Poverty levels in Uganda are increasing as well as high prevalence rate of HIV/Aids, malaria,domestic violence cases, child neglect leading to many of them to move to streets to beg for assistance and increasing number of orphans without any assistance, high unemployment, lack of respect of human rights and high illiteracy levels within the community and more so among the women . The most vulnerable and affected are the women and children because of the African family setting yet they are the core of the households, at the center of hunger, malnutrition, diseases, illiteracy and all other effects of poverty. Four out of every ten homes are single mother/children/widow/grand headed families without any support.
Most single moms have lost their husband, or the husband has no longer have interest in them, and has left them to take care of themselves. Often these women have not learned any skill or have no capital to start up their own business. Therefor as well their children are looking at a future with no skills or proper education.
Four out of every ten of school going age can not attend school even when there is free Universal Primary and Secondary School seemingly because they lack scholastic requirements such as books, uniforms, meals, etc
Eight out of every ten youth have lost hope and continued being vulnerable as they are un employed, uneducated, lack life skills, lack capital to set up businesses hence resorting to agriculture which is domestic and un productive due to poor soils, poor skills of farming, use local tools and poor markets of their agricultural produce, landless, etc
The relatively high financial need of some people has led to situations of sexual exploitation of women and school girls who need money because of their desperate situations and domestic demands. The exchange of gifts for sex has also added pressure on young people allowing the acquiring of HIV/ AIDs. Cited examples of women/girls pressured into sex with older men are often their sponsors. Poor feeding, inadequate housing and lack of hygiene has made HIV/AIDs infected persons even more vulnerable to AIDS related diseases.
Our aim is to improve the standard of living of the marginalized groups by promoting sustainable development through provision of socio-economic activities, good health, increasing their house hold incomes and accessing them with quality educational services.
Programs and Activities
- Economic Empowerment
- Briquettes production
- Animal Husbandry
Income generating activities
Skills Plus, Uganda’s economic initiative is aimed at Income Generating Activities with the goal of promoting Economic empowerment of the rural/semi-urban poor in the development process. The main areas for intervention in this respect include the initiation and innovation of the following:
- Skill Empowerment and Development.
Due to lack of Skills, mostly by the women, widows, youths and single mothers who make the biggest number of people living in Bugembe communities, the organization had to adopt this idea in order to address their problems in their area where they live. Another problem is that the youth lack of school dues, that prevent them to go to higher institutions of learning, and because of this challenge, most of them end in lower classes like primary P3,P4,P7, and those who are in secondary end in S1,S2,S3 and a few who complete O Level and A level which make their life very hard in terms of survival.
Another biggest challenge among women is the issue of domestic violence, this is mainly caused by the men in homes who fight almost every day just because a woman has requested for money to buy the basic needs to use, this is a lot of poverty and in our communities, therefore, we hope that if women are empowered with skills in how to generate their own income, automatically will reduce on the domestic violence in homes.
Some of the projects that we are running is tailoring, microfinance and briquette production. As well some woman have been offered to learn saloon skills.
- Animal husbandry
This will greatly support the practicing of sustainable agriculture mainly in the area of manure making which include the following: – cows, goats, birds, pigs and bee keeping It is the plan to support the members by giving every five families one cow, one goat, one pig and some few poultry. The methods will be that one family has a cow, the other gets a goat etc and after the giving birth of any of these, the offspring will be given to one member in the five family team at random until the entire five members have acquired all the different category of animals. This will help the community in organic farming practicing thus alleviating poverty.
- Micro-finance Program
The organization runs a micro finance scheme to help the rural communities fight poverty through Micro Credit and Saving Initiative. It is the goal to provide micro credit and saving services to transform the livelihood of the rural active poor into economically viable and sustainable living.
The micro finance mission is to economically empower rural communities particularly women who are economically disadvantaged through the delivery of awareness creation, saving mobilization and giving out small easy loans. The organization will render these services in a manner that will safe guard its self-reliant and financial sustainability as a project.
Volunteer opportunities include:
- Developing of training and learning materials
- Home visits
- Offering credit management skills and techniques
- Teaching savings culture among the people
Volunteers are required to have:
- Interest in teaching
- Ability to work as a team
- High level of personal initiative and maturity
- Commitment to community development and empowerment
- Ability to assist with monitoring and evaluation of current program – either as part of a long-term research program or as a one-off evaluation of a specific course
- Interest and/or experience in working with rural communities
There are many women in Bugembe or Jinja who need support.
All these people will need the assistance to start their own business or learn different skills for survival. Their road to do this is not easy, and they will need the proper guidance of staff and volunteers to do this. To do this we need to hire staff, but as well have the capital to give to these women to start their own business.