The HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to devastate much of Africa. The increasing number of orphaned children has placed a huge strain on African communities. In Uganda especially, nearly an entire generation has been lost to this devastating disease, where only the young and the elderly remain. Statistics reveal that 49% of the Ugandan population are aged 0-15 years (child population) and 20% of the child population are orphans.

 

What We Do in Uganda

The Nanna Project
In 2007 whilst volunteering and travelling in Uganda Mel Faulkner met a grandmother named Zowena. Mel was struck by Zowena’s story and the number of children in her care. Zowena had lost several of her own children some to HIV/AIDS, and had six children in her care, four of whom were orphans. The family lived off a small garden and none of the children where in school. Before leaving Uganda Mel enrolled three of the children into a local school and vowed to return to try and do more for this amazing woman and others like her. The Nanna Project was born. In 2008 Mel returned to Uganda with sponsors for more children. Friends, family and colleagues with whom she had shared her story where inspired to help out. Mel stayed in Uganda for almost a year and continued to collect more sponsors and enrol new children in schools during her stay. Mel returns to Uganda annually to continue and expand the project and check on the progress of the children. The Nanna Project aims to ease the burden that orphaned children place on elderly grandparents. In many cases there is barely enough money for the basics of life: food, shelter and clothing. Children are kept from school to help with daily chores as there is no money for education. Sponsorship through The Nanna Project allows orphaned children to continue living with their grandmothers who love and care for them and remain a part of their wider family, whilst being provided access to quality education. Access to quality primary and secondary education provides the option for these children to go on to further studies or vocational training which would not be a possibility without sponsorship. Through their sponsorship the children are given an opportunity to change their futures.

As educated people they will possess the knowledge and skills to understand their rights and responsibilities and to take a stand against corruption. Receiving meals at school supplements the food that the children’s carers are able to provide and benefits their nutrition and overall health. Assistance for the grandmothers in some cases by way of water taps and livestock has helped improved the overall family situation. Today there are 27 children sponsored through The Nanna Project. Although the heart of the project remains with orphans who live with their grandmothers, other vulnerable and special needs children have also been identified and are now supported by the project. After five years the benefits are obvious, the sponsor children have grown and developed. The children are progressing in primary, secondary and vocational education and their futures are looking up.

How the funds are used

The primary goal for The Nanna Project is to ensure the provision of education opportunities for these children, supporting them to be the best they can be. The Nanna Project also aims to provide for the children and their primary caregivers in regards of personal hygiene, health care and in some cases sustainable projects which assist the caregivers and the wider community.

Key Areas of Expenditure

The key areas of expenditure are:

  • school fees, meals (porridge at morning tea and beans/staples at lunch), stationary and uniforms; and
  • health care and personal hygiene items; and
  • family assistance.

Home for Life
Today in a village in Uganda stand two new homes, one for Harriet and one for Violet. These houses began construction in August 2013 and the proud new owners have moved in! The amazing work of our Uganda partners TCCC has seen these projects quickly through from dilapidated structures to completion in time for monsoonal rains.

“As an organisation, we give priority to families that are in dire situations and we put an extra energy to reach out to those in such need. The entire Home for Life project has been implemented in the same spirit to ensure a better life for the vulnerable children and their guardians.” Patrick, Project Manager

No more will Harriet and Violet or their children sleep in the mud under a leaking roof and behind crumbling walls with the threat of the mud structure collapsing on them. Forget Me Not with generous financial assistance were able to deliver on their promise for these two families. Previously Harriet and her children all slept in one bed and cooked their food in the same room close to their bed. The whole family including the mother were sick most of the time. Appalling living conditions and associated poor hygiene, and exposure to the elements contributed to their continual sickness along with malaria caused by mosquitos.  The same situation existed for Violet and her family.

The best bit

We work with local council to ensure that the legal title to each new home and land package is in the names of the children. These children cannot be moved on by anybody – they have a home for life!

You can help

Forget Me Not would like to fund the construction of more houses for families and children in need. The price to build a house, kitchen and a pit latrine including the supply of kitchen equipment, bedding and basic necessities is $2500. We think this is a great opportunity to see fundraising efforts in action with quick results. To join us in supporting the Home for Life project please contact us! There is no need to wait to make a difference – email enquiries@forgetmenot.org.au

Forget Me Not Families
There is no need to wait to make a difference – email enquiries@forgetmenot.org.au