New Vision (Kampala)

4 December 2012

Uganda: Uweso

UWESO is a Non Governmental Organization founded in 1986 to provide care for children made vulnerable by the civil turbulence and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. UWESO offers development oriented and self sustaining programmes aimed at improving the quality of life of vulnerable children.

Today, UWESO joins the rest of the World to commemorate the World AIDS Day on the theme "Getting to zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS related deaths."

Why UWESO Commemorates the World's AIDS Day?

UWESO exists to promote the survival, development, participation and protection of Orphans and other Vulnerable Children in Uganda.

Orphan-hood in Uganda still remains a big developmental challenge. Children constitute about 57.4 percent of Uganda's total population of 30.7 million people (UNHS, 2009/2010). Of 57.4 percent, 14 percent have been orphaned.

45.6 percent of the orphans are due to HIV/ AIDS (OVC Situational Analysis 2010). HIV/AIDS therefore remains one of the major drivers of vulnerability in our communities.

As result, HIV and AIDS has led to an increase in skipped generation households where an older person often the grand parent, becomes the primary caretaker of a child who has lost either one or both parents; or whose parents are absent for a prolonged period of time.

Another category are the child headed households in which there are no older people present, or if they are present they are too sick to act as household head.

These and other categories of vulnerable children constitute UWESO's target beneficiaries for care and support. UWESO through facilitating the formation of 2,625 Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) is transforming the social economic status of vulnerable households and communities.

In the midst of limited livelihood opportunities, UWESO through formation of VSLAs has become the solution to increased vulnerability and inability to provide basic needs to OVC in the community.

As a consequence caretakers of OVC have been able to start income generating activities; have been inducted into the saving culture and are now able to save and get loans from their groups.

Beyond this, UWESO has been instrumental in creating awareness on HIV/AIDS; specifically promoting prevention interventions and formation of peer clubs in 68 schools and communities in North and Eastern Uganda.

UWESO salutes other HIV/AIDS activists, carers, PLWAs and persons who are committedly striving for a Uganda with "Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS related deaths."

Uganda Women's Effort to Save Orphans Plot 2, Tagore Crescent Kamwokya P. O. Box 8419, Kampala - Uganda Tel: 256 (392) 777448 Website: www.uweso.org

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