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The Need
More than seven million people in Uganda live in chronic poverty. Armed fighting among hostile ethnic groups has placed additional stress on families, as tens of thousands of civilians have been killed or kidnapped and over one million people displaced from their homes.

Although Uganda has the second highest birth rate in the world, many children born in this troubled nation either die young or lose their parents early.  In 2009, UNICEF estimated that Uganda has about 2.7 million orphans – having lost one or both parents – from all causes. The burden of care for these children often falls on grandparents.  Other children live in makeshift shelters, with an older child acting as head of household. More and more, infants are brought into care by dying parents or relatives who are unable to provide for them.

Our Work
In 2001, Holt began working with indigenous NGO Action for Children (AFC) to help serve vulnerable families and children in Uganda, particularly those affected by HIV/AIDs.  The partnership immediately expanded AFC’s ability to reach, counsel and assist children.  With the primary goal to keep children within their extended family – and off the streets or out of institutions – Holt and AFC began developing services that enabled heads of household to support their children. 

Family preservation continues to be the focus of AFC. Together, Holt, AFC and other donors have developed services that bring real stability into children’s lives. AFC regularly conducts home visits to check for adequate housing, health, food stocks and other significant indicators of a family’s wellbeing as they progress toward “atenge” – to stand on one’s own feet.  Once they reach atenge, a family graduates from the family preservation program and becomes a model for remaining families.

For children whose families are unable to support them, the Queen Esther Palace near Kampala provides a temporary care solution.  Often, malnourished children admitted in order to regain health will later reunite with their parents, once AFC has helped the family achieve stability. Others join families through adoption. With Holt support, AFC promotes basic education as well – maintaining early childhood development centers for 3 to 5-year-olds as well as providing fees and scholastic materials for school-age children.

Help Support Children and Families in Uganda!

Sponsor a child!
For $30/month, you can help support a child in Uganda. Depending on the child’s needs, your sponsorship dollars can go toward everything from nutritious food and warm clothing to safe shelter and attentive, nurturing care.

Give from the Gifts of Hope catalog!
Whether for Christmas or another occasion, giving from Holt's gift catalog is a wonderful way to honor a loved one. Donkeys help transport grains, vegetables and other crops to market, easing the burden on many subsistence-farming families in Ethiopia and Uganda. Or help provide basic healthcare, life-saving food or a needed medical procedure for a vulnerable child.

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Holt International is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. All donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. EIN: 23-7257390.