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INFORMATION ON CHILDREN AID ORGANIZATION
INTRODUCTION:
Children Aid Organisation is a registered Non Governmental christian charitable Organisation in Uganda committed to the support of orphans, impoverished and vulnerable children through Education and psychosocial support, Health care services, Advocacy for the rights of a child, community empowerment, Agriculture and Nutrition, Emergency relief programme, networking with other institution , children and communities for a sustained impact and emergency relief in the war torn region of northern uganda.
It which was established by high profile members who were highly committed to the support and care of Orphans in northern Uganda.
Children Aid Organization works with different communities without any segregation of race, tribes, and religion. Children Aid Organisation is a Non Governmental Organization in Gulu town with NGO registration number of S.5914 – 3723
PAINFUL SUFFERING OF CHILDREN ORPHANED IN NORTHERN UGANDA.
Vulnerable children in Northern Uganda suffer appalling abuses and neglect. Civil wars start from one day to the next. More than 54% of the children in this region are orphans without one or both parents, abandoned children, street children, children living with HIV/AIDS, War affected children traumatised and handicapped, child mothers, children of poor parenting, sexually abused, children with disabilities, children in institutions, displaced children, victims of labor exploitation and domestic violence, children in conflict with the law and faces merciless abuse which takes innocent, fragile lives and brutalizes them with extreme poverty, constant hunger, relentless diseases, homelessness and malnourished, abuse and exploitation with no hope for basic education.
 
The most tragic aspect of more than 16 years of civil war has been the disturbance, displacement of children and their families who are recruited or kidnapped to serve as soldiers in military forces. Over 14,000 children between age 7 – 18 years constituting 80% of the LRA rebels have been abducted from Northern Uganda, small number have escaped and returned home while others are still in rebel captivity and continuing to escape and they suffer untold psychosocial trauma due to their past experience, girls are forced to become wives of the LRA commander. Sometimes children as young as six years old are forced to work under extremely difficult conditions, Uganda still has high rate of orphan of truly awesome dimension and has already more than 2.5 million children orphaned and living with the virus, they are too young to fend for themselves.
 
The standard of education is extremely low and the war has serious problem of lost generation of children who never went to school or were forced to drop out leaving many currently idol, unskilled, uneducated with no hope for the future and is a social burden to the country and young generation enormous and potentially explosive. This group of children is currently being easily lured to join armed forces. Early marriage to the girl child and who are heading families and early pregnancy below 14 years of age is increasing number of unplanned/unwanted children who are not cared for and die at the age of below 3 years. It has the highest infant mortality rate of IMR 172/1000.
 
Ironically, within the care of the state, orphans are often subject to abuse and mistreatment, orphaned and abandoned children are housed in appalling institutions where they suffer from cruelly and neglect and many die. For many students, life in and outside the classroom is intolerable at the hands of peers and teachers, many children suffer under act of discrimination, abuse and sexual violence and harassment. Today more than 10 children die in every one minute and the statistic is growing all the time.
 
CHILDEN CAMPS AND ORPHANAGE
Life in the children camps and orphanages alone is horrible and unbearable, children with their families sleep under the leaves of trees and grass being beaten by heavy rain and sunshine, there are no latrines in these camps and waste products are dropped any where in the compound, the sanitation is too poor and there is constant outbreak of cholera in the camps and we found many children die every day and the people in the camps use traditional medicine to try to treat cholera and malaria which does not cure  because there is no medicine and children die as early as 3 years of age because there is no vaccination.
 
There is  no drinking water in the camps and children there drinks mud rain water on the ground and many children are being infected daily with diseases. More than 9 children from the four camps die daily. Skin diseases like scabies has affected all the children in the camps and they live with that because there is no treatment.
 
Children there have not tested what food is like and i saw with my eyes as they eat rotten food from the cabbage pit, eating rats, wild plants and insects and i then stopped them immediately and tears fell from my eyes and all the staffs were crying. we saw children lying down with no energy and malnourished with no skin and its just bones on their body which is seen with swollen stomach and they cannot even walk with flies covering their bodies and saliva falling off their mouth and their mothers has given up on them because of poverty.
 
Children  are bearing cold weather without blankets and walk half naked, there is no eating utensils like plates, cups, water containers around there and i had no words.
 
This is the worst humanitarian crisis the world has ever had and the state of the children in the camps is too worst and is costing the lives of many children and the world has forgotten about the plight of the children in this war torn region of northern Uganda 
 
The children are wasted and are all worn out with no future and are facing painful hunger, traumatised and psychologically affected. Children are with swollen feet and deep wounds rotting without treatment.
 
When I arrived there, children ran to me requesting for food, medicine and drinking water and some cannot walk and women started crying appealing for help for their poorest children. One lady told me they have never received any relief and no one cares about them and cannot even go home because the rebels will kill them..
 
 CHILDREN LIFE ON THE STREET OF GULU TOWN The number of children taking refugee on the streets of Gulu town is seriously swelling.
 
The Children are very young but are all worn out both in body, mind and soul. Every evening they have to pack their old blankets or ragged bed sheets and torn exercise books with pages missing in a buveera and walk several miles to Gulu town fearing the abduction by Kony rebels in their homes, over 20,000 children between 5 to 17 years of age sleep out in cold and squeeze themselves in church compounds, hospitals, bus stops and drainage, verandas and streets where many end up getting malaria and other contagious diseases. Many have swollen foot and some have deep wound due to injury during long journey to town for safety.
 
They sleep from midnight to 6:00 am, then start the tiring journey back home. Some especially the young, reach home when they are exhausted and cannot proceed to school, others go to school straight away from the street without brushing their teeth or bathing. They sleep with empty stomach for many days because their parents or relative cannot afford a meal for them.
 
The Education standard is falling as the frightened children move up and down on streets in search of refugee and have less time to concentrate on books. Only a few persevere to revise their books under difficult circumstances from the lit verandas at night. Schools are being attacked at the same time abducting children and teachers.
 
Some children have taken to menial work around the town to raise some money for scholastic materials, fees, food and resorting to prostitution and some unscrupulous men lure the young girls for sex in exchange for money. It is clearly evidenced that these children are suffering higher rate of malnutrition, illiteracy, discrimination, mistreatment, defilement, and early marriage on the streets causing distress and fear about their future and other related cases which presents the starkest and gravest challenge in the lives of vulnerable children. Due to this, Northern Uganda has the highest number of orphans and Uganda has also the highest number of orphans in sub- Saharan Africa and the figure in increasing.
 
Neither words nor statistics can adequately capture the human tragedy children grieving in great pain, suffering and trauma difficult to endure.
 
In St. Mary's hospital Lacor, Otim lies in pain in the dressing room. I can see the terror in his eyes. In the evening of the 3rd july 2005 the rebels came to their home in Unyama and subjected him to a most horrible mutilation which left him without ears, lips and fingers. It is the 10th such incident that I have ever seen over the past month. His torturers rapped his ears in a letter and put it in his pocket. The blood stained piece of paper gave a strong warning to whoever want to support he government, We shall do what we have done to him. Otim age 16 whose plan was to join first year of secondary education. His father brought him on the back of a bike at midday and I was in the hospital listening to another group of traumatized children who came from the same area.
 
For the past six months the rebels have been very active stealing the little food distributed as humanitarian relief,, abducting boys and girls, sexual abuse and brutal mutilation of children, men and women and routinely beaten. Just one week ago a boy age 15 spent one week in the hospital after being severely beaten and died of his injuries, Parents know that if the rebels find the village empty of children, then they themselves will be cruelly beaten but they are ready to pay the price.
 
An old woman age 56 surrounded by her 6 young grandchildren below the age of 10. She lost her sons who where murdered by LRA rebels in s brutal mutilation. The orphans lied down on the bare ground with no energy to talk and even raise their heads from the ground and dying of hunger and their ribs are exposed and spent more than 7 days without food and drinking water, crying with saliva and flies covering their bodies, are eating damped rotten food from the rubbish can. Kind people gave them some little food and drinking water. This is one of several such cases.
 
This is a nasty war that has ragged in the northern Uganda for the past 28 years. Not that you hear anything about it on the gleaming streets of Kampala, USA, UK etc or on the news there or abroad like CNN, BBC. The only people who remember this war painfully are its victims, the million people who live in a squalid displaced camps, orphanages and spend their night hiding in the jungle or behind church walls. Now more people throughout the world are interested in knowing what is going on in northern Uganda.
 
ORPHANAGES AND WHAT CHILDREN AID IS DOING
Children Aid organisation is running five orphanages with more than 10,000 orphans and supporting children in the children camps and night commuters on the street of Gulu town by resettling the children back to schools and sponsoring them through paying their school fees, books, pens, pencils, mathematical sets, and school uniform and monitor their performances in schools, providing counseling to make children cope with the trauma and psychological effect of the pain, offering constant medical treatment and check ups, providing them with feeding programme and emergency relief items like food, blankets, clothing and building shelters for them .
 
CHALLENGES BEING FACED BY CHILDREN AID UGANDA
The biggest problem children Aid Organisation is facing in the effort to support the orphans is the increasing number of orphans in to the orphanages and lack of funds to continue offering the support to the affected children. The needs of the children here are too great, which requires external support.
 
URGENT NEEDS ON THE CHILDREN ON THE GROUND.
There is needs for funds to provide the urgent needs for education sponsorship (interims of school fees, scholastic materials like books, pens, pencils, uniform)for all the orphans since orphans are interested in continuing with their studies relief items like Food, medicines, shelters, blankets, clothing, Jeri cans, and basins, cooking utensils, cups, and plates for more than 30,000 children under Children Aid, There is also urgent need of clean drinking water, classrooms etc.
 
Kikwiyakare J.Moses
Executive OrgDirector/Founderanisation
Children Aid  Uganda
81 Lower Chcurch Drive Road
P.O Box 427
Gulu,Uganda
East Africa.
Kikwiyakare J Moses

Some photos of the Uganda children

 

    

    

    

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