Last week saw a whole day of celebration for 36 new 'graduates' of the Child Friendly Space we support in Jinja, Uganda.
The whole community of Soweto turned out to mark the achievements of the top age group of children at the Centre, many of whom will now be transitioning to mainstream primary school. This has been made possible by the educational foundation they have built at the Centre, and by the livelihood scheme which is part and parcel of the programme here.
The livelihood scheme enables parents to be able to afford primary school by loaning them the money for fees and costs, then providing them with agricultural training, inputs, or supporting them with other small business ventures, until they are able to pay back the fees, and continue funding their child's education independently.
A recent report showed that through these training sessions, not only are women developing their own source of income, but the output from the farm has significantly increased and enabled an increased supply of nutritious vegetables and other food stuffs to the Child Friendly Space. More nutritious crops have also been introduced on the farm based on the advice from officials from the Jinja Regional Referral Hospital children’s unit with whom the staff at the Centre have established a partnership to guide them in issues of nutrition.
Consequently the younger children joining the Centre now the older ones are moving on, will be enjoying a constant supply of nutrition in their meals, from their own parents. Certainly a cause for celebration all round.
Find out more about the Child Friendly Space in Uganda.
Read other stories about the project.