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sustainable skilling

Mayambala Orphanage Center skilling program focuses on non-Formal Education and Livelihood Skills for Slum Young people. It builds on the notion that the majority of the young population and young parents living in slums in Kampala, lack formal education and skills and cannot compete with their counterparts for jobs.

The overall goal for sustainable skilling program is to improve the employability, incomes and asset base for the youngsters and young parents reached by the program in slums of Kampala Uganda. The program targets the marginalized youth and young parents (including single mothers) living in slums of kyamula ,kampala Uganda.

The skilling program by Mayambala Orphanage Center addresses the apparent problem in the country; Research has it that 8.8 million young people in Uganda, aged 15-24 are not engaged in education, employment or under any training (UNFPA, 2019).  The Proportion of youth (aged 15-30 years) not in education, employment or training is 40.7% (UBOS, 2016/17) With increase in urban population, the influx of young population to towns hoping to get good employment is likely to result into negative consequences (UBOS Statistical Abstract 2020).

The overall unemployment rate (UR) was 9.2 percent in 2016/17 with the females experiencing higher unemployment rate (14 percent) than males (6 percent). The situation is worse in slums because the dichotomy between the rich and poor is particularly distinct (Davis, Kayla, 2019)

Uganda had one of the highest global slum populations. This is evidenced by the fact that 60% of Kampala’s residents live in slums (UN HABITAT, 2016)

Uganda’s rate of urbanization is one of the highest in the world at 5.1 percent per year However, welfare and poverty indicators for the urban population have not shown improvement in over fifty years (Mukwaya 2010).  63% of people living in Kampala  slum, are self-employed by washing clothes; this usually meant they go from door to door asking if someone wanted to pay them (usually between $1 and $2 USD) to wash their clothes. This is because they have no alternative because they do not possess the necessary education.

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Education for the Less Privileged

The introduction of Universal Primary Education (UPE) and Universal Secondary Education (USE) in Uganda Since 1997 has seen enrolment almost triple. However, there are worrying signs that progress is stalling. There are high dropout rates, low completion and success rates coupled with low literacy and numeracy skills. The system seem to give more attention to enrolment on expense of quality of education given. Many drop out due to poverty and other factors. Schools are often dangerously overcrowded and lack basic resources, with teachers overwhelmed and in need of support. As a result, the quality of learning is often poor. Education is the foundation of a child’s future, yet millions of children in Uganda – especially in the poorest areas – are being left behind

Basic Education

We implement both formal and non-formal basic education programmes, targeting children who would otherwise not access school or quality learning. Our purpose is to guarantee the less privileged children from slums and poor households to have access to quality education and we work with communities to increase parental engagement; we advocate for inclusive, equitable and quality education. At our centre in Kyamula, effort is underway to establish a skill centre for both formal and non-formal skilling for the youth and young parents who missed the chance of attending school in their childhood.

Inclusive education

Girls specifically from poor families in slums when they are lucky enough to be in school, often they drop out of school easily or miss classes when they reach puberty, as they lack sanitary pads and schools often do not have gender-appropriate washrooms. We teach girls and young mothers how to make low-cost reusable pads from locally available materials and we promote menstrual hygiene. As a result, more girls are staying in school and young mothers are able to access low cost and reusable sanitary pads.

Child Protection

Every child has the right to be protected from violence and live free from distress, abandonment, abuse and exploitation. Yet more than half of children in Uganda experience some form of ferocity. Most children (68% of boys and 59% of girls) have experienced physical violence, while one in three girls and one in six boys suffer sexual abuse. The wounds can last a lifetime and often result in mental health issues and emotional agony during adulthood.

i. Popularising laws
Effective child protection needs strong laws and policies in place. Uganda has relatively done well in enacting good laws but on paper. Some people remain ignorant of such laws because of lack of initiatives to popularise the laws. These laws are drafted in the official language which is English but the reality on ground is that over 40% of Ugandan population is not able to read, comprehend and understand English – for example there is a national strategy to end violence against children in school, and child marriage, corporal punishment and other forms of abuse are illegal; but in reality these laws are rarely enforced or resourced. Many people and officials are unaware of them. Perpetrators often go unpunished. Mayambala Orphanage Centre advocates for effective implementation and enforcement of children laws in slums where gross child rights abuse and exploitation have been reported. In Need Home continues its effort to make the relevant laws popular, understandable and more accessible to communities.

ii. Strengthening child protection systems
An effective and well-funded child protection system for a country is vital to ensure that we can prevent and respond to violence against children. But in Uganda the system is disjointed and feeble – the referral system is not well coordinated, services for survivors of children violence are scarce and no recovery mechanism in place; children are not well empowered to speak out and report abuse, and traditional beliefs often do aggravate certain forms of violence. Hidden expenses in reporting and prosecuting the perpetrators of child abuse and exploitation eliminate some and thus victims prefer not to report cases of children violence. Because of poverty some parents and guardians of children connive with perpetrators (in the case of sexual violence) We therefore popularise at local level government led initiatives such as the 24 hour 116 toll free national Child help line and work with local councils (LC1) and Police to strengthen reporting and response mechanism among the children living in slums.

iii. Ending child labour in slums
More than 2 million children in Uganda are reportedly engaged in child labour. The best place for the child during the day is school but in most cases children in slums are subjected to fending for their families (some wakeup early to go and collect scrap, hawk vegetables and fruits, some engage in selling alcohol while others start prostitution at a tender age) such practices force children out of education. We are working with businesses, communities and authorities to end the practice – by holding people to account for exploiting children, and urging different entities to sign and adhere to the global Child Rights and Business Principles.

iv. Offering individual support to Victims of Violence
Children ought to live a life free from violence and are given freedom to exercise and experience their childhood in a safe and secure way. Contrary, most children in slums in Uganda are subjected to violence especially sexual violence. 6 out of 10 children living in slums have reported having been subjected to sexual violence and never reported the incident to parents or police and never thought any medical attention. In such situations, some have contracted HIV/Aids at tender age even when they would have been helped through Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP). Stakeholders who would help sexual violence survivors, lack best practices to help in recovery of the survivors. This is common in media reporting of such instances; parents and relatives of the sexual violence survivor put a blame on her and in most cases excommunicate her. This further traumatises the child. At Mayambala Orphanage Center we intervene at an early time to promote a promotive and positive environment for the affected child to quickly recover from the trauma.