We are really excited to announce our first ever foster family placement. This is a significant milestone for Kids Club Kampala and it shows the growth and development of the Ewafe project since we began. We launched the Ewafe project in June 2013 to address the problem of the increasing numbers of children being abandoned in Kampala’s slums. ‘Ewafe’ means ‘where we belong’ in Luganda, and this is what the project aims to do. We want to bring hope and love to vulnerable children, to rescue children who have been abandoned and to give them a home, a family and a place where they feel they belong.
Since launching this project, we have achieved so much! In total we have reintegrated 38 children. In 2018 alone we reintegrated 10 children and rescued 11 children. The ideal situation is for children to return home to live with their parents, or another relative such as a grandparent or an aunty or uncle. It is so important for children to be connected to their families and in most cases in Uganda children have a living parent or relative who is safe, willing and able to take care of them. However, there are of course situations where children are not able to live with their own relatives. For example, in cases of abuse, violence, long term illness or if we are unable to find family members who the children can be reintegrated with. For these cases, we have wanted to launch a foster care program so that these children can live in families and feel like they belong.
Becoming a foster carer through the formal process is a new enough concept in Uganda and therefore we want to make sure that families are fully vetted, trained and prepared to take on the responsibility of a precious child. With the support of local social services, we have been able to bring one family through this process and make our first ever foster care family placement.
Today, we celebrate a child being a part of a loving foster family.
Gemma* was 8 when her mother became very unwell and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Gemma was referred to the Ewafe Project and we gave her a safe place to stay back in 2018. The hope was that Gemma's mum would recover but sadly as time went on her mother was still not showing signs of recovery to the point where she would be able to take care of Gemma again. Despite searching for relatives that Gemma could live with we found no other family options for her. We were concerned that Gemma’s future was looking uncertain and our social workers knew that the best thing for her would be a foster family at this time. We found a loving family who have been going through the process of being approved foster carers. This month the final approval and placement took place and Gemma went to live with her new family. This Ugandan family have the means to take care of Gemma, provide her with an education and all she needs to thrive. Not only that, but they also have the space in their hearts and lives to give Gemma the love she so desperately needs along with the one to one attention and sense of belonging that is not easy to find when living in a group home. Gemma can also visit her mother in hospital and although watching parent go through mental illness has been very difficult for Gemma she is being given the support and guidance she needs to process all of this with both her foster family and our social workers. We are delighted for Gemma and will be following up on her journey and how she settles in to her new family.
Family care is the best possible environment for a child and it’s so important that children of all ages have a loving family to rely on. The reason why we advocate for children to be back with their families or a foster family is because we know that long term institutionalisation can have detrimental effects on a child’s development and well-being. Children need to live in families and should not be separated from them unnecessarily. Kids Club Kampala are working hard to strengthen families and communities and we love to see children living in loving families, this case is so special as we have been able to reintegrate a child into a loving foster family for the very first time. We are committed to helping bring Uganda to a place where there are more options for children other than long term orphanage care which is so common in Uganda and often the only option for children like Gemma.
We shared the story of Gemma with our team and to our surprise a volunteer who had visited the Ewafe home to run a day of children’s games and activities last year shared that he had been praying for Gemma to find a new family, he was delighted to hear the news that Gemma had been welcomed into a loving family and was a part of our very first foster family placement. It is great to know that we have supporters praying for the children in Uganda and it’s a wonderful reminder that prayer works. We value your prayers for the children and communities we serve in Uganda.
Our vision of seeing more children reunited into loving families is hugely dependent on people like Gemma’s new foster parents, who are making a true difference by loving and providing a family home for her where she is safe. We love to see children leaving our emergency care home and going back to loving families and we hope this is the first of many foster family placements that we can help to facilitate.
Today we take the time to celebrate and honour foster families and the difference this makes to children like Gemma. Foster care is changing the lives of vulnerable children in Uganda and we are so excited to be a part of this.
How You Can Help Us.
We hope to be able to find suitable foster families for more children but we also lack the funding to roll this out on a large scale so please do share the word about our fostering programme to those who might want to support us. We hope that you can continue to help us to advocate for children to be in loving families as we hope to continue to expand our Ewafe project. If you would like to support our Ewafe Project, you can become a Family Champion today. By becoming a Family Champion, you have made the decision to make a stand for families in Uganda by signing up to give as little as £10 per month to help strengthen families.
Three Other Ways You Can Support Kids Club Kampala is By:
1) Making a donation to our Ewafe Appeal to help us raise £5000 for the Ewafe Project, we are fundraising in order to expand the Ewafe project to keep more families together in Uganda.
2) Spreading the word. You can help us to publicise our work and raise awareness about what we do! For example you could send this blog to your friends and family who may be interested and like us on our social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).
3) If you are the praying type, we would love you to join with us in prayer for these children and communities and for the work that we do.
We are working hard to keep children in families and your support will mean that we can bring more families together. We hope that you can partner with us to do this. If you would like to know more information about becoming a family champion, please contact us today and in the meantime join us as we celebrate this success.