Earlier in this year, representatives from all over the world gathered in Chiang Mai, Thialand, for the ‘World Without Orphans’ global forum. With a total of 153 million orphans world-wide (and at least 2.5 million orphans in Uganda alone) a little bit of HOPE, like many of the other organisations attending the summit, feels strongly that there is no justification in today’s world for these shocking statistics; it is shaming to think that there are still young people starting out in life entirely alone and un-cared for.
We are passionate about helping to facilitate supportive and nurturing care environments for neglected young people through our OVC program. Our objective is to empower and equip vulnerable children and their households with quality education, health-care and better avenues for sustainable self-reliance. We do this by helping extended family members and friends become carers for these children and funding their full-time education. It is important for us that these young people are able to continue to live with people they know and trust, in their own localities, rather than sourcing care from professional services further afield.
Creating this support system is a lengthy and rigorous process (especially as it takes time to first identify and vet carers before establishing practical and financial help). We then go on to measure the efficiency of these support networks by monitoring the children’s progress at school and positive developments at home (we work with carers to establish Income Generating Activities in their homes and help improved the general standard of living by prioritising OVC families for latrine building and health care courses).
This year we have had the privilege of going through this process with four Busolwe children: Hisimuye, Naomi, Ruth and Elvis. In February they all started attending Mango Grove primary school for the first time. While the new social, emotional and academic demands of school can often prove a challenge for OVCs, Ivan, who has been monitoring their progress regularly, was happy to report that they are thriving in their studies.
These are children who have lost one or both parents and have experienced periods of neglect and trauma over the years. It is thanks to your generosity that a little bit of HOPE is able to be part of their journey to fullness and recovery. We truly believe that each little life matters and we hope to continue tackling this vast and heart-breaking issue one child at a time. Building up a network of care around these young people is as complex and demanding as it is rewarding and we would greatly value your support; if you would like to be part of their story, please do visit our giving page to find out more.