Facing some of the world’s most acute development challenges, Uganda is one of the least developed countries in the world, ranked 161st out of 187 by the UNDP’s Human Development Index.  A quarter of the population live below the national poverty line (World bank) meaning that many people have no access to education facilities, good housing, nutrition and child care. 

Under such conditions many children are neglected by their parents and thus resort to living on the street. There are now more than 10,000 children living on the streets in Uganda (UNICEF 2011). 

Life on the streets is extremely dangerous, with many of the children suffering from abuse. UNICEF research has shown that street children are more likely to engage in gang activity, drug and alcohol abuse and early sexual promiscuity. 

Bwindi (Uganda) is a well-known departure point for gorilla treks and a welcomes a high volume of tourists. The tourists’ presence attracts a number of children who move to Bwindi and live alone on the streets, in the hope of earning money by begging from or entertaining the tourists. 

Education for street children

Afrinspire would like to support Action for the Minority Children to provide education to 50 street children living in Bwindi.  The aim of this project is to ensure that every child learns a set of skills to enable them to gain employment and become active citizens. Through their education the children will learn English and Mathematics but also practical lessons such as art, music, dance and drama.  These skills will enable the children to become self-employed but also generate income for the project. Children will produce skits and plays to perform for tourists and will produce handicrafts to sell to tourists, in order to make the project self-sufficient. The hope is that the children will become job creators rather than job seekers. 

Action for the Minority Children currently cares for 60 children, aged 4-15 living in Bwindi by providing for their basic needs and counselling them. 10 of these children already receive school sponsorship, so we are seeking donations to fund the rest of the children’s education. School sponsorship covers school fees, uniforms, two meals per day and medical care. Action for the Minority Children’s vision is to transform these minority children’s lives.  So far they have helped 102 children living in Bwindi.  Read more about our proposal to support these children here.