Empowering Communities: A Showcase of Community-Led Child Welfare Initiatives

Our Country Director, David Adoke, the National Coordinator for the Association of Care Experienced Youth, Mai Nambooze and our Communications and Advocacy Manager, Marion Adongo, hosted the USAID team on a one-day visit.

During the visit, they had the opportunity to experience firsthand how a local Community Development Network (CDN) in Bukasa, a Kampala ward, is organised and led by the community to ensure the safety of children. The CDN plays a vital role in our approach to supporting children and families, serving as a meeting point for government officials and members of the local community dedicated to improving children’s lives.

Comprising volunteers trained as para-social workers, the CDN focuses on the welfare of children. These volunteers convene regularly to address concerns, make referrals to organisations, and guide families to government services, including hospitals and access to education.

“There is a big change within the community in the way that children are treated. Families are happy and children have been taken back to school because of our sensitisation efforts”. 

Child’s i works closely with the CDN, ensuring that qualified social workers are connected to provide technical advice, family support, and liaison services to other service providers. Through collaboration with these networks, we are able to expand our reach and impact, ensuring that more children and families receive the necessary support. It’s about leveraging diverse skills and resources to build a stronger, more resilient community capable of caring for the most at risk children and families.

The visit by the USAID team comprised of the technical advisor USAID APCCA, Severine Chevrel, the Child Protection Specialist, Fred Okello and the Director of Education, Youth and Child Development, Julie Villate, underscored the importance of partnerships and community-led initiatives in reducing dependency and increasing sustainability. It also highlighted the effectiveness of community-led approaches in addressing the root causes of child and family separation.

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“We have been engaged by the local councils to resolve child protection issues in the communities. As CDN members, we also meet monthly to share experiences, challenges and solutions. We talk about the cases we come across in the communities”.

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