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Three Years Later, 45 Million Meals Shared – Olivia, on Foodbanks

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

In 2020, we converted our community classrooms in Katanga, Namuwongo and Naguru into food banks, when the pandemic first hit, to enable families to access food during lockdowns when so many people employed in the informal sector lost their employment and incomes overnight. Once restrictions were lifted, we were planning on winding these down, but with the global cost of living crisis, soaring inflation in Uganda, many families were still in desperate need, and three years later, we continue to provide vital supplies to families in need.

Over the course of 2022, our teams responded, by ensuring essential food supplies were accessible, providing 45 million meals to children and families.


As Sam Wambayo, Uganda Executive Director explains further;

“We continue to run our projects on a needs basis, and meeting the needs of our community has never been greater.”

Over the course of the last 6 months , up until June 2023, 162 families received food bank support, 761 individuals, 500 of which were children and 261 adults. This equates to 16,200 meals.



Whilst, our long-term aim is for our food banks to not be needed; in fact, our long-term aim is ideally for none of our projects to be needed because poverty has been reduced throughout Kampala’s slums. However, families in Uganda’s slums are still some of the most vulnerable to extreme poverty. In the slums, there is still a high dependency on informal work, and with the impact of the pandemic, 85% of those employed in the informal sector live below the poverty line (on less than $1.90 per day). In some instances, food prices have more than doubled, pushing many families further into poverty.


Statistics from the World Food Programme also shows that 29% of children under 5 are stunted due to malnutrition.

As one mother recently shared “we had run out of food for a few days now, I had nothing to feed my five children, the food you have given us is more than just a blessing for us...”

Whilst our aim is to help vulnerable children and families survive and thrive, so much of what we are doing is helping families to simply survive. Our projects meet the communities living in Kampala’s slums basic needs (providing food, shelter, and safety). In the long term, we want to move beyond providing for basic needs and help families to truly thrive, empowering them to lift themselves from poverty for the long term, creating sustainable sources of income through vocational training, increasing employment opportunities, so families can become self-sufficient and not need our support.


As part of our Radio 4 Appeal, we are sharing the incredible story of Annie*, a mother of four who initially was referred to our team through our food banks, support she described as a ‘lifeline’. Annie now runs her own tailoring business and is able to provide for her whole family, thanks to support from our Skilling Project.


Many women desired to learn professional tailoring or knitting skills that would support them to start up their own businesses. This is where our Skilling Project grew from, a decade of work with women in the slums, providing vocational training to predominantly single mothers and young adults. We also support with business expertise and start-up capital to support them in starting their own businesses following their training.


We are now supporting around 200 women per year who are gaining vital skills which can transform futures.

“I am very proud of the skill I have acquired, as it is going to change my life forever... I believe it is going to help me meet the needs of my family.” Rita*, one of the graduates from our tailoring and knitting course.

All this month we are showcasing the incredible stories of women like Annie and Rita, who as well as being business owners, they are training other young women to learn vital tailoring skills, supporting their community to also move from surviving to thriving.


It costs just £32 to support a family for a week with vital food supplies.


You can listen to our Radio 4 Appeal live on Sunday 17th September at 07:55am and 21:26pm and on Thursday 21st September at 15:27pm.




God Bless,

Olivia Barker White CEO & co-founder




*names have been changed



Sources



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