Education, health, accommodation, clothing and food are all that a child needs to become a good citizen of a country like Uganda. But are all the children able to get these basic needs? Of course not. This is because of the high rate of poverty that spreads across Uganda. Children walk with no shoes on their feet, worn out clothes, flies everywhere on the children due to the sticky mangoes that they eat every now and then just to avoid being hungry. Mangoes are there way of survival. Some are orphans and leave at the mercy of good Samaritans. How about the people battling incurable diseases like cancer, HIV/AIDS, all hope is lost. This is because they can afford to get medication that will sustain them for a longer period. As soon as one is diagnosed with such a disease, they look at death as the next agenda in their life hence resort to abusing drugs like alcoholism.
So what are we as a community doing about this? How are we supposed to help all the people in need and give them hope no matter how bad the situation is? Shines Children’s foundation has challenged all the different communities in Uganda to step up and do the little they can to support one another.
Shines Children’s Foundation is an initiative that was started by a group of youth in one of the western districts of Masindi after realizing the need and care that the vulnerable and orphaned children, young mothers, widows and youth need for the social economic development of Masindi District. Shines Children’s Foundation (SCF) is registered with National NGO board of Uganda under registration number Reg. No.s.5914/11335. SCF is being directed by a young, strong willed and compassionate youth, Kiirya Denis. He has worked hand in hand with other members of the organization and communities to reach out to as many people in need as possible. And the struggle still continues.
Masindi is a district in the western part of Uganda that is occupied by mainly the Banyoro speaking people. Masindi has a diverse ethnic composition of 55 tribes. Most of the district residents are both poor and rural. By 2012, the population of Masindi was estimated at 352,400.
Agriculture is the main economic activity in the district. They mainly grow millet, sorghum, sunflower, cassava, maize etc. Fishing is also practiced in the rivers and Lake Albert. The district has over 250 ponds. Bee keeping is an increasing practice and lastly, tourism. This is due to the increasing number of visitors to Murchison falls national park.
A free society where all children and youth have equal access of all opportunities for Sustainable Development.
- Justice and fairness
- Creativity and team work
- Respect and integrity
- To improve the quality of life of the orphans and vulnerable children by establishing a permanent orphanage Home, school and health care centre.
- To provide adequate education to vulnerable children
- To increase community awareness on issues environment and climate change
- To increase household income through promotion of saving culture.
- To reduce the prevalence of HIV/AIDs through counseling and testing, creating awareness and providing care to people living with HIV/AIDS.
- To establish a link between the Homeless children and their former families with a view of restoring them to a normal family life where possible.
- To en hence capacity and skills of Families and communities to realize, mobilize and Control their recourses by enabling their ability to care for the disadvantaged People in the Society.
- To provide access to Information on adolescent sexual and reproductive health Rights, Peer Education and youth advocacy.
- To promote youth and women productivity in social economic activity that can up life their livelihood and food security.
- To advocate for the children and human rights for social economic development.
- Orphans and Vulnerable Children
- People with disabilities
- The community
Currently the organisation operates in Masindi District in sub counties of Miirya, Kimengo, Pakanyi, Kigulya and Central Division, however in future, the organisation intends to broaden its services to other parts of the district and other neighbouring districts of Bunyoro
- WASH Project (Water And Sanitation Hygiene)
- Shine Care Centre. This is a project for the grannies and orphaned children’s care givers
- Shine livelihood for the youth
- Education support for the vulnerable and orphaned children
- Sexual reproductive health rights project.
Shines Children’s Foundation is an organization at its early stages. However it has been able to support over five communities. Not because they have everything to offer, but because they work hand in hand with these communities. They empower them with skills and give them hope to look after one another.
VOLUNTEERING WITH SCF
Come and volunteer with SCF and be able to share ideas and experiences with the people. They have the love and attitude to learn new things. Their culture is amazing and the children are the most awesome part. Because they will teach you the local language and walk with you wherever you go clinging on to you. They are adorable.
Come and volunteer with the local health centre around Masindi. Use the knowledge and gift that God gave you to heal people. Sensitize them about living a positive life. Give them hope. Talk to the youths and young mothers about reproductive health. Above all, come and relate with the local people and see how hard it is to fend for them.
It’s not only the people that are amazing, but there are great sites to see. Come visit Murchison falls National Park. It is at the centre of Masindi town. It has beautiful scenery and all kinds of wild animals.