Breaking Barriers to Children’s Access to Quality Education – Supported by CFTC
Since 2010, HUYSLINCI, supported by Canadian Feed the Children (CFTC) has been implementing the “Breaking Barriers to Children’s Access to Quality Education project”.
The project is working towards:
- Improving Food Security and Nutrition for Children and Youth in Katabi Town Council
- Increasing income, savings and assets for households in Katabi Town Council
- Improving educational performance and outcomes for children and youth Katabi Town Council and in a new location “Balawoli Sub County, Nawangaiza, Kamuli District”.
- Improving sexual and reproductive health for children and youth Katabi Town Council, and
- Improving the capacity of communities and HUYSLINCI to deliver program outcomes and impact
The project has 5 thematic areas
- Food and Nutrition
- Organizational capacity building
All the proposed activities aim at contributing to the improvement in the wellbeing of children and youth in the communities that we serve.
Under Food Security, we have proposed activities intended to improve Food Security and Nutrition for Children and Youth through support for activities geared towards sustainable food production at partner schools and in the targeted households and communities. We want to ensure that at all times; our people have both physical and economic access to sufficient food to meet their dietary needs for a productive and healthy life.
It also aims at fighting poverty, stunting and susceptibility to illnesses in children, youth and of course, adults.
At household level, we have targeted youth to train in smallholder farming because: (1) they constitute the largest part of Uganda’s population, (2) they are energetic, (3) we need to engage as many members of the household as possible –training mothers (who always turn up) alone has in the past proved to leave the entire responsibility of raising home grown gardens to them and by involving youth, responsibility has started to get spread to almost all members of a participating households; (4) youth are courageous and anxious to learn, (5) elementary have modern agricultural knowledge acquired from school which they easily build on, among other advantages.
We’ve also proposed to expand community demonstrational gardens to include an animal source foods component to become crop and animal husbandry demonstrational centres. We want to make them breeding and study sites for community farmers, from which crop seedlings and seed animals can be raised and rolled out to the rest of the community, and knowledge acquired and disseminated to benefit farmers in the rest of the community.
Due to the weather shocks currently experienced in the country and the need to continuously grow crops, we plan to install water harvesting and storage facilities at each of the demonstrational gardens to allow this happen.
Livelihoods: COVID-19 impact to the communities, all activities proposed are intended to improve and create (livelihood) opportunities for our beneficiaries, decrease poverty, enhance employability, and promote sustainability of businesses they are involved in or wish to engage in.
Our VSLA approach and related activities are intended to stimulate a saving culture among our beneficiaries and the members of the communities that we serve, as a whole.
We want beneficiaries to be able to generate additional, and vital streams of income to be able to battle the negative economic effects of the Corona Virus pandemic, Ebola, effects of climate change, the swelling commodity prices and any other disasters.
The proposed activities have components of capacity building to equip beneficiaries with skills in for example basic marketing, negotiation, innovation, marketing information sourcing and sustainable production based on the many lessons picked from the impacts of the Corona Virus pandemic on community business plus lessons picked during our project monitoring visits. We’re still committed to getting our VSLAs adopt virtual meetings and get skills on adaptation planning as the country continued to undergo lots of uncertain and challenging times.
We have planned to further support the advancement of women and girls through empowerment and have discussions with men and women on joint roles and responsibilities, family planning, gender equity and domestic violence prevention. In 2023, we wish to uplift competencies of women in confidence building and public speaking and we shall make it fun-filled through a contest. We shall also offer couples knowledge on choosing the right family business, growing and sustaining them.
Under Education, the proposed activities aim at generally improving the quality of education and particularly, the performance and learning outcomes for our children and youth. We are still on the road to revive the education that was affected by the two years of the Covid-19 lockdown. We work with community schools to which children from underprivileged families go. Our child ambassadors come from needy households.
Our planned activities will benefit both child ambassadors and other children in the community, ambassadorial households and non-ambassadorial homes, people from ambassadorial homes and the rest of the members of the community. Importantly, we are to introduce the project extension to a new community –the Eastern District of Kamuli but we started with the child sponsorship component mainly. We shall be working with Nawangaiza Primary school, in Buguwa2 Village, Balawoli Subcounty of Kamuli District.
We are looking at having a well-coordinated child sponsorship program that has for years improved the learning environment for all learners in our partner schools and the communities that we serve. We have lined up activities to improve school attendance and retention of boys and girls including those meant to gear-up children to fully return to school and parents and guardians to regain momentum to support the education of their children when schools reopen.
We have also included activities to make schools, safe against the spread of Corona and Ebola Viruses, and to raise awareness on the prevention and control of both pandemics at school, home and community level.
Under Health, we have proposed activities thought to increase knowledge about sexual and reproductive health among the in and out of school children and youth to be able manage their body changes well, prevent early and unwanted pregnancies, confidently seek advice whenever they need it, access services at well-known centres and in time, support each other whenever need arises., among other things.
We have equally suggested activities/items to avert the spread of Corona and Ebola Viruses. In a way, our SRH facilitators shall be equipped more to do their work smoothly.
Under capacity and organizational development, HUYSLINCI has progressively built the capacity of her staff and the capabilities of the community and results are evidently good. We are seeing increased participation of almost all sectors of the community from leaders, opinion leaders, young and old, women and men, the ‘common people’, etc. Community decisions are collectively reached and the spirit of volunteerism has gradually returned.
It’s in the same spirit that we have proposed capacity building activities for our staff, management and Board; volunteers, community groups and affiliates to further our capacity building gains. We have for example suggested an activity to build the capacity of teachers to effectively manage their classrooms a request that emerged during the 2022 teacher talks on restoring their teaching passion. All schools reported encountering unruly students and so, the need to equip them with winning classroom management techniques becomes critical. We also intend to orient school leaderships on how to keep their teaching staff motivated.
We have additionally planned activities to strengthen our capacity to implement the project well, activities with which we can engage with the community, activities to make the work we do visible, for the public to learn about what we do with CFTC, the positive change we have and continue to create, and the approaches we use. With this, we can attract additional partners like we have previously done and we can generally celebrate our small and mega contributions through our unifying cause –improving the wellbeing of children and youth.
We have listened to requests and cries from the community, gathered ideas from community members and the proposed activities are some of the answers to the community challenges brought to our attention.
HUYSLINCI’s other programme areas are: Leadership and Culture, Agriculture and Environmental protection, Young people in business and capacity development. HUYSLINCI shall in the coming year focus on mobilizing resources to ensure that young people are supported and mentored to grow their leadership and cultural potential, involve communities in agricultural activities to boost food security and nutrition and to preserve the environment; and to support young people to start, improve and sustain productive income sources. A part of HUYSLINCI’s culture is also to develop the capacities of her staff, Board, volunteers and beneficiaries to make a quality execution of her mandate.