2014 has been yet another roller coster of a year. We sat down 3 years ago and decided that we wanted Child’s i Foundation to be a catalyst to change the childcare system in Uganda to give children the opportunity to grow up in families instead of orphanages.
We are now working with 20 orphanages to transform them to adhere to new government legislation which prioritizes family based care. So far we’ve had 10 trail blazing organizations sign on the dotted line. It’s a slow but rewarding process and I hope other orphanages see the benefits and change their model of care to provide temporary protection to the worlds most vulnerable and do all they can to get them into a family.
At the very end of 2014 we signed a 3 year agreement to work on a USAID programme and provide social work training and support to 123 orphanages to help them transition children into families.
80% of children in orphanages have families. The challenge is changing hearts and minds to prioritize families. Instead of paying for costly, sometimes damaging residential care can organisations support families to keep their children in the first place?
We are also setting up the country’s first emergency foster care pilot. If this pilot is successful we will reduce our Home down to an 8 bed facility. So far we have recruited, assessed and trained 3 of our staff to be emergency foster carers and 5 children are growing up in families.
Already we are witnessing miracles. One little toddler in our care was a little lad who shuffled from a to b on his bottom and didn’t say a word. After 3 weeks with Harriet our foster carer he was racing around her house and talking nineteen to the dozen. Updates like that make everything worthwhile.
Milo’s story: He was abandoned in between wards at Mulago National Referral Hospital by his Biological mother. Radio and Newspaper announcements were placed and detective work from one of our social workers found both his mother. They were unco-operative. The mother had been through a terrible ordeal in pregnancy and birth and couldn’t care for her child as a result.
For 16 months Milo has been living at the babies home and he deserved to have a family that loved and cared for him. Milo was discussed on the alternative care panel and was approved to be placed into long term foster care.
Milo has been finally placed for long term fostering.
I never underestimate what a difference individual care makes and the feeling of belonging to a family. Our little kids are superheroes and it’s our job to give them wings.
2015, like every year, will be an important year for us and we need your support as much as ever.