Support for children and their caregivers in extreme poverty in Karamoja/Northeast-Uganda

Uganda is one of the poorest countries in the world. The northeastern part, Karamoja, is the poorest part of the country due to climatic conditions, droughts and armed political conflicts. And of this part, the poorest regions are Nakapiripirit and Moroto. The Karamojong are the left behind people of the country with about 80% illiteracy, about 60-70% of the children are too small for their age due to malnutrition. Many people there are incredibly poor.

After rescuing malnourished children in the district hospital in Moroto the Welthungerhilfe has repeatedly noticed that the same children are bound to suffer from severe malnutrition again shortly after they returned home, simply because their families cannot provide enough food.

Thus, in a pilot project in two villages of this region (Nabokat and Kanakomol), the Welthungerhilfe together with village headmen selected the most vulnerable persons: 62 mothers with a total of 229 children.

To get these mothers and their children permanently out of their extreme poverty they are now supported by the so-called "Graduation Approach", developed by the international non-governmental organization BRAC.

If at all, the extremely poor mothers have occasional jobs and earn barely enough to live from it. As soon as an additional problem occurs, such as a drought or illness, the situation becomes extreme, especially for the children. Therefore, in the first step of the approach, the mothers are initially supported relatively massively, for example, by taking over the cost of school uniforms, pens and booklets for children in primary school and bearing the costs of care in case of illness.

During the second step the mothers are then supported in starting up their own small businesses. They get starting capital, e.g. in the form of domestic animals such as goats or chickens or a stall in the village or on the roadside. They also get training how to save some of the revenue as a reserve for emergencies.

This is a relatively advice-intensive approach that aims to help even the poorest of the poor not just for a short term, but to give them a real life opportunity as well.

Two Ugandan social workers visit each family of the program every week. It is hoped that after two years most women have really gained some ground and got a longer-term perspective.

With this project the Welthungerhilfe applies the Graduation Approach for the first time. Should they experience positive results, they will transfer the approach to other places and countries as well.

The Tereska Foundation finances this project completely.

Pictures Februay 2018

Pictures March 2018