The UgandAid story
In recent years Uganda has seen turbulent civil war, violent dictatorship and more recently HIV/AIDS, which has left over a million children orphaned.
Poverty is widespread, most people live at a subsistence level and children commonly die from malaria, measles and dehydration. Primary education is almost universally accessible, but schooling after 11 years old is beyond the means of many families.
There is little hope of employment for most poor and orphaned youngsters in Uganda, and they desperately need an opportunity to learn skills to provide for themselves as they approach adulthood.
UgandAid has two primary objectives:
- To offer hope to vulnerable youngsters, the poorest of the poor in Uganda, by sponsoring vocational training (primarily at Nile Vocational Institute) leading to personal growth, confidence, employment and self-sufficiency. A life-changing opportunity for hundreds of students and their extended families.
- To support NVI in the development of existing and new courses (with appropriate building infrastructure and equipment) at its Njeru campus, and to work with similar training organisations, as appropriate, to improve the education and well-being of disadvantaged teenagers and young adults in Uganda.
How UgandAid began:
A team from Altrincham Baptist Church visited Jinja in 2000 and were touched by the poverty and the struggles faced by Ugandan people. Many young people don't have the money for secondary education or vocational skills training and the with it the opportunity for independence.
In 2001-2002 we discovered NVI and from the outset were impressed by all aspects of their work and it's excellent success rate. It seemed obvious - rather than "reinvent the wheel" we should work with this well-established Institute which had all the experience and infrastructure in place, yet had spare capacity for more students.
In 2002 we set up a sponsorship scheme to place students at NVI, where we could be confident of the quality of education and care students would receive. UgandAid has steadily grown, and now a total of 570 students have been placed at NVI through UgandAid.