Kampala-based Preventative Initiatives:
Sustainable Livelihood Programme
Biojemmss’s Sustainable Livelihood Programme is designed to tackle the cycle of child abandonment by targeting its root. Rather than removing children from poor families into the project, Biojemmss supports families with small businesses so children can remain at home.
Biojemmss supported Aisha with a sustainable-livelihood programme in July last year.
Despite making chapatis, Aisha was often unable to sell them and the family would spend days going without food. Eventually Aisha, her three daughters, and her grand-daughter were evicted from their home because they could not pay rent. She had started to lose hope, not even being able to guarantee a future for her children as she could not pay their school fees. On discovering Aisha’s plight, Biojemmss sat down with her and discussed possible business options which would empower her to turn her life around.
Aisha’s Milk Business
After carrying out research in her local area, Aisha eventually decided on a milk business because “at the moment if people want to buy milk they have to walk all the way to the market, so if I had a milk business I think it would be good for the community and also successful”. Now established, Biojemmss continues to support Aisha, providing accounting, marketing and banking advice. Aisha’s hardwork has meant the business is now seeing success and she is able to provide for her family and save towards their education.
There are a number of reasons why children in Uganda end up fighting for survival on the streets of Kampala. These include abandonment, fleeing abuse at home, family rivalry and breakdown, conflict, forms of trafficking or being orphaned by HIV. Many children though simply begin their journey because of poverty and a lack of school fees. This can begin by a child walking the street looking for menial jobs such as carrying luggage or collecting scrap metal to get some money to pay school fees or bring food to the family table. However, many are often lured to street living by peers and little incentive with which to return home. Biojemmss supports a number of young people to remain at home by supplementing school fees and equipment.