The Children’s Educational and Welfare Foundation Uganda
The Beginnings. The CHEF was started as an answer to the problems that had bedeviled Teso for the last 20 years as a result of war and the adverse effect of HIV and AIDS which caused the suffering of children.
- Our accent was on provision of basic education and support activities for the vulnerable children—formally abducted, those orphaned by war and HIV/AIDS and very poor children. We began with 8 children in Elementary education slowly increasing our enrolment as the funds became available.
- To Support skills development and income generating activities for women and the young through self-help projects.
- To provide psychosocial support and empowerment for social transformation through capability approach to development of the assets of the people in order for them to take ownership of their lives and meet their daily needs.
We partnered with the Canadian Samaritans for Africa. We were able to scale up our operations. We had to follow up some of the children who had finished Elementary School to ensure that our efforts do not remain on the way. We sent some of them for technical and vocational training. Mary, a blind girl has now completed Journalism and is working in one of the Radio Stations. 3 have finished technical Education and are working with in the Construction site in the Canadian Samaritan Hostels. One is teacher. Another works with Prisons Department and has since taken one of children as her own in appreciation for what she received. There are 8 children in different Secondary Schools. There are 23 children in Primary School.
We have supported a Women’s Group in the Village where the children come from. The mission of the Group is to get together as women and talk about issues that affect them as Village women and design strategies to improve their livelihoods. They seek to empower themselves by pursuing goals that make them more productive. We offered them a starter capital and training for their saving’s group and revolving fund. Their portfolio has since increased and the membership is expanding. There are visible results seen.
We started a School Farm that is producing for sustainability and income generation. We also supported the Seminary in her efforts of self-reliance. We helped them get an in-calfed cow, goats and pigs. The citrus fruits in the farms are now beginning to bear. The irrigation system was started and it will be fully functional when some necessary additions are made that have not enabled us to function full capacity.
To facilitate our work and coordinate our activities, the Canadian Samaritans helped us to purchase a motor-cycle.
To live means to grow. Every living organism must grow and develop and with growth come some important and sometimes enormous changes. We are experiencing these important changes in the CHEF as well. Thanks be to God that war in its raw form is gone and the guns are now silent. Many actors have come to help in the HIV and AIDS epidemic and the children are now growing. We therefore need to orient and wean them from being mere recipients of charity to active participants in their own lives and that of the society they live in.
The Samaritan Apprenticeship Institute is a direct answer to this. With the youngest population globally, an unemployment rate of over 80%, in the context of an ever-growing cost of education, and a high school drop-out rate, Uganda is at a critical social cross-road that needs immediate attention. It would be a waste of resources and time that the CHEF has invested in education of children only to graduate them into dependency. This is in the context of unexploited natural resources, good climate and potential domestic and export market. We intend to tap into the enormous human and natural resources that we have in Uganda to accord young people with a dignified existence.
The focus of the Institute is sustainable development as an incubation center for young people who will be catalysts of the transformation that we need. We are moving from dependence on charity to independence of young people as a means to their eventual interdependence with others. We envisage a center of innovation, incubation and community transformation driven by a double thrust curriculum that marries mindset change and practical implementation.
2. Pillar Programmes
- Regular secondary school education in the neighbouring schools
- Basic intermediate applied technology (fabrication, construction, handicrafts, tailoring, catering)
- Modern mixed farming: commercially viable nucleus farm, linked to out-growers in the community.
- Agriculture and Food Security
- Planned, Structured, Predictable, Profitable Value Chains
- Food and Nutrition Security
- Cottage-level agro-based industries
- Rainwater Harvesting: for production and domestic use
- Planet saving initiatives: energy-efficient technologies
- ICT: Innovation and Incubation
- Planned, affordable, human settlement
- Civic Education: citizen rights and obligations, community policing, public health
3. Outreach Programmes
The core programmes offered at the TAPI campus will form the incubation and springboard for transformative initiatives in the community by the apprentices and the communities themselves.
4. Target Population
- The core change agents will be primary school graduates.
- Post-high school graduates ready for a 2-year pre-work apprenticeship
- School leavers (Universal Primary Education and Universal Secondary Education graduates) with no opportunities of further education
- Adult learners for practical skills in the relevant field
5. Target Results.
5.1 Result 1: 1,000 youth gain skills to engage in productive self-employment in handicrafts, tailoring, catering, cottage agro-processing, fabrication, basic construction, energy-saving technologies, food storage technologies, distributorship, whole and retail business of agro-based products
5.2 Result 2: At least 5,000 households have reliable food and income security through applying modern farming technology, food storage technologies and market linkages
5.3 Result 3: At least 6,000 households have adopted energy-saving technologies in cooking and lighting
Currently we have two structures built for the Institute but are not yet complete.
What Canadian Samaritans Hope to Accomplish in the Next Three Years:
- Equip the hotels to accommodate 120 children. In spite of the fact that it is not yet complete, we have 5 children already in the Institute. There is a Matron and Care-taker who are there to help them as they go to other Schools and learn skills and then return to the Institute as their home. We have not yet been able to start the imparting of skills at the Institute as we have not yet fully launched the Project. To be able to do this we need the support of our Partners so that we can take off. The project has a very big potential for sustainability.
- Create more clusters of women and youth in self-help projects; income generating activities and multi-purpose agricultural co-operative groups. There is presently two clusters of 60 women, and 40 young people.
- Fully Support to full take off of the Samaritan Apprenticeship Institute.
- Build More wells in addition to the two already built
- Buy more tractors in addition to the two already provided for CHEF
- Introduce more organic farming and mechanized agriculture both in crop production and animal husbandry.
Samaritans for Africa supports women self-help
activities in Teso land in North East, Uganda:
(i) Please see this document: Aitiji Ican Farmers Women and youth self-help project
(ii) Canadian Samaritans for African supports women skills development and agricultural production through the Grace for Rural Women and Orphans, Tilling, Uganda (website link)