Supporting our deceased staff’s children

Supporting our deceased staff’s children

Since 1984, The Busoga Trust has lost ten committed employees nine of whom died of HIV/Aids. Their deaths left behind a total of about 54  children and 10 infected widows. The children dropped out of school with many going on streets begging for help, others turned to work as house maids and house wives at a young age. Supporting the families was impossible for the widows and they could hardly afford paying school fees nor scholastic materials. Children often had to commute long distances to attend school, which over time resulted into lost of interest in attending school.  More shockingly these young, impressionable girls were preyed upon by older men for sex, despite the fact they were underage.

During the visit by the Executive Director in August 2004, a decision was taken to support the children. The board decided to mobilise resources to help the families of the deceased workers especially to provide school fees and scholastic materials. The orphanage fund was formally instituted by the Busoga Trust and since then every financial year around £3-4000  is remitted to the Busoga Trust Country Office to cater for these orphans. For the last seven years, the organization has spent over £24,706 on paying fees for 52 orphans. So far six boys have intentionally refused to continue with school and three girls have fallen pregnant thus dropping out of school.

The Busoga Trust helps make school choices for orphans and closely monitors the performance of children in their respective schools together with their guardians. Every beginning of term we conduct organized sessions for guidance and counselling of children held in the offices. As a way of empowering them with skills, some successful children in education do internships within the Busoga Trust so as to orient them to the field as they look for jobs elsewhere.

Since this fund was initiated:

1. Sanyu Shamirah has successfully completed a nursing aid course and is currently self employed in a drug shop in Wandgeya.

2. Johnny and Eddie Muyagu completed courses in brick masonry coupled with in job training and are employed by BT as water technicians.

3. Semakula Henry joined Makerere University pursing a bachelor’s degree in Adult Education and Community Development. He will be graduating this October.

4. Kitamireke Herbert joined Kyambogo University for a bachelor’s in Computer Sciences. He should have graduated last year but drop out due to alcoholism.

5. Wakibi Andrew joined Nkumba University and is completing a bachelor’s degree course in Business Administration. He will graduate next year.

6. Nalugemwa Betty joined YMCA pursing a certificate course in Hotel and Institutional Catering and will complete the course next year

7. Veronica Nakaketo joined YMCA for a certificate course in Hire dressing and Cosmetology will complete the course next June.

8. Wakibi Andrew joined Makerere University for a three year Bachelors degree in Business Administration.

9. Lwigale Henry has joined Kampala University for a course in Public Administration.

10. In 2011 Wakibi Moses joined Mulogo School of Paramedics for a four years course in surgery.

11. In June 2012 Tony Mwami will join Mukono Christian University for a Bachelors degree in Mass Communication

12. Doe Otto Okot will join Makerere Business School for a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration this June

Some affected families’ livelihood has improved since the Trust goes an extra mile to support  the ones most affected or burdened with HIV/AIDs in linking them to support organizations like TASO (The AIDS Support Organisation) for ARVs (anti-retroviral treatment) and some food supplements. This has helped to re-energize the weak widows to allow them to continue giving motherly support to the children. We helped one Irene Nalongo Nakwanga undergo  an operation last December to remove a tumor from her uterus.

There are challenges to the running of the Orphanage Fund. We can only supply a limited amount of funding and as such the children are given only the basic tuition fees.  This puts many at a disadvantage whilst they compete with others who are well equipped.

Defilement (sex with underage girls) has also effected the smooth progress of the project. Since the project started three girls of about  13 years old drop out of school due to pregnancy. Despite our efforts, supporting these girls, this is unfortunately still an issue in rural Uganda.

Sadly, one of the orphans lost his battle with HIV/AIDS.

However, on the whole, we feel that this fund has been a success. Many of the children have secured a good education and resulting employment. We feel that this modest fund has greatly helped these children and their guardians to physically and psychologically to improve their lives.

 

Johnson Waibi
Ugandan Country Manager

(April 2012)