UGANDA AT A GLANCE:
Uganda has one of the youngest populations in the world. More than half of its 37 million people are children – which provides exciting potential for a dynamic future. After years of conflict and insecurity, there has been some considerable progress. More children are in school and fewer are dying of preventable illnesses. But many children – especially in rural areas – still live in poverty and without their basic rights.
- Only one in five children complete primary school
- More than a quarter of children under-5 suffer chronic malnutrition
- 75% of children experience violence
- At least 10% of girls are married before they are 15, and a quarter experienced sexual violence in the past year
Essential services such as schools and health facilities are overcrowded and under-resourced. Laws and policies have been passed that could make a positive difference to children’s lives, but are seldom resourced or enforced. Rural youth struggle to find decent work.
Uganda hosts more than 1.25 million refugees fleeing some of the world’s worst conflicts – one of the largest numbers in the world. More than 60% are children. The country has shown great generosity in opening its doors, but the influx has further increased the strain on services and more support is needed.
ABOUT SAVE THE CHILDREN IN UGANDA:
Save the Children has worked in Uganda for 60 years, since 1959. Today we work throughout the country, supporting the most vulnerable and marginalised communities. From refugees fleeing brutal wars to children in remote rural villages and pastoralist societies, we aim to ensure that no child is left behind.
Our work covers four priority areas: Education; Health & Nutrition; Child Protection & Child Rights Governance; and Livelihoods. We deliver programmes that have a lasting impact and contribute to upholding children's rights. To maximise our effectiveness and long-term impact, we partner with communities, the government, likeminded organisations and the private sector.
Last year (2018) our work in Uganda directly benefited 440,000 people, including 300,000 children . Another one million people benefited indirectly from these projects. We work in 29 districts across the country, providing both humanitarian assistance and long-term developmen,t and supporting both Ugandans and refugees.
Our Vision Is a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation.
Our Mission Is to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives.
1. PROMOTING ACCESS TO QUALITY EDUCATION
Despite the roll-out of Universal Primary Education , only 20% of children in Uganda actually complete primary school. Many drop out or never enrol, due to poverty and factors such as teenage pregnancy. For those who do get to attend, schools are often severely overcrowded and lack basic resources. Poorly paid and ill-trained teachers struggle to manage classes of 100 -200 children. As a result, the quality of learning is poor.
Save the Children focuses on improving access to primary education and improving the quality of learning in a safe and protective school environment. We support schools with supplies, infrastructure, teaching materials and teacher training, and run programmes such as "Literacy Bobst" and Numeracy Boost". We work with teachers and communities to promote inclusive education, particularly focusing on making education accessible to girls and children with disabilities. We also run early learning programmes to give children under-6 the best possible start in life; and accelerated education programmes to help older children who have had to drop out of primary school
2. IMPROVING ACCESS TO HEALTH AND NUTRITION
There have been improvements in recent decades, but most children in Uganda still do not have adequate access to healthcare. Health facilities are often in dilapidated condition and frequently run out of drugs and electricity. Indicators such as neo-natal mortality and maternal mortality remain high, and more than one in four children under-5 suffer from chronic malnutrition, known as stunting, which prevents their physical and mental development.
Save the Children supports rural clinics to improve maternal and new-born child health by providing equipment, medicine and training - for example in responding to premature births. We also run Infant and Young Child Feeding programmes for malnourished children and mothers, and promote breastfeeding. We also work to ensure that adolescents have access to sexual and reproductive health services and the information they need to make informed decisions.
3. STRENGTHENING CHILD PROTECTION AND CHILD RIGHTS GOVERNANCE
Save the Children supports children and civil society to demand their rights, and hold governments accountable to their priorities and responsibilities. Nationally, we work to strengthen child protection systems to ensure children can report violations and get the services they need, and to ensure schools and other facilities are safe and free of violence. We work with child and youth groups, set up children's councils and identify youth champions to get children' s voices heard by schools, community leaders, government author ities, the media and policy makers. We contributed to Uganda's first National Child Participation Strategy, enshrining children's right to a voice in decisions that affect their lives.
Within refugee settlements, we run Child Friendly Spaces where children can find a safe place to play, socialise and learn. Our teams of case workers identify vulnerable children - such as those who have been separated from their parents or who suffer emotional distress - and ensure they get the support they need.
4. ENHANCING YOUTH LIVELIHOODS AND TACKLING CHILD POVERTY
Many children in Uganda live below the poverty line, and youth are unable to find decent work, especially in rural areas. We work to help children and their families meet their basic needs and escape the intergenerational cycle of poverty. Save the Children ensures that caregivers have sufficient income at all times to meet the essential needs of their children for survival, learning and protection.
Through vocational training in a variety of professions such as farming, mechanics, tailoring, welding, hairdressing and agribusinesses, as well as in financial literacy and accounting, we equip youth with the skills they need to help them earn a sustainable income or set up a small business. We also support Village Savings and Loan Association s, to help young people invest and save for the future and to develop their own profitable businesses.