LOVE UGANDA FOUNDATION PROFILE
CHALLENGES FACED BY ORPHANS IN UGANDA – THE CONTEXT OF OUR WORK.
Over the past decade, the number of orphans and vulnerable children living in Uganda has been escalating at an alarming rate. In 2004, the number of orphans was estimated to be 1.8 million; in 2009 that number had grown to nearly 2.6 million. Over one million of those children have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS-related complications and suffer the following problems:
- Extreme Poverty: Many of these children are deprived of their basic needs due to high levels of poverty. Nearly half of the population lives below the poverty line, out of which 19% are children. Uganda’s rural areas in particular struggle with a very high poverty rate.
- Caretaking: After their parents die or become disabled by illness, orphans and vulnerable children as young as five years old become both mother and father to their younger siblings. Those whose parents suffer from HIV/AIDS face an additional burden of care as complications develop and worsen over time. Children are forced to drop out of school as they try and provide basic necessities for their siblings.
- Unfair wages: Orphans have to find work wherever they can due to their lack of education and resources: laboring in fields, tending cattle, carrying water, or other back-breaking tasks. When they are able to find work, orphans are often paid unfair wages because they have no alternative but to accept whatever is given. When there is no work, they must beg for or steal food to ward off starvation. Survival becomes a daily struggle.
- Exploitation: Living in extreme poverty without the support of their parents, orphans are vulnerable to additional kinds of exploitation. Neighbors and occasionally relatives can take advantage of them because they know that there is no longer an adult to enforce the children’s property rights. Orphans are also vulnerable to physical abuse. These children are beaten, and sometimes mutilated, after they are driven by hunger to steal small amounts of food to eat. Girls are subject to sexual exploitation when they face the hard choice of selling their bodies for food or watching their families go hungry.
- Isolation: Many of these children live in communities where there are widespread misconceptions about the causes of HIV/AIDS. After their parents die from HIV/AIDS-related complications, they are shunned by neighbors and community members for fear of catching the disease. Orphans find themselves isolated within their communities, surrounded by those who are unwilling or unable to reach out to them.
It was while facing these serious issues that Love Uganda Foundation was formed.
Love Uganda Foundation is a Christian, faith-based, non-profit organization operating currently in Uganda, with offices located in Kampala, Plot 1490 Gayaza Road, Kubiri Roundabout. Our orphanage is located in Mukono district, Kalagi Subcounty about 25 miles from the capital, Kampala.
Love Uganda Foundation began in 2006 as a small outreach ministry operating in both Kampala town and Mukono town. It was founded by the late Emmanuel MacMillan Kitumba. Emmanuel had a passion for helping the needy in his community. From childhood, it was his dream that when he was financially able to, he would go back and make his community a better place.
His parents, Pastor Sam Sekirime and Mrs. Robina Sekirime, helped nurture Emmanuel’s dream by bringing him up in the ways of the Lord. As the Scripture says: “Train up a child in the way he should go, that when he or she is grown, they will not depart from it” Proverbs: 22:6. With this strong foundation in Emmanuel’s life, it was only to be expected that his life would bear such good fruit.
In 2008, after Emmanuel completed his theological course, he decided to ask his sponsor, Mr. Andrew McMillan, how he could repay his gratitude towards him. He had already adopted Mr. McMillan’s surname. Mr. McMillan said, “Do to others what has been done to you”. This was a perfect confirmation of what the Lord had placed for so long within Emmanuel’s heart.
Emmanuel opened the Foundation, and in 2012, Love Uganda Foundation was officially recognized by the government.
As of now, Love Uganda Foundation is trying to address major issues affecting our Ugandan communities at large. These include:
- under-age marriages and teenage pregnancies
- domestic violence
- HIV/AIDS pandemic
- child abuse.
We support poverty eradication programs, widows, and empowerment of women, programs for the disabled, and environmental conservation, among many others.
Our main current project is our children’s home where we care for 15 children.
A major objective of the Foundation is to save the next generation through provision of quality education and mentorship. We aim to provide these services for the children in the children’s home and around the community.
In the early period, the Foundation carried out the following activities to support and achieve this objective:
- raising awareness in the community,
- home visiting,
- monitoring families with children at risk,
- resource mobilization
In 2012, at the annual general meeting, members resolved that the orphanage should focus on addressing the education development issues more directly, from primary to tertiary level. The same year, LUF recognized the need to broaden the scope of the interventions to cover other socio-economic poverty issues and health in a holistic and sustainable manner. This area of care will be the pilot project area as it helps many orphans, street children and needy children who are suffering because of the low levels of community awareness on education.
We believe that each and every one of our children must be exposed to at least five core competences that we consider necessary to excel in this world today:
- Ethics and integrity
- Spiritual development
- Environmental Literacy
- Talent development.
As we embark on Love Uganda Foundation becoming a first class children centre, it will be our commitment to provide these core competences to all those who will emerge from it.
CHILD ADVOCACY AND COMMUNITY OUTREACH
This covers all interventions to empower children in especially difficult circumstances. It aims at encouraging commitment and action from the community to empower children / young people.
We will work towards implementing:
- Counselling, child recovery and re-unification with their families
- Advocacy for children through media coverage
- Child care and protection
- Skills development for young people
- Maternal and child health care
- Parental education on good child care
- Teaching parental skills, parental guidance, encouraging parental literacy, and cultural identity
- Equipment for children’s activities
- Monitoring and evaluation of the above
OUR CURRENT STATUS
- CHILDREN’S PROFILE
Love Uganda Foundation enrolls almost equal numbers of female (52%) and male (48%) children.
Our children reflect a broad tribal diversity with children from all over Uganda, though the majority come from Mukono, Kabale, Gulu and some suburbs of kampala. We accept children from anywhere in Uganda.
Love Uganda Foundation looks after children between the ages of 3yrs-15 yrs. These are normally children abandoned by parents, or orphans.
Children are currently accommodated in a bungalow house which is rented with funds from the proceeds that come from our sister organization, Love Uganda Safari and well-wishers. The house has 3 rooms, each with the capacity for over 8 children. It also contains an indoor store, with a sitting room/lounge and a dining hall where various activities are conducted. There is also a room for the care staff. Outside are located the washrooms/pit-latrines and a spacious compound where our children get an opportunity to play and exercise their skills.
We would like to expand our accommodation to enable us to care for more children.
- GOVERNANCE OF LOVE UGANDA FOUNDATION.
LUF is still a small children’s foundation though it is working to attain the administration expected of a modern children’s center. The role of each area of management will be defined in the governance policy document but the following shows the structure of governance at Love Uganda Foundation.
The Founders’ Board.
Governance will be vested in the Foundation’s Board of Directors, committed to steer Love Uganda Foundation to excellence amid the challenges of the 21st century. The board members will also serve as trustees of Love Uganda Foundation. The members will be nominated at the annual general meeting.
However, currently we do not have a Board of Directors because we have been in the process of re-establishing the company after the passing away of our beloved founder, the late McMillan Emmanuel Kitumba.
Currently, LUF has 9 full time employees and a number of volunteers. Our full-time staff comprises of one Centre administrator, and two care staff. Volunteers are normally university students who aim at giving back to society. They come from Makerere University, Multi-tech Business School and local churches.
Below is a list of our staff and their duties;
|Mr. KYEYUNE ROBERT PAUL||Team Leader|
|Mr. KISAAKYE JOSHUA||Administrator|
|MR. KALEMA ABRAHAM||Social Worker|
|Mr. MUKISA DEO||Coordinator- Mukono region|
|Mr. KYOYITA ISRAEL||Programs Coordinator|
|Mrs. MURUNGI BRENDA||Creative Arts Cordinator/Social Worker|
|Mrs. NALUBEGA JOSEPHINE||Social Worker|
|Mr.JOSEPH TOPACH||Coordinator- Gulu region|
|Mr.MANDELA WILFRED||Coordinator- Gulu region|
In this strategic plan, we shall give priority to human resource enhancement i.e. increasing our staff will give an efficient and effective system of managing the center.
- MAJOR STAKEHOLDERS TO SEEK AFFILIATION IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS
For the next five years LUF plans to strengthen its partnership and affiliations with local based, international children organizations and government agencies such as Ministries in line with children affairs. The following will be the organizations to seek collaboration and partnership from for the next Five years.
- Care International
- Child Fund International
- Elevate Children Funder’s Group (ECFG)
- Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Gender, Labour and social development and Water and Environment because we want to build an ideal environmental project in theme of “’facilities as green as possible.”
- Church Leaders.
- Community Leaders
- Development partners in the same line of activities in other countries.
- Academic institutions for research and publication
- Media houses for advocacy, public relations
- Ambassadors of Good will locally and internationally
CURRENT STATUS OF THE HOME:
Currently the home is no more, after the death of Emmanuel unknown people claimed ownership of the house which was lost to them. The children and everybody residing in the home then dissolved, some being returned to particular relatives who were still alive and others handed over to other orphanages in Mukono which took them in.
In July 2016, Love Uganda Foundation was re-established by Emmanuel’s big brother Robert Paul Kyeyune who felt the need to continue with his Late brother’s vision and need. With the help of his little brothers, Kisakye Joshua, Kyoyita Israel and few friends they were able to process the documents that were as well lost in the building accident that claimed LUF offices and the founder’s life and yet had no home to accommodate the children. The system was back to its roots of door to door outreaches in the villages and respective areas where the need was met.
In July 2017, a generous lady by the names Ms. Joan Belford from the Canada donated towards the re-establishment of the home to cater for the children. With this fund, we were only able to rent a house monthly and not purchasing it fully. After inserting a few stuff in the home, we were able to bring in 15 children on the 1/07/2017, who till date stay in the house with a caretaker/mother that takes care of them. Our vision however is to expand by constructing our own home such that we can lessen on the expenses.
- Currently the Foundation is paying fees for 30 students under our External Program in the community schools located in the various regions our Love Activity team visits.Our social work team identifies children/orphans from poorest families in a community that have failed to access education due to poverty, and are enrolled in education program. Currently, external program/education is ongoing in 3 communities; Ruhijja- Kabale, Paichor-Gulu, Kateete- Mukono under the campaign “Keep An Orphan In School” and we hope to increase the number of children by 70% in the next 3 years of our strategic year plan 2018/2020.
- We have been able to establish various community outreach programs which tackle various issues affecting Widows, Elderly, Disabled, Girl-child. These have so much benefited the communities. Our widows’ projects in Gulu, Kateete and Kalagi have availed an opportunity to widows/women to gain skills and earn a living out of them.
- Not only do we train them skills but also teach them life aspects which include; Health and Sanitation, HIV/AIDS Sensitization, poverty eradication methods alongside godly principles. This has greatly impacted the women league alongside other categories of people reached out in our External Program. We as well donate basic life materials to them as this is one step to restore hope and empower these great mothers.
- Infrastructural Development: Access to space is a basic requirement of a children center. It’s because of this that LUF gave top priority to acquire space in a good location. LUF operates in kalagi town council where we are in position to rent a big bungalow house that currently accommodates 15 children.
- Orphaned children, both single and total orphans under our internal and external programs.
- 20 family household at village level, local community at large
- Elderly women and widows from the districts of Gulu and Kateete – Mukono.