact resulting from HIV/aids are still being felt by the community and particularly by those children who lost their parents and relatives as a result of contracting HIV/Aids. The HIV/Aids incidences in Mpigi district are still the highest (i.e. 15% compared with the national average of 6% in 2000). In Mpigi district, 15% of the people aged between 14 - 45 years are HIV positive!

From the social point of view, the major effects are; increasing number of orphans - child headed households, women headed households. Poverty, destitution, prostitution, street children, weakening traditional support systems, increasing number of dependants, food insecurity, poor health, inadequate social support, the break down of the labour force, to mention but a few.

In Mpigi, the major challenge is to find means and ways of effectively managing the increasing number of orphans who are flocking to the town. In 1999, the orphan population in Mpigi was 503 (271 boys and 232 girls) children. The number has since grown. A majority of these orphans are destitute street children who are increasingly becoming vulnerable to physical and psychological abuse, high-risk behaviour and sexual exploitation, early marriages and pregnancies.

TARGET GROUP

As indicated above, the beneficiaries of Mpigi District “Peace and Joy Children’s Project” will be vulnerable children, with special regard to those living alone (both boys and girls). These will include those whose parents have died of AIDS or those whose parents are still alive but are HIV positive or are too poor to support the children. However, with time and depending on the assistance received, it is envisaged that the project will cater for all categories of vulnerable and marginalized children in and around Mpigi District.


STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Being in the district that first recorded HIV/Aids cases in the country, Buloba and Namulanda urban/rural has not escaped its effects. Mpigi district is very big covering many areas along the Kampala - Mubende highway. the presence of large numbers of unemployed and desperate men in the area has led to thriving commercial sex and prostitution, thus making female orphans (who run to town) particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse, exploitation and sexually transmitted diseases

As mentioned earlier, in 1999, there were over 500 orphans (of these 46% were girls) in Buloba and Namulanda. Most of these children have lost one or both parents. since the extended traditional family system has been over-stretched and overwhelmed by the increasing number of orphans (almost every family has lost somebody as a result of aids), the level of moral, material (food, clothing, shelter, water and schooling), social, psychological and spiritual support to children/orphans has greatly declined. This has forced many children to move to the town where they end up in the streets. In the streets they are exposed to hard life, resulting to poor nutrition and health, hopelessness, prostitution, early marriages, teenage pregnancies, theft, drug abuse and frustration.

Although children have a basic right to basic needs (food, shelter, and security, education) to ensure proper growth and development, the majority of these children have been denied their rights after losing not only their parents but also their relatives thus breaking their traditional support system. This means that unless something is done, the future of most of these children is uncertain, as most of them are likely to be tempted to engage in high risk behaviour in a bid to survive.

As a ministry therefore, it is common sense that we do not just look at the problem but find ways and means of protecting and nurturing these vulnerable children into useful citizens. This will entail the provision of basic needs (food, health, water, and shelter) education and other life survival skills, moral, social and spiritual support to the orphans and non-orphans in Buloba and Namulanda urban/rural. This was exactly why blessed youth initiated the “Peace and Joy children’s project”.

AIMS

The overall aim of the project is to restore self-esteem and dignity among the vulnerable children, to equip them with life survival skills so that they may lead useful and meaningful Christian lives and as responsible citizens. This will include orphans and non-orphans, boys and girls in Buloba and Namulanda and the surrounding places.

OBJECTIVES

The specific objectives will be to:

1. Identify, register and support orphans to go back to school.
2. Meet the basic needs of the orphan children.
3. Reduce redundancy among children by providing alternative livelihoods.
4. Impart life/survival skills (vocational training) to orphans and other vulnerable and marginalized children.
5. Assist orphans identify and manage sustainable income generating enterprises.
6. Provide social, moral, psychological and spiritual support to the vulnerable children.
7. Promote sports and recreation among children.

ACTIVITIES/INPUTS

These will include feeding, clothing, medical care, scholastic materials, out door games, counselling, Christian teaching, literacy classes, training in basic life survival skills like carpentry and joinery, tailoring, brick making/laying, handcraft, gardening/agriculture, etc.
The above objectives and activities are in line with the views and opinions expressed by guardians who are taking care of some children. In their view, the best way of helping children is to:

• Assist school age children go back to school.
• Assist those who have dropped out of school to start income generating activities.
• Help non-school going orphans to obtain some external technical and material support so that they can under take sustainable projects relevant to their environments and conditions.

PROJECT STRATEGY

The overall strategy of the project is to empower the vulnerable children (boys and girls) orphan and non-orphan children in Buloba and namulanda and the surrounding areas. this to be done through training and provision of spiritual, socio-economic, support in order to enable the children develop broad minds and life survival skills so that they can live meaningful and purposeful lives full of opportunities and possibilities.

Apart from ensuring the basic needs, Peace and Joy will also include a spiritual and moral component in order to ensure the wholesome human development of the children. Concentrating on supporting vulnerable children in Buloba and Namulanda urban, which has a total population of about 20,000 people, and if resources allow reach the rural areas.

REASONS FOR ASSITANCE

The promotion of the welfare of vulnerable children in Buloba and Namulanda urban and rural requires both financial and physical resources. Blessed youth Association has; however, insufficient resources to fully implement the project and thus the need for external assistance. a couple of items are required to have meaningful impact. This include among others; school fees, pens, uniforms, clothes, shoes, food, medical care, sports gear, bedding and for long term - accommodation inform of housing. it is for these reasons that we are requesting for external donor assistance.

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