In Uganda, an estimated 15 per cent of children younger than 18 years old are orphaned. Many have become parents to their siblings, often with limited assistance from their kin. Given the large number of orphaned children, an “orphanage industry” has emerged. Even though the Government’s Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) policy outlines regulations for orphanages, it is an unfortunate fact that the outlines leave much room for corruption and exploitation. Funds and resources earmarked for children’s basic needs may be diverted by unscrupulous administrators. Vulnerable children often find themselves used as commodities, earning money for those adults charged with their care.
In 2012, the Ugandan government cracked down on five orphanages that were among the worst examples of corruption. Citing irregularities including abuse, inadequate living conditions and severe overcrowding, the government closed the facilities and relocated some 100 orphans to other institutions and family-based settings.
In view of the shortcomings of orphanages, Lend a Hand Uganda (LAHU) http://www.lendahanduganda.com/ has been helping to support the nation’s orphans since 2007, focusing to meet the basic living and educational needs of vulnerable children in household-centered care. One critical area of LAHU’s outreach is providing school tuition and supplies for orphans in need, helping them access the education necessary to realize a better economic future.
Also, LAHU sponsors short-term subsistence programs in three districts, aiming to improve the economic conditions in the communities and homes of affected children. Gardening and livestock are two of LAHU’s key projects that help impoverished households to survive.Harkiss Designs is proud to contribute to LAHU’s services and is introducing a new program called “Sponsor a Child”.
Under the “Sponsor a Child”, patrons will be invited to sponsor a particular child for a duration of their choice and, if they wish, may follow the progress of their sponsored child.
For more information and how you can get involved, please contact Harriet Zaffoni http://harkissdesigns.com/contact/ or call her @ 866-312-9937 Ext 1
Read about the projects in Part Two, coming soon.