Haven for African Children believes that every child has a right to education. We believe that education is important and can provide a child with an opportunity to escape poverty.
Many children in Uganda are unable to attend school because their families cannot afford to pay school fees. Half of Uganda’s children never finish primary school. Uganda is one of the least educated countries in the World.
While a child is living at the Haven Children’s Center, Haven for African Children provides education. The children attend a community primary school. Once a child is reunited with their family or placed in foster care, we continue to support the child with their education through providing for school fees, uniforms and school supplies.
We work to protect children from finding themselves placed in alternative care unnecessarily.
Believing that poverty is not a reason for a child to be in an orphanage or institution. We support efforts to keep children in, or return them to, the care of their families. In some cases, reunification with the child’s birth family is not possible. When this is the case, advocate finding other appropriate and permanent solutions for children which includes foster care and domestic adoption.
Working closely with and empowering families as a way of preventing child separation. With a number of factors that lead to family separation including poverty, illness and parental death, disability, violence, abuse and neglect in the home, family breakdown and reconstruction (results of divorce and remarriage) emergencies, including armed conflict and child trafficking. For children who have been separated from their families, reintegration biological parents or with extended family is usually the best outcome.
Research and evidence demonstrate that children fare best with their families and in communities. We believe that poverty shouldn’t be the absolute only reason to keep a child from his or her home. Instead, we desire to empower the family to take care of their children.
Reintegration involves a number of steps and complex issues. We have a strong social work team that begins by searching and tracing for the child’s relatives. Once family members have been found, an assessment is performed to see if it will be possible in the future to resettle the child. The social workers have to address issues like trafficking, abuse, neglect, parents affected with mental health issues, parents who are incarcerated, and families affected by domestic violence.
After family reintegration, our social work team regularly monitors the child’s safety and well being Children that are reunited remain in our child sponsorship program so that we can continue to support them in their families. We continue to support the children financially with resettlement package, education, medical care and income generating projects for the family.
IGlobally, you are 3 times more likely to live in poverty if you are a woman. 3 out of every 5 unemployed individuals in Uganda are women, with the majority of unemployed women living in urban slums. Women are disproportionately affected by poverty in comparison to men and are often the ones who are expected to take care of and provide for their children. In Kampala’s slums, most households are female-headed and women rely on informal ways to generate income, sometimes resorting to prostitution. Too often women living in the slums of Kampala are under empowered and do not feel able to help themselves since their opportunities are extremely limited.
Empowering women and achieving gender equality is vital to breaking the cycle of poverty, especially in an urban context where women are often poorer than men and at risk of increased violence, abuse and discrimination. Our Samba Project aim to provide a ‘hand-up’ to women living in poverty in the slums of Kampala, Uganda. We believe that self-sustainability through skills training and income generation activities is key to reducing poverty and transforming communities.
Our Women’s Initiatives (Samba Project) brings together women from a community to work as a group. By working together, they help each other overcome their situations of poverty through gaining new skills and a sustainable source of income. They also gain self-confidence, friendships and support networks. We run training courses in tailoring, knitting, craft making and urban agriculture, alongside providing business skills training. We help women to gain new vocational skills and start their own businesses and income generating projects, with the aim of contributing to lasting changes in the lives of these women, their children and entire communities. Samba project not only give women much needed income and skills, but they also help to empower them and build their sense of community. They find strength as a group of women who all support each other. Through vocational training, these women are gaining skills, qualifications and confidence to make them employable, gaining a sustainable source of income and breaking the cycle of poverty. We are seeing a huge impact on women’s and their families lives through our Women’s Initiatives (Samba Project).
To purchase some of the craft items handmade by the women through some of our Women’s Initiatives, please reach us on firstname.lastname@example.org Profits from sales of these items go directly back to the women and help to provide them with a sustainable source of income for their families.
To donate to support our Women’s Initiatives and transform the lives of vulnerable women in Uganda’s slums, please click here
Haven Children’s Center was established in 2018
It primarily serves as an emergency, transitional care facility. We care for children with ages 2-14years at any given time. And these children all have a unique stories.
Haven Children’s Center is a refuge for children that have been abused or abandoned. The children’s Center is staffed by qualified, caring Ugandans that create a family atmosphere, we offer these children with treasures that every child should be able to take for granted such security, dignity and love. We believe every child should have access to nutritional meals and knowing someone will always be there to protect them from abuse and harm.
The Center strives to share the love of Christ with our children and the nearby community. By raising these kids in a loving Christian environment we hope to give a foundation that will help them succeed in life and one day be able to give back to the community and the world. Children are nurtured with warm meals, clothes, running water, medical treatment, education and most importantly the assurance of love and safety. All meals are eaten together at the Center and there are bible stories and prayers every evening. Because Haven Children’s Center intent is to minister to as many children as the lord allows,but this cannot be be done without your generous support.
The ripple effect
Haven Children Center doesn’t just improve the lives of children. They also lift up the entire community! They’re a powerful symbol that our children and families matter and that we care enough to invest in their community.
Girls worldwide are less likely to complete their education than boys. Girls are more likely to earn less, have poor health, and live in poverty. Girls are often overlooked and are often less empowered to fulfill their potential. Growing up without education hinders girls’ future life choices and their ability to break the cycle of poverty, and means that they are more exposed to risky situations and people who exploit their vulnerability.
Uganda has one of the youngest and fastest growing populations in Africa with 54% of the population under 18. The youth unemployment rate in Kampala is thrice the national average. Uganda has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in the world with 1 in 4 teenage girls becoming pregnant before they are 19. Nearly 1 in 2 girls in Uganda are married before the age of 18, and approximately 2.4 million are engaged in child labor. Lack of skills, opportunities, empowerment and self-esteem often makes young women feel that they have no choice but to engage in early child marriage, gang violence, prostitution or other risky behavior. Girls and young women in Kampala’s slums are particularly vulnerable to sexual exploitation and abuse, gender-based violence, teenage pregnancy, early or forced marriage and HIV infection.
Investing in adolescent girls is crucial for alleviating poverty, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and addressing other factors that put girls at risk. We aim to empower teenage girls and create safer communities for young women from Uganda’s slums through providing safe spaces, counselling and guidance, peer support and community outreach and education.
We run Girls Support Groups that focus on discussing issues such as early and forced marriage, teenage pregnancy, health and sex education, menstrual hygiene and personal security alongside many other issues that girls bring up in the groups. These groups provide these girls with a safe space to discuss ideas, ask difficult questions and receive emotional support, advice and practical help. We also offer individual counselling for girls who have been abused, neglected or need support in any way, and we support their basic needs by supplying them with much needed donations of sanitary pads and school materials. We reach roughly 500 vulnerable girls a year through this vital project.
There is still a long way to go and we need your help. Could you partner with us to bring dignity, confidence and self-esteem to these girls? Can make a one off gift to support this vital project. Together we can give these girls a better future.
We believe that entire communities need to be supported and encouraged to support girls in order to create a more equal society. It’s not easy to be a teenager whether male or female and being a teenager growing up in the slums of Kampala brings with it even more challenges. This is why we also work with teenage boys as well as girls.
Our Football Project for teenage boys gives them a safe space to belong and support each other whilst being mentored both on and off the pitch. Young boys, especially those who do not go to school, have very few options for engaging in positive activities. Our Football Project provides them with a safe space to go and a chance to improve their self-esteem, skills, teamwork and discipline, giving them a hope for the future. This project gives teenagers in Kampala’s slums something fun to do and somewhere safe to go where they keep out of danger and trouble, along with building their confidence and self-worth. They also have a chance to learn vital skills in teamwork and discipline, and gain a sense of community, as they are encouraged in their talents and know that they have someone who believes in them and their dreams. Football is great at uniting people from different backgrounds and walks of life. It is also a great way of reaching people and engaging with teenagers and children we also provide counselling for boys who have been abused, neglected or need support in any way. We recognize the importance of providing specific spaces for girls and boys separately to support each other in their peer groups and we give boys a safe space to discuss ideas, ask difficult questions, and receive emotional support, advice and practical help.
Ewaka means ‘home’ in Luganda. This project supports abandoned and at risk children in the slums of Kampala. The project offers emergency help and a safe place to live, while also working towards reuniting children with their relatives and reintegrating them with loving families where possible. Our model of Rescue, Rehabilitate, Reintegrate has an underlying ethos of finding family care for children.
Through working in Kampala’s slum communities for the past 5years, we have seen an increase in the number of cases of child abandonment and abuse being reported to us by community members, local authorities and by children themselves. The Ewaka Project was launched in 2019 as a response to this problem.
Uganda has limited social welfare resources and children unfortunately suffer as a result. Due to a lack of suitable placements for orphaned and abandoned children, they are often housed in juvenile detention centers, meaning that they are being put further at risk and are effectively punished for being abandoned. Other children are taken in by the many independently run orphanages around the country and the majority of these make no effort to search for the children’s families or to investigate their stories, meaning that the children who do have surviving family members have no opportunity to be reunited with them. In Uganda, 85% of children living in institutions have at least one surviving parent. Furthermore, 52% of childcare institutions have no reintegration or foster care programs and make no effort to make contact with the child’s relatives. This means that thousands of children are unnecessarily being placed into institutional care and families are being broken apart. Children growing up in institutional care are not only likely to feel unloved and unwanted but they are also at risk of developing attachment disorders, developmental delays, behavioral problems and intellectual impairments. All children have a right to shelter and our Ewaka Project provides this, however we know that the best long-term care plan for these children is to grow up in a family.
Our model of Rescue, Rehabilitate and Reintegrate aims to provide children with all they need in an emergency situation, providing counselling and support to overcome trauma and working on each child’s case to ensure the best outcome for each child. Our social workers search for immediate and extended family members and where possible put in place reintegration plans to bring these children home. In cases where children are not able to be reunited with their own immediate or extended families we want to be able to provide community foster families. Through placing children who have been abandoned in loving and caring families, their needs are taken care of and they can have a bright and hopeful future, receive an education and escape the cycle of poverty.
We have a plan of building our transitional home to enable us Rescue, Rehabilitate and Reintegrate children who find themselves at risk and with nowhere to go and with all children being provided with counselling, support and medical care. Our other projects provide access to education for children, support children’s basic needs within communities and is working to train and empower parents to gain sustainable sources of income. By engaging with struggling families and reducing poverty within communities, we aim to see families become increasingly able to deal with adversities and receive support when needed in order to ultimately reduce the number of children being abandoned and at risk in Uganda.
Every child’s story is different but our ethos remains the same. All children deserve to have a safe place to live and belong and all children should have the chance to grow up in a loving family. If you would like to to make a real long term difference in children and families in Uganda please consider becoming a Family Champion.
Give a Gift!
Alternatively you can make a one-off donation to the Ewaka Project to support abandoned and at risk children.