When Watoto started over 20 years ago, there was an overwhelming need to intervene in the orphan crisis as a result of HIV/AIDS. With the introduction of ARVs (Antiretroviral drugs), things are changing... the need is changing. Africa’s greatest challenge now is the treatment of her women.
Through Living Hope, Watoto comes alongside some of Uganda's most vulnerable women to embrace and empower them, so that they can begin to engage their children and their community. As a result, not only do these women benefit, but their children also benefit – they are nurtured, educated and empowered to reach their full potential.
In 2016, Watoto is beginning to introduce the Neighbourhood, an initiative to meet the women right where they live. Their key needs include housing, medical support, employment, and education for their children. In fact, the greatest desire these women shared was that their children would receive an education, an opportunity many of them never had. So, the first phase in the Neighbourhood initiative is the education of their children.
In early 2016, we identified 112 children of our Living Hope women, who have been admitted to our schools in the Watoto villages during the school term. They return home to their mothers in the community every holiday. The women whose children are part of this first phase are overjoyed at the level of education their children will now receive, and they are excited to see the transformation this will have on their children, their families and their communities.
And this is just the beginning. Watoto is committed to partnering with these women to find sustainable solutions for their key needs, which will be implemented progressively over the next few years.
To sponsor a Neighbourhood child or any other Watoto child, please click here.