Working closely with these organisations, as well as with social workers, counsellors and childcare professionals both in the UK and in Uganda over the past nine years, we have learnt a huge amount about the needs of children rescued from the slums of Kampala – although, of course, every child is unique. We’ve also assisted the local projects to improve their care programmes by monitoring and advising on a regular basis, ensuring they have access to help and support themselves when required.
Whilst all the children Craft Aid UK support receive at least a basic school education, the challenges they’ve faced so early on in their lives often means that a child who’s been living on the streets may not flourish in an academic environment. Over several years, we’ve looked at different ways to support these children and have found that dance and acrobatics has a lot to offer in this situation.
Together with our associate projects, through the staging of open-to-all sessions on familiar ground within the slums, we’ve been able to make contact with large numbers of vulnerable children in a spontaneous way which allows us to monitor any change in condition or behaviour of the participants. Through this, we’re then also able to select the most at-risk to join their organisation full time.
As a residential programme, they continue to focus on dance and acrobatics as a foundation of social interaction, education and to provide skills for children who might struggle with traditional formal education to use in order to support themselves in their adult life after they leave the project. In fact, the first wave of children to “graduate” from the home have just returned from a secondment to a nationally-renowned performing group in China, and subsequently have a bright future ahead of them.
Our home for former street children offers full time counselling and reintegration into education; together with a safe and stimulating environment in which to grow up. We facilitate a child sponsorship programme meaning our supporters can connect directly with the individual they support and feel part of their rehabilitation process. If you'd be interested in sponsoring a child, please click here to contact us.
HOME FOR STREET CHILDREN
Craft Aid UK began its work by sponsoring individuals living in locally-run homes for street children. These home were run by people who were themselves ex-street children — meaning they had a unqiue understanding of the children’s situation.
Kammengo Ffunvu, Mpigi
Kammengo-Ffunvu is in the South West of Uganda. Around an hour and a half away from Uganda’s capital, Kampala, it has a population of around 2000 spread over an area of around five square miles.
The village has no running water, no
electricity and, when Craft Aid UK first arrived, it didn't even have a well and villagers were at constant risk from disease through the use of water from a stagnant pool in a valley, which they shared with livestock and wildlife. Craft Aid UK, in partnership with another organisation, installed a safe drinking water supply in 2011.
The village has no healthcare provision - the nearest medical centre is over eight miles away and, with no available transport, the villagers effectively have no access to treatment. The reality of this means that conditions and injuries which might otherwise be treated with simple first aid can prove fatal.
The population of the village is mainly elderly people and young children, as most of the able bodied young people have left the area to seek employment. Many of those who are left behind are critically malnourished, frequently unable to look after themselves, and the incidence of HIV-type symptoms is high.
Following the success of our Kilimanjaro Challenge in 2013, CraftAidUK was able to complete the construction of our building in the village. This building has become a focus for all types of social activity within the village and will grow and adapt to the communities needs as their requirements become evident. It has already succeeded in bringing the village together, and has an exciting future ahead of it.
If you want to know anything more about our work, please contact us!