NAADS Partners with UWESO to support former street children
Government through the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) has pledged to extend more support to Masulita Children’s Village (MCV) in Wakiso, a rehabilitation and skilling centre for former street children under the leadership of Uganda Women’s Efforts to Save Orphans (UWESO).
Since 2018, Government through NAADS has extended support to MCV with the aim of revamping the agro-based income generation projects in the village. UWESO is a beneficiary of agricultural inputs from NAADS that include a greenhouse for vegetable production, a maize mill for value addition to maize, banana tissue cultured materials, in-calf heifers, and an artificial insemination kit among others.
Speaking during a monitoring visit to the village, Evarist Mulumba an Agribusiness Development Officer at NAADS Secretariat who represented the Executive Director NAADS said that they partnered with the children’s centre and provided support to equip and skill the youth who are removed from the streets.
UWESO Chief Executive Officer, Specioza Kiwanuka, asked parents and community leaders to mitigate cases of abuse and violence in homes so as to reduce the number of street children across the country. She also implored parents to desist from subjecting their children to harsh punishments because they force them out of their homes.
Rosemary Tumusiime, the chairperson of the National Executive Committee of UWESO added her voice saying the country is grappling with the challenge of street children yet the government abolished orphanages and children’s homes. She said that the problem of street children cannot be sorted out unless issues at the family and community level are dealt with before they come to the government.
Tumusiime called for counselling families embroiled in problems, saying that many children are either from broken families or are total orphans they have no relatives to take care of them. She appealed to local and religious leaders to intervene and help to address the problem holistically.
Masuliita Children’s home is a transit home meant to rehabilitate street children and equip them with skills before there are reintegrated with their respective families. Kiwanuka says the support from NAADS has enhanced their capacity to support the children with food and nutrition and generate income for the organization.
He said that the support towards Uweso is unique in the sense that it seeks to equip the home to better train the children and feed them as they prepare to return them back to their respective families and engage in productive ventures.
According to Ms Specioza Kiwanuka, MCV received 6 in-calf heifers which multiplied and today they are boasting of more than 20 cows. The greenhouse has enabled them to grow vegetables throughout the year which they use to feed the children and the excess is sold for additional income. MCV has also started earning from the maize mill which they received from NAADS in 2020. The money is used to facilitate the training programmes at the village.
Evarist Mulumba said NAADS was ready to provide a solar water pumping system to the children’s village to address the challenge of access o water for production which was presented as one of the pressing challenges at the village.