GULU, Uganda–MTN Uganda Foundation has donated food stuff to SOS Children’s Villages in Gulu as part of a partnership that will see UGX 330 Million Uganda Shillings injected in the Retention for Completion of the project.
While handing over the donation, Valery Okecho stated that MTN Foundation was interested in supporting education related causes especially with school going children in order to secure tomorrow’s future.
“If you recall, our support to SOS Children’s Villages was sparked off by a hand written letter to us from one of the children, asking MTN Uganda for our support. We have walked with SOS Children’s Village in supporting them with yearly supply of food and scholastic materials. At MTN, we are cognizant of the right of children to a well-balanced education”. He explained
He said: “We prefer to supply actual needs instead of cash because we believe it is more impactful and more immediate. We are happy to be here and will continue lending our support for the success of Uganda’s future which is held in the hands of these young children.”
On her part, the SOS Programme Director for SOS Villages in Gulu Ms. Beatrice Achan Acaye applauded MTN Uganda for their continued support:
“We are grateful to MTN Uganda who has made it possible to put a smile on our children's faces. We are thankful to you for contributing to our efforts to educate the children in our care,” Acaye said.
She said that there are a lot of disadvantaged children who do not have parental care and other basics like educational needs. Acaye said SOS Children's Villages is committed to ensure that no child should end up alone by providing a loving home for children at risk. This is why our motto is ‘A Loving Home For Every Child’”, she continued.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) have estimated that 68% of children in Uganda who enroll in primary school are likely to drop out before finishing the prescribed seven years.
The Retention for Completion project was developed by SOS Children’s Villages, an international child care organization in Uganda. Its aim is to increase attendance and retention of over 3,700 school children (1800 boys and 1900 girls) in 20 community primary schools where SOS Children’s Villages operate in Gulu, Kabarole, Entebbe and Wakiso districts.
SOS Children’s Villages began its work in Gulu in 2002 with the aim of alleviating hardship and maintaining family stability so that children will be safe and protected and grow up in a loving home. The SOS Social Centre in Gulu ensures that children have access to essential health and nutritional services, as well as education.
They also assist parents by providing guidance on income-generating skills and parenting practices, as well as counselling and psychological support where needed. In cooperation with local organisations, they also work towards strengthening the support systems for vulnerable families within the community.
Currently, SOS Children’s Villages Gulu provides a loving home for up to 167 children. In each family, the children live with their brothers and sisters, affectionately cared for by their SOS mother.