Streets to Strength - Mbale, Uganda
In Mbale, eastern Uganda, the Ugandan organisation Child Restoration Outreach (CRO) works to return street children to their families. Displacement due to war, the HIV epidemic, drought and the slow grind of poverty all contribute to the large numbers of children without the love and support of a family home. Once on the streets, these children face harassment, violence and arbitrary arrest by the police. CRO's work over more than 20 years has supported thousands of street children across Uganda, but as an organisation they struggle in a number of areas and have asked for THREE for All's assistance.
THREE for All Foundation began working with CRO in 2013 to develop an advocacy strategy and materials for educating Ugandans about street children; improve CRO's monitoring and evaluation processes and their knowledge of participatory ways of working with children; build skills and opportunities amongst street children by developing agricultural projects at CRO's farm; develop a drug prevention and intervention program; and support scholarships and tutoring for students in need.
Aim: To improve quality of life for children who live on the streets in Mbale, and support their return to family and community.
Partner: Child Restoration Outreach, with ANPPCAN and UCRNN.
Activities: Develop resources and networks for public education and awareness raising regarding street children; provide technical support in the development and delivery of drug prevention education programs; promote participatory and empowering methods for engaging children in decision-making; provide technical support in areas such as monitoring and evaluation, communications, advocacy, organisational development and others as appropriate; provide financial assistance to support the development of agricultural projects on the CRO Mbale farm.
Why? In Uganda, poverty, the AIDS epidemic and civil unrest in the north have driven many children to life on the streets of cities and towns. CRO have an effective model for rehabilitating street children and supporting them to return home or to live elsewhere, but recognise a number of areas in which they require additional expertise and support. Street children are generally reviled, and are regularly rounded up and imprisoned.
What’s happened so far? THREE has worked with young people from CRO to collect information about the lives of street children and to draft advocacy materials, and we have conducted drug prevention training for CRO staff. We have funded several agricultural activities, including chicken and pig rearing and coffee production, and supported scholarships for secondary school students.
Click photographs to enlarge and hover mouse over it to see it's story. Many of the photographs were taken by children supported by CRO.
Photo credits: THREE for All Foundation.