One of our main aims at Kids Club Kampala is to allow disadvantaged children the chance to just enjoy being children; to play and have fun away from the stresses, responsibilities and worries of their everyday lives. We do this through our weekly Saturday Kids Clubs. Having a safe space to go once a week and building relationships with our staff and volunteers, provides a safety net for children in the slums. These Kids Clubs involve playing sports and games, singing songs, sharing a message of hope through Bible stories and, lots of other fun activities to help empower children and let them know that they are loved and cared for. As part of our Kids Clubs, we also provide food to all the children who attend.
Each week, teams of dedicated Ugandan volunteers run Kids Clubs in their local areas. Currently these activities take place in 18 different disadvantaged communities in and around Kampala, reaching up to 3,000 children every week. The clubs bring fun, hope, love and joy into these children’s lives by giving them a safe place to play, be cared for and to just enjoy being children.
Girls worldwide are less likely to complete their education than boys. Girls are more likely to earn less, have poor health, and live in poverty. Girls are often overlooked and are often less empowered to fulfil their potential.
Kids Club Kampala began working with vulnerable teenage girls from the slums of Kampala for all of these reasons. For the last few years, we have been supporting vulnerable teenage girls’ basic needs by supplying them with much needed donations of sanitary pads and school materials. We have also been supporting these girls by providing them with health and sex education and, offering them a safe space to discuss ideas, ask difficult questions and, receive emotional support.
However, we believe that entire communities need to be supported and encouraged to support girls in order to create a more equal society. It’s not easy to be a teenager whether male or female and being a teenager growing up in the slums of Kampala brings with it even more challenges. This is why in 2015 we re-launched the Vulnerable Girls Project as the ‘Teens Project’ to include working with teenage boys as well as girls. We provide counselling for girls and boys who have been abused, neglected or need support in any way. We give teens a safe space to discuss ideas, ask difficult questions, and receive emotional support, advice and practical help. We also run an annual Teens Conference to empower and support these young people, and publish a bi-monthly magazine with stories, articles and poems written by teens who are part of this project.