Empowering Kids is extremely lucky to have an amazing team on the ground in Uganda. There are three dedicated board members and an invaluable staff member ensuring the children are healthy, happy and successful. Being based out of Canada, it is an amazing relief to know and trust that everything is being run properly in your absence. Empowering Kids in Uganda Society would not be what it is without their hard work and support.
Every year Ali travels to Uganda to check up on the project. This is in addition to the numerous emails and Skype chats. Her visits have many goals which include: visiting the children and their guardians to check on their well being, meeting with the staff and board members on the ground, ensuring the efficiency of operations, responding to any challenges that have arisen over the year, facilitating necessary medical treatment, building confidence in the beneficiaries and their families, and planning operations for the coming year.
This year’s trip highlights include:
- Following up with youth and their guardians
- Arranging invoicing arrangements for School supplies, general merchandise and medical issues
- Holding a meeting for families in Gulu to discuss the program, their responsibilities and the responsibilities of the organization.
- Leasing office space for the organization
- Taking youth for general medical check-ups
- Meeting individually with all board members and then as a group to discuss the organization, issues that had arisen and plans for 2014.
- Arranging counselling referrals for youth needing extra psychosocial support
- Reviewing and organizing files for all 19 youth in the program
This annual visit is important to the viability of the organization and to the youth EKU is empowering. Ali’s presence on the ground helps to build trust in the program and reassure the families that EKU is working hard in Canada to build the sustainability of the organization’s future.
Ali would like to thank everyone involved with EKU for their support and hard work. The youth are thriving and the families are grateful.
Below are some memorable quotes from the family meeting held in January.
‘Thank you very much for the support you are offering to the children, we were not given the opportunity to have an education and we are thankful that these children will get an education’
‘Other organizations have supported children in education but did not cover all of the costs associated with requirements etc. Thank you for assisting with all aspects of their education and continuing to support them even if they fail a class’.
(Many sponsorship programs drop a child if they fail a class or grade. Typically this is not the fault of the child but an outside issue, at EKU we don’t drop the youth if they fail but rather work hard to ensure they have the necessary support to succeed the next time).
‘I thank you for the system you use to decide which beneficiaries to support. Your requirements ensure that the most vulnerable youth are getting the support’.
‘Thank you for removing the greatest burdens (education) to raising these children. We accept our responsibilities as guardians and pledge to ensure the youth are well taken care of as if they were our own children.’