The programme aims to develop integrated supports to grandmothers in Uganda who are caring for children and grandchildren affected by HIV/AIDS and poverty.
Grandmothers are indispensable to the survival of children and families in Uganda due to high rates of deaths from HIV/AIDS, maternal deaths and the abandonment of children by young, teenage mothers. Yet, they remain largely invisible to government and NGOs and are not direct beneficiaries of any funding programme. They face constant struggle to feed grandchildren, pay school fees and maintain their own health.
This RCRA’s flagship one year programme will be evaluated with a view to scaling it up. The kernel of the programme is the formation of groups of grandmothers in rural villages in the greater Kasese area and the delivery of an integrated programme of health, education support and livelihood support. The programme is innovative in targeting grandmothers, having a strong self-help ethos, and an intergenerational element whereby older people and school children will learn from each other. Examples of supports are: school fees and educational supports for children; transport in remote inaccessible areas, home visits; developing kitchen gardens; and the provision of re-usable sanitary pads for girls as menstruation often prevents girls from attending school in Kasese District.