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Uganda

Home-Start's logo

National Family Support Resource Center, St. Andrews Community Center, 226 Butuukirwa Hill Ntinda - Kisaasi Road, P.O. Box 03, Kampala, Uganda

Mugasa Charles, National Director, Home-Start Uganda.
Telephone: +256-414-574971
Email: home_startuganda@yahoo.com
Website:


Origins

Interest in Home-Start’s approach was created at an International Conference organised by Family Support America in Chicago April 2002, where the National Director Charles Mugasa had met Home-Start’s founder, Margaret Harrison. Charles felt that the Home-Start approach and methods could be very relevant in Uganda. A formal process of establishing Home-Start Uganda was initiated with Home-Start International in London and it became possible for Charles to attend the first Home-Start Training Course in London, in March 2003.

With the immense support of Tanya Barron and Brian Waller, both past Directors of Home-Start Worldwide, and Maggie Rowlands, a trainer at Home-Start UK, Home-Start Uganda became established and later was registered under the NGO Statute Reg. No. S. 5914/5081 in March 2004.

Funding

Our funding comes from: OAK Foundation, Headily Trust, Tedworth Trust and Family Forum Uganda.

Plans for the future

We wish to scale up the availability of micro gardens to every project beneficiary family.

Our work

Currently we have 4 schemes and 150 trained volunteers who visit 339 families, supporting 956 children. Our work strengthens parents/care givers in ‘at risk’ families with children below 8 years of age on matters of preventing rampant child abuse, poor nutrition and hygiene at home and carrying out parent education training. This is all implemented through a special project, code named Project Protect and Prosper (PPP) since March 2013 to date.

Since establishment, Home Start Uganda was able to first set up two schemes in the Central – Kawempe Division, Western – Kabarole District and a year later two others in the Eastern Region located at Jinja Njeru Township and Northern Region at Pece Division Gulu Township. Today all the four Schemes are operating but only the first two have received modest support towards office set up and volunteer training.

Happy and well fed children attend a Family drop in day with their parentsHappy and well fed children attend a Family drop in day with their parents.

The most frequent problems among families in Uganda are:

  • Poverty
  • Alcoholism
  • Teenage mothers
  • Diseases(i.e. HIV/AIDS)
  • Unemployment


Volunteers

Home-Start Uganda volunteers

Home-Start Uganda has only managed to engage a number of 30 volunteers in the Central Region covering Kawempe Division one of the five Kampala most disadvantaged City suburban areas but our Services are practically not strictly limited to Division boundaries and hence extended to Nakawa and Central poverty corridor. In the Western Regional 60 Volunteers have been engaged in providing services to Kabarole District covering the two Counties namely Burahya and Bunyangabu and the Municipality. Other areas of Mwenge and Kyarusozi that lie in Kyenjojo District area have also been reached and full schemes are yet to be established there. In the Eastern Region within Jinja Njeru Town and its surrounding areas, 25 volunteers have been engaged. Lastly in the Northern Region, 30 volunteers have been engaged in the Division of Pece – Gulu Town area where by the majority of the families are victims of Internal displacement as a result of the 20 year civil war that has greatly impacted the families and thousands of children. In total the number of volunteers is 140.

Kabagenyi a 30 year old single mother of four children from Karambi village in Western Uganda a beneficiary of Project Protect and Prosper.
Kabagenyi a 30 year old single mother of four children from Karambi village in Western Uganda a beneficiary of Project Protect and Prosper .
Ms Okwi a mother of four but two have a mental disability, resident of Kasana -Kampala poor suburbs Kawempe Division receiving advice from a Paediatrician at a Family Drop in Day.Ms Okwi a mother of four but two have a mental disability, resident of Kasana -Kampala poor suburbs Kawempe Division receiving advice from a Paediatrician at a Family Drop in Day.


Families

Reports so far coming out of the families testimonies, greatly express the impact that the Home-Start approach has made on their lives and their children’s lives. Over 500 families have been visited ever since the volunteers started their visitations. Each volunteer on average has been serving two families being afflicted by mainly poverty, ill health especially from HIV/AIDS, domestic violence, unemployment, large families, illiteracy, internally displaced families, etc.

Home-Start Uganda fruit and vegetables

Beneficiary Parents brought this food from their micro gardens to demonstrate what they have achieved. This food helps them get a balanced diet and protect their children from malnutrition and they sell some in order to get physical cash to pay for medical bills and children requirements like cloths, scholastic materials etc.

Children

There has been increasing numbers of children that have been visited by the Volunteers and at least over 1000 orphaned children have been reached. Many of who live in a kind of “child headed families” or in the care of very old Grandparents.

Training

A number of specialised training courses have so far taken place. Namely the March 2003 Organisers Course in London that was attended by the Director. In November 2004 a Regional Conference for the African Continent was held in Nairobi and was attended by all Regional Directors and Scheme Coordinators in Uganda. Volunteers in the Central and Western Region schemes have attended the Course of Preparation (COP) Training.

What people said about Home-Start Uganda

Stephen Sserwada: Community leader-Ssempagala zoneStephen Sserwada: Community leader-Ssempagala zone "I am happy to learn about Home-Starts simple and down to earth approach which is a timely intervention that will help parents/caregivers who did not know or have a clue about the importance of a good early start for a young child. It is critically important for a better outcome for the future of the child."


Mary Kaheeru: Parent-Maguru zoneMary Kaheeru: Parent-Maguru zone "I am happy about what Home Start did for me, for opening up my eyes and giving me the confidence that a mother needs. Even if poverty is still a problem, now I know well what to do when I get some startup funds. And I am sure that now I have the energy and skills to manage better."

Families face many problems which are exacerbated by high levels of poverty. Home Start Uganda wishes to scale up the Micro Gardening project which we feel is a MUST have activity for families. It is hoped that each family will be provided with both seeds/seedlings to plant that they can later return after their crops have started yielding. It will help them generate the much needed income that the family needs to afford adequate nutritious foods, buy detergents to maintain good hygiene, and learn financial literacy skills such as saving culture.

Updated 25th February 2015


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