Children who don’t have enough to eat cannot grow well or pay enough attention during class hours. Many of these children either die a premature death through malnutrition or walk the streets in search of food. Some of the most desperate children turn to glue sniffing to suppress the hunger pains, or to prostitution as a means of survival.
One in four children is underweight for their age, two in five are physically or cognitively underdeveloped. Malnutrition diminishes a child’s ability to perform in school and increases the incidence of infectious disease. These factors make it difficult for a child to escape poverty.
Beacon of Hope Uganda’s FoodBasket project offers the assurance of a daily, nourishing meals to needy children in vulnerable communities in Uganda. Beacon of Hope Uganda has been running food and nutritional support projects across the country since 2009.
With funding and support from multiple organizations like Tzedek (UK), The National Gardening Association (US), Kitchen Gardeners International (US), The Muhammed Ali Center (US), SeedMoney (US), howareyou (Germany), A Daniel J Eldman Company (US) and The Giving Lens (US), we are able to run the FoodBasket Project.
In Uganda, most people living in poverty are children. Poverty denies children their basic human rights. To reduce poverty we believe you should start with children. The extreme poverty in Uganda leaves a trail of homeless children.
Beacon of Hope Uganda provides education, nutrition and immunizations to orphans and vulnerable children. Beacon of Hope Uganda started as a feeding program for hundreds of orphaned and vulnerable children.
The school & home gardens and livestock farms:
Beacon of Hope Uganda sets up gardens next to school compounds and homes to support needy families. Most gardens are inter-cropped and varieties of foods are grown including but not limited to green amaranth, eggplant, corn, onions, cabbages, gooseberries, carrots, beans, maize, tomatoes, pumpkins, watermelon, passion fruits and manioc. Papaya, pineapple, avocado, jackfruit and mango grow around the perimeter and in the middle of the garden.
All of the harvested food is used for school or home meals, and surplus is sold and the profits used for school or home expenses. These gardens provide children with healthy meals as well as cash, and this supports our model for local sustainability.
Recognizing the long-term physical, emotional, social and economic effects of malnutrition, hunger and poverty, Beacon of Hope Uganda places great emphasis on teaching children simple farming – growing organic fruits.
The children learn sustainable techniques and help seasonal work such as: planting, pruning, weeding, fencing, harvesting, building, and caring for cows, sheep, goats. The farm animals provide children with protein in form of meat, eggs and milk.
Family Support Program
The family support program was introduced to help families earn an income to pay for their children’s continuing education. Families attend classes to learn the fundamentals of livestock husbandry and microloans and are then awarded the gift of a goat, a pig or a microloan.
In turn they pass the first offspring from their animal to a neighbor in need, thereby continuing the circle of sharing. Other community programs include, adult education classes, the women enterprising team, and the skills training program and talents nurturing program.