In a slum where there is no social service or welfare system, Child of Hope’s welfare team does some amazing, ground-breaking work, and is a vital part of how we help slum children and their families.
We’re very proud of our social welfare support system – part of our Family Support team – by all accounts it may be the only one in Uganda!
Our team carries out regular home visits on all our children and offers their families free social care, numeracy/literacy training, family planning and health awareness that includes sanitation and hygiene, road safety and malaria control. As a result, mortality rates are being reduced, while sanitation and hygiene are dramatically improved. And our pupils get the chance to continue their studies through difficult times that would normally ruin their chances to pursue an education. We also run a fostering scheme for the more at-risk and orphaned kids.
Each morning the team checks the attendance registers; if a child is absent they then follow up that child with a visit – which may mean walking or getting a local motor cycle called a pike (pronounced 'picky'). This often results in the child being brought to school for medicines and treatment if unwell and then being taken home again.
Sometimes parents move house without informing the school, which also makes follow up difficult. And in the rainy season it is difficult to follow the children up because of the muddy unmade paths.
If a family is struggling, team members decide how to assist them so the circumstances don’t affect the child's health or well-being or cause them to miss school. This may mean providing a new roof, or helping with essentials when a family loses everything, perhaps through a house fire.
The welfare team provides help and counselling for families too, as they are all trained counsellors. Parents can attend the school for help on one morning a week and if necessary involve the child in this process. Parenting classes are also a positive feature of the team's work. And we help in situations of abuse.
Each year the team is involved with the child selection process, choosing only children from the poorest and most vulnerable families. They interview parents who wish to send a child to the school and decide which children should be accepted. They have strict criteria for this, but it is not an easy task as so many children want to go to the school.
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Support the programme
• Would you like to help sponsor our welfare provision? Welfare sponsorship at just £10 per month, but you can pay more if you wish!
• Or you could make a single donation to help us to provide counselling.