Despite universal primary and secondary education in Uganda, the demand for free education outweighs the availability of places at government schools. 52% of the population is under 15 years old and It is common for classes to be over packed with inadequate facilities and unmotivated students and teachers. The number of children excelling has dropped significantly due to a lack of funds for those hoping to achieve a higher quality education at private schools. Our interventions address the problem of talented students accessing quality higher education institutions.
BRAC in Uganda in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation is implementing a national level secondary scholarship programme targeting academically talented yet economically marginalised young Ugandans. Over a period of eight years, we will enable 5,000 students to complete secondary school and transition into higher education. We will also help them acquire leadership qualities, work skills, social and emotional competencies, and experience in community service. We target both O-Level scholars who enter Senior One (S1) and receive support for six years and the A-Level scholars who will enter at Senior Five (S5) and receive support for two years. 60% of the scholars are girls.
Additionally, we are providing early childhood development services through the BRAC Play Lab project. We teach children using child friendly pedagogy of learning through play, and incorporating Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) with emphasis on Play, Make, Share and Think. The Play Lab Project establishes educational initiatives for children aged 3 to 5, their parents, and caregivers, focusing on whole child development which incorporates elements of SEL. The goal is to ensure physical, cognitive, language-communication and social-emotional development of children through play in a joyful, creative and child friendly environment.
|Education||MasterCard Scholars Program||MasterCard Foundation||November 2012||8 years|
|The Play Lab Project||The Lego Foundation||October 2015||3 years|
Microfinance is the heart of BRAC's integrated approach to alleviating poverty and helping Ugandan women in poverty realise their potential. They gather weekly in villages, towns and city neighbourhoods to make repayments on their loans and apply for new ones.
We lend to women who are not served by other microfinance institutions. Borrowers typically operate businesses that provide products or services to their local communities. We use the microfinance groups as a social platform to deliver scaled up services in health, education, business development and livelihood support, all critical components needed to ensure that people are given the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty.
We also offer small enterprise loans to entrepreneurs seeking to expand their businesses. The loans enable owners to create new employment opportunities and provide new services. Typically loans are given for trading, agriculture, poultry and livestock, fruit production and other types of small enterprises.
One of Uganda’s prominent concerns is the inequalities in the burden of disease and access to health care facilities. This has become a growing concern for women, especially those living within rural areas, with 51% of the population lacking contact with public healthcare facilities. 70% of Ugandan doctors and 40% of nurses are based solely in urban areas serving only 12% of the Ugandan population. Barriers to access have arisen for a multitude of reasons including the distance to service points, perceived quality of care and the availability of drugs.
Beginning in 2008, BRAC's community health programme was established in Uganda to improve the health status of the population in its intervention areas, with a special focus on pregnant women and children under five. This involves community-based health interventions that focus on preventive, basic curative and health promotional components.
The three main objectives of the health programme are,
At the community level, health promoters work to prevent malaria and provide pregnancy-related care (antenatal care and postnatal care), basic curative care, family planning, immunisation, health and nutrition education (including safe water, sanitation, personal hygiene, nutrition, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and acute respiratory infections). The promoters are all women and selected from their communities and they generate income through the provision of these health services.
|Health||BRAC Living Goods||CIFF, Elma Philanthropies, UBS, Fund foundation and Living Goods||Jnauary 2015||4 years|
|Reading glasses for improved LIvelihood||Vision Spring Incorporated INC||July 2017||2 years|
With a growing population of 41.5 million people, nearly 60% of Uganda’s population are adolescents aged below twenty. This young generation faces multiple challenges including health and economic ones associated with early pregnancy, unemployment, and other factors. A large number of them are unable to generate enough income to support themselves. BRAC in Uganda has established the empowerment and livelihood for adolescents (ELA) programme to address this problem.
Our ELA programme is the largest youth empowerment platform in Uganda. We target adolescent girls between the ages of 13 and 21, especially those who are out of school. The primary goal of the programme is to assist the girls to achieve greater economic and social empowerment and become agents of change in their families and communities. We have recently started to work with boys, particularly through vocational training, to prepare them to secure, as well as create, jobs.
We provide safe spaces, called 'adolescents clubs', where they are able to exercise their freedom to express themselves, interact with peers and mentors, and learn about critical social issues including sexual and reproductive health, early marriage, gender-based violence and drug abuse. The clubs serve as centres for various training, with curriculums based on extensive labour market survey and local demands. Examples of trainings include rearing livestock, tailoring and embroidery, salon activities and hotel management.
The girls are educated on financial literacy, which provide them with a better understanding of both personal finances and the financial aspects of small businesses. Savings and credit facilities are provided to orient them towards financial empowerment from an early age. We hold regular meetings with parents, local leaders and the community at large to raise awareness and build support for adolescent girls.
|Empowerment and Livelihood for Adolescents||Better Life for Girls/ Accelerating Action to End Child Marriage||UNFPA||July 2016||5 years|
|Reducing Sexual Exploitation of Adolescents and Children through economic empowerment||OAK Foundation||January 2015||4 years|
|Strengthening Children’s opportunities through empowerment and protection||Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development, World Bank||August 2017||1 year|
|Emergence Child Protection Response||World Bank||May 2016||1 year|
The agriculture sector is dominant in Uganda’s economy. Not only is the country able to produce a wide variety of foods, but it does so in large quantities. The agricultural sector also employs 82% of Uganda’s workforce although it consists largely of subsistence smallholder farmers. Therefore in order for poverty reduction, especially among the rural poor, there is a need for their productivity to increase through trainings, a solution provided by BRAC.
BRAC started the agriculture programme in Uganda to improve the livelihood and food security of people in rural areas by increasing their productivity. This involved changing subsistence agriculture to more commercial farming as these practices are expected to generate greater income, create more jobs in the rural areas and ensure better food security. Our activities included training and providing access to information on crop production, providing credit services through our microfinance programme, and supplying high quality inputs (disease resistant seeds, fertilisers and pesticides) at an affordable cost.
At the community level, the agricultural services are delivered through self-employed entrepreneurs called community agriculture promoters, who serve as outreach agents. These entrepreneurs are typically female farmers who are selected from our microfinance clients. This approach is a synergy between the microfinance platform and agriculture services, which is an outcome of the multifaceted benefits of microfinance.
We started poultry and livestock interventions to increase the productivity of poultry and livestock by reducing mortality and improving rearing practices and the genetic potential of poultry and livestock. We improve the income of farmers by offering a package of support which includes training, supply of inputs, technical assistance and extension services. We train and support entrepreneurs (community livestock promoters and artificial insemination promoters) who provide free information and at the same time ensure vaccination services, artificial insemination services for a nominal charge, and make essential inputs accessible and available for livestock farmers within the community.
|Agriculture and Livestock||Innovative Integrated Approach to Enhance Smallholder Family Nutrition||Japan Social Development Fund||June 2014||3 years|