Caption Of the featured Photo:Mr Joseph Zhang, the country manager of China Construction Communication Company (centre) receives a plaque in appreciation from children at Entebbe SOS Children’s Village yesterdayAuthorities at SOS Children Village Entebbe yesterday said they were looking for parents or guardians of 75 children and 95 youths.Courtesy Photos:
While receiving a consignment of food donations from the China Construction Communication Company yesterday, Ms Rosette Acheng, the programme director of the village, said since the 2020 lockdown, they have been struggling to ensure that more vulnerable children do not end up in their facilities due to the increasing numbers.
“The number of children abandoned during the lockdowns increased due to mental health challenges of parents. Parents are failing to feed their children. Next week we are receiving nine from Mayuge and Jinja districts. The community cases are many, others are stage managed,” she said.
Ms Acheng said they are also supporting more than 1,000 families in Entebbe to ensure that parents do not abandon their children.
She said they have more than 600 cases referred to their four centres in Gulu, Kakiri, Fort Portal, and Entebbe.
Ms Acheng added that their main donors pulled out following the outbreak of the Covid pandemic.
Ms Acheng said they were preparing to reintegrate 10 of the children with their families but suspended the activity to next year due to Covid.
Asked how they are coping, Mr Peter Kiigi, the officer-in-charge of resource mobilisation and sponsorships, said they are now relying on local donors, individuals and corporate donations and sponsorships for funding.
The Chinese company donated food items worth Shs10m.
Mr Joseph Zhang, the firm’s country manager, said the assistance is part of their corporate social responsibility to the orphanage since 2016.
Mr Frank Mugabi, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Labour, Gender and Social Development, said government policy is that all children are raised by their parents.
He said that is why government created economic empowerment programmes such as the Youth Livelihood, Uganda Women’s Entrepreneurship Fund, Operation Wealth Creation, Emyooga.
Asked what the law says about abandoned children, Mr Fred Enanga, the police spokesperson, said the Ministry of Gender has shelter homes that rehabilitate and reintegrate them with their families.