Youth and Women Empowerment

Ugandan Grandmothers programme

Figure 12: Pioneer grandmothers meet with Dr.Carmel Gallegher -the programme Sponsor

RCRA with support from Dr. Carmel Gallagher through GoFundMe, is in the second phase of implementing the flagship Ugandan Grandmothers’ Programme in the new five Sub-counties in Busongora North, Kasese, they include (Kyabarungira, Maliba, Kitswamba, Bugoye, and Bwesumbu) after a successful pilot completion in Kyabarungira Sub-county.

The overarching aim of this programme was to develop integrated supports to grandmothers in Uganda who are caring for children and grandchildren affected by HIV/AIDS and poverty. An additional objective of this programme was to educate 400 more households of grandmothers caring for HIV positive children/grandchildren about topics such as a healthy lifestyle, nutrition and disease prevention; particularly designing an integrated programme which provides supports to grandmothers caring for children affected by HIV/AIDS and poverty.

Facilitating informative discussions surrounding the topics of hygiene, HIV prevention, nutrition, children’s health, parenting skills and exercise specifically targeted at older people; Executing workshops aimed at training grandmothers in agricultural input for kitchen gardens, and intergenerational learning.

As of March 2021, there has been a successful start to the 2021 programme despite difficulties caused by the Pandemic with more grandmothers needing goats than the programme can support. Forty more grandmothers have received a goat bringing the total number of grandmothers in the programme to 270 spread over 5 sub-counties, an area of approximately 720 sq kilometers.  A further 60 grandmothers are scheduled to receive goats in the next distribution exercise to economically strengthen their households.

The programme has been effectively integrated with the 1000 Gardens Initiative and 26 grandmothers have also received the materials for a kitchen garden- see attached photograph.

A particular concern arising from the pandemic is that grandmothers will not send their grandchildren back to school now that they are reopening. Their meagre incomes were reduced further during the lockdown and it is beyond the capacity of many to pay school fees. This is an issue that RCRA and the Ugandan Grandmothers programme is grappling with. Grandmothers will be encouraged and facilitated through the Village Savings Schemes to try to save for their grandchildren’s school fees with the UGP supporting the cost of scholastic materials and sanitary pads.

RCRA are continuing to seek grants to put the UGP on a more sustainable footing. In the meantime, I am renewing my request for donations to enable us to achieve the target set of €10,000 for 2021 (gofundme.com/f/grandmothers-programme.) 

Figure 13:6th group of grandmothers receiving she goats to increase access to goat milk and livestock support at household level
Figure 14: Grandmothers supported with kitchen gardens seeds are also given watering tools and materials for pest management
Figure 15: Grandmothers holding regular monthly meetings and learning about staying health in Kasese
Figure 15: Grandmothers holding regular monthly meetings and learning about staying health in Kasese
Figure 16: Access to livestock to grandmothers in the programme after accessing seeds and agro ecology support
Figure 17: A grandmother caring for the orphan grandchild attending the outreach clinics for a service.
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