Education and job creation

There are around 2.7 million orphans in Uganda, and for those without someone to advocate for them, meet their needs and see that they stay in school, it’s very difficult to escape poverty. Some children, like Gerald (right), have to work just to survive, even selling drugs or engaging in prostitution. UNICEF statistics indicate that 25% of children in Uganda are involved in child labour of some kind.

A4037.7% of Uganda’s population lives below the international poverty line of US$1.25 per day. Orphans and vulnerable children may find it impossible to break free from the poverty cycle without the kind of intervention that our partners are giving.

This shipment is helping give some of Uganda’s most vulnerable children and youth the chance at a life beyond basic survival. Crossroads’ partner NGO supports orphaned children through school, and gives job training to teenagers and youth who have dropped out of school, as well as helping them find employment.

Shipment includes:

  • Stationery, text books and toys for programmes with nearly 1,000 school children
  • School desks and chairs for under-resourced village schools
  • Appliances, furniture and office equipment to help education and job training programmes
  • Goods to meet the basic needs of elderly and orphaned in the community

Uganda_7Katrina was left abandoned at age 3 when her parents died of HIV/Aids. Today, she’s thriving in Primary Three (right), thanks to the care of our partners, who help more than 200 orphans like her.

 

 

 

 

 

Goods in this shipment will release budget for them to give relief and educational support to more children.


 

A39When Gerald was only 10, both his parents died, leaving him in the care of his 16-year-old sister. Gerald, not yet a teenager, started selling cocaine to make enough money to survive and to go to school. Gerald’s sister found her ‘escape’ by leaving home and marrying quickly, and young, which left Gerald completely alone, living in a 2-bedroomed grass hut that was in disrepair and falling down around him.

Thankfully, when he was 18 years old, staff from our partners met him. They helped Gerald find a better, more secure home, financial relief and encouraged him to finish his schooling. Today Gerald is in his final year of high school and planning to attend university. He wants to become a lawyer who can advocate for the rights of Ugandan orphans, and against early child marriage.

“He is one of the happiest guys around,” write our partners. “He now believes that life can change and have meaning.”

This shipment will include goods to support the programmes that helped Gerald turn his life around.

 

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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Uganda Snapshot

Population: 37.58 million
Capital: Kampala

Uganda is a fertile, land-locked country in East Africa, in the Africa Great Lakes region, with a tropical climate.

Great progress has been made in fighting HIV in Uganda, but 1.5 million people still live with the disease, and there are 1 million children orphaned by HIV/AIDS.

39% of girls are married by the age of 18. 37.7% of people in Uganda live below the international poverty line of US$1.25/day.

A6

They call it the silent killer. Hunger is responsible for more deaths per hour, per day, than any other force on the planet, war, HIV, climate change included.

It is described as silent because it does not get talked about as much as the other big killers. Its menace is greater, though. Statistics indicate that, globally, around 25,000 people die from hunger related causes per day. That is just over 1000 per hour.

If we narrow the lens from global to close-up, a country like Malawi comes into focus as a typical, and treacherous, example. The majority of Malawi’s 12 million people live below the poverty line and, as a result, have struggled for years with food-deficiency. Their need is the greater as the nation also has a high incidence of HIV/AIDS, currently estimated at 12%, which has a knock on effect: high death rate of wage earners among parents, strained health infrastructure and increased rupture of family life.

Survival has been tough for many in Malawi. In order for families to make it, emerging reports indicate child labour is widespread. In the tobacco industry, for example, 78,000 children are estimated to be employed daily. Current indicators say some are as young as 6, working up to 12 hours a day, on less than 2 US cents an hour, and suffering headaches and other symptoms from their exposure to nicotine. The need to eat, and to live, drives people to desperate measures.

New steps have been taken to grow more food in the country. Crop cultivation is improving the situation for some, but the benefits are not yet reaching the marginalised and those most vulnerable. Almost 50% of children under the age of 5, for example, are chronically malnourished.

Some of Global Hand’s NGOs are playing their part in helping Malawi, among them the Scottish charity, Glasgow the Caring City (GTCC), which has combated hunger for several years.

Ross Gailbraith, Projects Manager, emphasised the need for food security among children. GTCC, he explained, supports the Chazi Orphanage in its care for over 3000 children. The staff use their training as nurses and horticulturalists to educate, feed and look after the orphans, including those who are, as they put it, ’beyond the care of society.’ They care for those who are ill, run a day care centre and offer a weekly feeding programme.

It caters even for breast-fed babies, since, Ross added, they often remain in need of supplements, because the women, if malnourished themselves, cannot generate the needed milk supplies for their little ones.

So when UK company, ‘Handling Matters’, offered 10,000 baby bowls, spoons and bibs on Global Hand, GTCC responded.

This provision was clearly ideal to include in their Malawi programme, along with soap and clothing. The baby products were particularly suitable because they were impregnated with a disinfectant that would help to revolutionise the eating system in the orphanage.

“If we can conquer space, we can conquer childhood hunger,” Buzz Aldrin, astronaut of former years, famously said. But it takes global, as well as national, will to make it happen. Global Hand welcomes all efforts to overcome this killer and to dispel the silence which, still today, allows it to rob too many of life.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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