It began with war: Uganda is home to over 2.5 million orphans and 48.1% of the population is under the age of 15. The war in Northern Uganda from 1996-2006 is a major part of this crisis. At one point, 1.7 million people were living in IDP camps (internally displaced people camps). Thousands of children were abducted, and millions of people were killed.
When the LRA finally moved out of Uganda in 2006, the northern part of Uganda was left in shambles. Disease, poverty, displaced families and a crippled economy were just some of the major problems.
The battle we fight today: Today, the war against the LRA is no longer in Uganda, but the battle against AIDS, diseases like malaria, typhoid and tuberculosis, abject poverty and lack of education continues. Many families in Northern Uganda survive on subsistence farming and struggle to make it from day to day. Children are not able to go to school because they are needed to work in the fields and there is no money to spare for their school fees. In such harsh conditions, many children are left orphaned and child-headed households are very common.
Rescue. Rehabilitate. Educate: At Otino Waa, our mission is to change this. First, we address immediate, physical needs by providing medical and dental treatment, access to clean water, and consistent, nutritious food. We provide safe housing for the children and a loving family environment. Next, we provide them with the highest quality education in the region at Otino Waa Primary and Secondary schools. For children who qualify and are accepted into higher education programs, we offer scholarships. And for the students who may not have been accepted into college or a university, we provide vocational training programs to give them tangible skills and a way to support themselves and spur on the economy.
Commmunity Development: With the addition of Community Based Care in 2018, we expanded our reach and have partnered with local churches and communities to help more vulnerable children and households than ever before. Children who are in our Community Based Care programs may have one parent alive or a capable relative to care for them. We step in to help aid with medical care, food assistance and education to alleviate some of the struggle for basic needs and help elevate the family out of survival mode.
Join the Story: Both Otino Waa Children’s Village and Otino Waa Community Based Care rely on child sponsorship - it is the lifeblood of our organization. Sponsorship starts at $39/month. To learn more or to become an orphan sponsor, visit our Sponsor a Child page and change a life.