Elgon Child Watch Initiatives - Uganda
ECWI-UG's mission is to enhance the quality of life of all children through protection of all child rights (protection, survival, development and participation rights). We envision a community where all children reach to their fullest potential in life through protection of their survival, participation and development rights for holistic child growth and development.
Women's Economic Empowerment
Women play a pivotal role in promoting developemt in the communities in which they live. They (Women) however don't have access to resource that can make them reach their full potentials. This is because of the status quo created by cultural systems in Africa. To be honestYou can not talk about child protection without talking about mothers who are the immediate care givers. Just as the saying goes, 'if you empower a woman, you have empowered a community'. ECWI-UG strives to make sure that community's development becomes a reality through women participation and economic empowerment. ECWI-UG uses the Village Saving and Loaning Association model (VSLA) to deliver its economic empowerment projects.
We intend to support 100 women with skills to become more self reliant by training them in different income generating activities like kitchen gardening, tailoring, and starting up of small bussiness. The women activities will be conducted in organized groups of women called the Villaging Saving and loaning assocoation (VSLA). Women participating in these groups will be encouraged to save and borrow as a way of availing to themselves resources that have been denied to them by the Patriarchy society. ECWI-UG intends to support community by supporting groups and individual initiatives that will definetly trickle down to the bigger communities. For example women to participate in tailoring can make hand bags for school children and get payed but reciplically they will also be earning incomes for their own welfare, those participating in in kitchen gardening can benefit from the nutrition bit of the project but they can also sell to community members which improves the overall nutrtion of the community.
Child protection is the protection of children from violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect. Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child provides for the protection of children in and out of the home. Elgon child watch initiatives Uganda intends to work with government in order to promote the rights of children. ECWI-UG work with already set government structures, systems and institutions to promote rights of children. ECWI does this by offering trainings to structures and building their capacities to independently handle cases that involve children. ECWI-UG works with structures like the child protection committees, Sub County orphaned and vulnerable children committees, police, probation office, children clubs and school management committees. Children clubs play a role of empowering children to know their rights and responsibilities and this is done through training, Music, dance and drama, debating sessions and sports like football. Children are encouraged to participate in activities like kitchen gardening, community services, reading, singing, peer to peer counseling and others. Each has also always ensured from the beginning that there is meaningful participation for children with emphasis to disability inclusion. We also observe key child protection principle of; best interest of the children, non discrimination, and family first line of help, do no harm and others. There is an emphasis on prevention as well as response, with a focus on supporting the role and responsibilities of parents and caregivers. We design age appropriate activities that have benefit to children for both physical and cognitive development. We aim at supporting responses to child abuse and also provide sufficient data to help government with facts while addressing issues that affect children. EDUCATION Our commitment towards education is continuously increasing. ECWI-UG supports schools to provide for inclusive and holistic education. ECWI-UG usually builds capacities of school teacher to handle children rightly. ECWI-UG has been supporting some schools in Nalusala Sub county Sironko district with scholastic materials like story books, mathematical sets for candidates, exercise books, examination feeding plans, play materials and many others. Schools like Bumausi and Bukirya primary have been supported and linked to internal partners called international book project under the project called books as bridges where over 100 children were assigned pen pal friend as a way sharing diversity in culture, knowing what happens in other parts of the continents but also improving children’s writing and reading skills. 2020 is going to be a year of more action especially as far as education is concerned. Elgon Child Watch Initiatives Uganda intends to start a community library where children can have a better chance to do research, access books that are not available in school library. As you may know child abuse has become a rampant problem in the ELGON region. For example sexual abuse which is associated with early pregnancies,early marriages, abortions and others, child trafficking, child exploitation, physical and emotional abuse. So ECWI-U looks for lasting solutions to put all these to a halt.
Wondering what child protection is?!!! Child protection are mechanisms put in place to prevent and respond to any forms of child abuse.
Every child has 4 broad categories of rights which include:
- survival rights(things to do with food,shelter),
- development rights like attaining education,
- protection rights, and
- participation rights
These rights are violated everyday in our communities like sexual harassment,child traficking,child labour and exploitation,physical and emotional abuse. Most parents are silent and feel it's normal. But it has to stop.
We, me and you, need to take the lead in ensuring our children reach their full potential in life. Our position is that our children need to have holistic development. FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY
Disability Inclusion Project
Elgon Child Watch Initiatives Uganda has committed its self to serve children and members of community. After a successful disability outreach held in 2018, 150 children were assessed and identified to have special needs and therefore a disability inclusion project was started in 2019. The project mainly aims at supporting accessibility of children with special needs. The organization pledges to support the vulnerable children to have physical access, information access and other forms of accessibility. The accessibility will be promoted by encouraging use of assistive devices like white canes, accessibility soft wares (JAWS, Transcribers), Braille services and others. This will be done by continuously sensitizing parents to take lead in supporting children with disabilities. ECWI-UG will therefore provide some material support to beneficiaries with support from Access Promise and other partners who may come on board. ECWI will however play a greater contribution by creating sustainable partnerships and collaborations with other non profit organizations to promote accessibility for children and people with disabilities. Mobilizing the community will also be part of the main tasks that ECWI-UG will undertake. Linkages to rehabilitation institutions will be undertaken as a mitigating factor to ever increasing cases of children with disabilities while those with already confirmed cases of disability will be linked to institutions like hospitals, homes, schools lower governments for further management.