Saturday, 26 November 2011 09:19

UGANDA: Government Pledges Interventions for Child Development


The Gender Ministry will set up a strategic intervention programme for improving the lives of children in Uganda. The announcement was made on Thursday during the National Thanksgiving Day for Children at the Kampala Serena Hotel.

Gender Minister Syda Bbumba, who made the announcement, did not, however, elaborate on what this intervention would entail. She promised details at a later date.

The Chief Guest at the function, Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Sekandi, applauded the initiative and emphasised the importance of the nation investing in its children.

He affirmed government's commitment to children' rights as enshrined in the Constitution. "Children are the umbilical cord between the past, the present and the future. The surest way of a sure future is investing in our children. It is economically prudent to do so," Mr Sekandi said.

Organised by the Nambi Children's Initiative in conjunction with Watoto Child Care Ministries and the Ministry of Gender, among other partners, the Thanksgiving Day was aimed at celebrating the children of Uganda and further reflecting on the plight of millions others are forced to live in deplorable condition countrywide. The function was also meant to take stock of what has been done to ensure children enjoy their childhood.

Orphans, street kids

Research shows 54 per cent of Uganda's population is below the age of 30 years. More than half of the children of Uganda live below standard conditions.

More than 14 per cent of Uganda's children have been orphaned by HIV/Aids, with another 38 per cent stunted in growth due to malnutrition and poor living conditions.

Recent records indicate that the over three million children in Uganda live below the poverty line and are thus forced into child labour. At least 10,000 children live on the streets of Uganda.

Child headed homes are also a major problem in the rural areas, especially in areas affected by war that left many children orphaned.

Source: The Monitor (Kampala, Uganda)

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