Posted on March 22, 2017
Single mum Mary Nakiru has had some big ups and downs in her life but we’ve been there to support her more than once… and now her small business is doing well, she is building a new home!
Mary (49) has 6 children and lives in the Namatala slum. She came to our attention in 2011 when her husband passed on after a long illness and the family needed help in terms of burial expensesAt that time we took care of a number of expenses, including food for the family, transportation of the body for burial in the village and other burial related items.
Life continued to prove tough for Mary and her family; she fell sick for three months and the children had no food, clothes, shelter and all the general household items needed to support them. Child of Hope stepped in to offer medical care to Mary and a free school place to daughter Mary, now in Primary 4 Class.
Then the suffered an arson attack in February 2016 following the Ugandan presidential elections. She lost all her household property in the attack (picture) but she and her children escaped with only minor injuries. Mary was helped to recover from her loses and Child of Hope assisted her in renting another property.
Mary started to dream about one day owning her own house, and through the help of our Family Support team, Mary was encouraged to save weekly towards building her own house. By December 2016, Mary had saved the equivalent of just over £100, enough money to start building her three-roomed permanent house. That’s built from bricks and cement, as opposed to bricks and mud. Right now, Mary is confident she will be able to complete her new house by June 2017.
Posted on March 14, 2017
While doing their rounds in the Namatala slum, our family support team learned of a suffering pregnant woman and 2 year-old son who had been abandoned by a husband and were really struggling without much hope. So our social workers visited Annette (23) in her temporarily-rented home, and found the situation worse then they thought… Annette now also had a 3 day-old new baby girl, who was looking very weak and sick. So they decided to help.
Annette has been unable to pay rent for some time, and the landlord was allowing her to stay in the one room building until she recovered from the pregnancy. She would then, most likely, be evicted. Annette sat on her mat bed (which is the only belonging she has) carrying her newborn baby, while her young son sat nearby.
Apparently Annette had not eaten any food for two days apart from the cup of black tea a friendly neighbour had given her – and she gave most of that to her son. The baby was born weak and sick with malaria and had to be hospitalized for three days.
Annette had occasionally attended the same church as Moses and Bex, which donated some money and clothes, while Child of Hope donated 10 kilos of rice and 10 kilos of beans.
She is currently facing a difficult life of no income, food, home or material items. The report from the social workers suggests that Annette is in an emergency situation and if nothing is done soon, the situation and this young family’s suffering will only worsen. We normally only work with families that have a child at our school, but in this case we will continue to monitor and help her… and try to ensure she isn’t evicted.
She told the social workers that she was an orphan who was raised by different people in her village. From a young age, she had worked as a housekeeper and had often been abused and mistreated as a child. Her decision to try and find a husband was as a result of all the suffering she had gone through.
Posted on March 7, 2017
Another of our pupils and her family suffered an arson attack in February, totally destroying their mud hut home and all their belongings.
Thankfully, Rebecca (14) and her six family members managed to escape unharmed and our welfare team responded quickly to relocate the family to a safer place. Child of Hope is assisting with the cost of their new rented home, at 20,000 Ugandan shillings (around £5) a month.
The picture shows Rebecca and her sister with Charles (one of our social workers) in the remains of their home.
For more information about the social impact of helping families like these, please click here.
Posted on March 1, 2017
Child of Hope continues to positively impact the lives of many of the Namatala slum community’s most desperate and impoverished families through the family support programme.
Check out our new social impact page showing specifics in disaster intervention, family assistance, advocacy, land disputes mediation and family conflict arbitration. Click here…
Posted on February 27, 2017
Christopher is a changed boy… thanks to phonics!
Before its introduction, Christopher was struggling to read and write. But since the phonics programme was introduced towards the end of 2015, his reading really took off. By the end of 2016, he was the strongest reader in his class, and was always looking for a book to read! He has just moved up from nursery to join Primary 1 class… that’s him with head teacher Scovia and class teacher Irene.
Mum Evelyn said: “My son joined school at the age of 4yrs and he had behavioural challenges that were affecting his learning at school. His performance was low and the teachers advised that he should be retained in middle class for an extra term to better his performance.”
At around this time, the new phonics programme was introduced. Christopher improved, and then excelled, becoming one of the best performing children in his class. We hope he continues to enjoy reading, and look forward to seeing how he progresses through primary and beyond.
Posted on February 24, 2017
A slum mum running a tiny business selling beans identified a possible business idea – and has now launched a successful new business selling motorbike spare parts. Better still, she has been able to employ skilled workers to do the maintenance and repair work on the bikes!
Stella Arakit, a 50 year-old mother with a family of five children and three dependants, was inspired by the increasing number of motorbike transport businesses (Boda Bodas) in the Namatala slum. She developed a business plan to start a motorbike spare parts shop to provide motor bike repair services for the local Boda Bodas. Then Stella shared her business idea with our IGA support staff, who gave her encouragement and business counselling on how to realise her dream.
Stella patiently saved for eighteen months, supported by her simple food produce business, and was able to generate the necessary cash. This February, Stella realised that she had saved enough money to start up the shop.
The shop is now up and running and attracting customers – and is a good sign that Child of Hope’s family support is having impact in transforming the lives of needy communities.
For more information on our business start-up programme, click here.
Posted on February 4, 2017
One of the first children to be supported at school by our Moses Okotel – just before Child of Hope started – has now joined our school as a teacher!
Patricia Nzula (19) came from a desperately poor background with a single mum and she had no expectation of ever getting a good job. But then Moses started supporting her education, which was soon to be continued by one of our kind child sponsors in the UK.
She said: “It helped me and my family members so much. I studied the primary level and completed it successfully and later joined secondary school and also completed that too. In 2014, I joined a teacher training college, because I love being with children and I want them to prosper as I have.”
Patricia did so well at the college that she was nominated the best student and she shone when she recently went through our job interview process.
We are so happy to see her success and the results of helping children through education… and thank you child sponsors for making such a huge difference in lives like Patricia’s!
For more of Patricia’s story, when she was featured on our website in Nov 2015, click here.
And if you’d like to sponsor a child at our school, please click here.
Posted on January 30, 2017
Our nursery section is now really officially awesome. Another NGO worker has been organising sending teachers from other schools to observe our nursery in action... so it truly has become a centre of excellence.
And towards the end of last year, at a district-wide meeting for private schools, Child of Hope was mentioned by the Municipal Education Officer as a model school. So we're getting there slowly!
At the start of nursery, slum children join the school that cannot speak English, so there's a lot to be done! We're very proud of them and of our terrific staff.
Posted on January 25, 2017
Architectural plans have just been produced for our proposed new joint Family Support Unit and vulnerable children's respite home. Click the plans to see a bigger image.
We intend to build bespoke premises near to the school that will house offices and meeting rooms for our staff to expand their work with families, while the first floor will become the children’s respite and rehab home, replacing our currently rented children’s home. The budget cost for the land purchase and construction is £125,000.
These new facilities will accommodate more rooms for counselling, training and community meetings, which will enable our IGA, health and welfare teams – now working collaboratively as the Children’s Development Unit – to roll out many of their highly successful programmes to the rest of the community. Potentially this will impact many more families in the Namatala slum to improve their health, education and living standards in line with the UN sustainable development goals. And it will free up a lot of much-needed space currently used in our school.
Children's respite and rehab home
Even with the ongoing development of our foster care programme, there will still be a need for premises to give short-term respite and rehab services, to help children and families in emergency situations. We therefore want to reshape our children’s home so that our focus is much more on respite and rehab rather than on long-term accommodation.
You can read more information and if you'd like to help us with the project, you can donate... please click here.
Posted on January 19, 2017
This week, our IGA Department is starting to conduct a household income improvement survey with mums we have helped to launch a small business. We will use it to assess new business ideas; what families have done previously; successes from the IGA programme; and gaps that need urgent attention.
This survey runs for two weeks to January 31. We’ll let you know the findings and anything that emerges to help the mums improve their household incomes still further.