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International Day of Families 2024

On Wednesday 15th May we will be celebrating International Day of Families.

International Day of Families was created by the UN in 1993 to highlight important issues and factors that affect family structure, and to address different social, economical or demographic factors currently impacting it. We like to take this opportunity each year to celebrate all of the families and communities we work with, and reflect on how we can best support and safeguard children. 

As an organisation working in the heart of the community, we believe in family based care. This means that in all of our programme areas we seek ways that we can support children within their biological families, and where this isn’t possible, place them in the care of other families with room and love to share. This approach does not advocate for institutional care such as orphanages.

The definition of family based care: A continuum of care for orphaned and vulnerable children that includes family of origin, extended family members, or foster and adoptive families. It does not include 'family style,' group homes, or temporary residential care. (Better Care Network, 2020)

Whilst we regularly see the visible positive effects of family based care, there is also plenty of research demonstrating the benefits it has for children and families. Evidence shows that a nurturing family-based setting has numerous benefits for children’s wellbeing, development and survival when compared to other alternative forms of care, such as institutional care (Railway Children, 2024). There is also growing research that suggests that psychologically, we are far more likely to feel a sense of belonging within our biological family, with shared stories and commonalities.This is why we advocate for keeping children living with their relatives where it is safe and in the child's best interests.

When biological family is not possible, we believe that children should be raised in secure loving families with space in their hearts. Consistency and routine are essential for young children's sense of security and predictability. Family-based care, whether biological or not, should provide a stable and familiar environment where children can thrive. Familiar routines, rituals, and traditions help children to feel safe and grounded, fostering a sense of stability that is vital for healthy development.

Kids Club Kampala’s Child Protection Programme encompasses our Saturday Kids Clubs, Football Project, Girls Support Groups, and Ewafe Project. The Ewafe Project offers a safe space for children who are unable to live with their biological parents, or children who need safeguarding from their current living situation. According to UNICEF, there are around 52,000 children living in institutional care in Uganda. Our model of Rescue, Rehabilitate and Reintegrate has an underlying ethos of finding family care for children. As soon as a child is referred to this project, our team of social workers begin searching for immediate and extended family members, and where possible, put in place reintegration plans to bring these children home. 

While Uganda does have a foster care system, it is still in the early stages of development. The government alongside various organisations such as ours are working to strengthen and expand the foster care system to provide more stable and nurturing environments for children. Our Foster Care project aims to find and train foster carers who can provide loving, family based care to children who can’t return to their biological family and would otherwise live in institutions. 

Ronnie* was referred to the Ewafe Project in May 2020. He had been found alone in a small room with no food by Aidah*, the women's counsellor of the local village. Our team in Uganda later discovered that following the death of Ronnie's parents, he had sadly been abandoned by his other relatives. During his stay at the Ewafe Project, Ronnie was cared for, provided counselling and sponsored to go to school, all whilst our social workers attempted to trace safe family members for Ronnie to stay with. After much searching it became apparent that reintegration with family was not going to be possible for Ronnie and so our team then began the process of foster care. Very fortunately, after hearing that Ronnie required a foster home, Aidah got back in touch and explained that she was a trained foster carer and would love to welcome Ronnie into her family.

Following consultations between Ronnie, Aidah, our social workers and the Government probation officer, Ronnie was successfully placed with Aidah and has joined the family. Our team regularly follow up with each of the children who have been placed in foster care, and ensure that they are given all of the support they and their foster parents need in order to thrive. We are so proud to be a part of long term, impactful change in each child's life, and feel blessed to have a community of changemakers like you to join us on this journey. 

We understand the importance of a family and the difficulties faced by our communities living in poverty, which is why we like to take opportunities like International Day of Families to celebrate families like Ronnie’s. We support families in a multitude of ways, supporting parents with vocational training, kids with free education, children with safe spaces, all of which include food support. None of our Programmes would be possible without the generosity of our regular givers, fundraisers and kind supporters.

Can you help us support families by making a donation today? 


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