Learning, Child Development & Social Protection

Within the Learning, Child Development & Social Protection thematic area, VAD is implementing the following interventions;

  • Functional adult literacy
  • Child and Youth Development program
  • Foster Economic Empowerment of the Youth through Mobilization of Youth for Self-employment.
  • School Enhancement Program

 Functional Adult Literacy program

According to an IFAD study under the Gender Strengthening Programme for Eastern and Southern Africa, done in 2000, illiteracy in Uganda is 55.1% among women, compared with 36.5% among men[1]. Usually, in rural areas the gap is larger and literacy rates are lower. Functional adult literacy programmes in Uganda involve other useful learning besides reading, writing and numeracy skills. Functional literacy may indeed be a powerful tool for empowering poor rural women, particularly if they can apply their new learning and skills. Studies have been carried out that show that linking functional literacy training to credit helps enhance women’s control over income. Furthermore, Basic numeracy is particularly useful for women in managing their agricultural and off-farm enterprises, more so when credit and savings are involved.  Experience also shows that men’s illiteracy can restrict women’s chances of literacy. Given the fact that VAD targets both men and women to liberate them from the vicious cycle of poverty, this is an appropriate intervention to complement other interventions.

Child and Youth Development program

 A Child Holistic integrated learning and development programme was implemented in Wakiso district in the previous strategic plan and shall also be extended to Amuria district. It targets families with children that are between 6-12 years of age. The families are supported with items such as: improved seeds and high yielding animals such as: goats, cows and pigs. The essence of this intervention is to enable the beneficiary households gain access to increased incomes so that they enjoy better livelihoods that translate into better care for the marginalized children. The demand for this intervention is insatiable as was found out by the evaluation team. VAD therefore needs to implement programs that will consolidate gains registered in the past five years.

Foster Economic Empowerment of the Youth through Mobilization of Youth for Self-employment.

VAD is to scale up its youth empowerment programme initiated during the implementation of the strategic plan 2013 – 18. This scale up is expected to be designed and programmed to establish relevant linkages to the Government Youth Enterprise Scheme for funding and value addition, to achieve synergy. The key interventions planned for implementation with respect to this effort include the following;

  • Carrying out youth identification and needs assessment for enterprise development and management skills training. This activity shall yield a listing of youths eligible for enterprise development and management training.
  • Carrying out youth training programs to equip youths with skills to undertake and manage small enterprise projects and write project proposals that will enable them access loans from VAD. Enterprise Groups of youths who have received training in enterprise management will be a key output from this intervention.
  • Mobilizing youths to form Youth enterprise groups and provide them with micro-credit to implement small agro-enterprises and related rural supply enterprises. Formation of functional youth enterprise groups that are eligible to access and use micro-credit will be a key output from this intervention.

School Enhancement Program

 Government of Uganda is implementing the Universal Primary Education (UPE) and Universal Post Primary Education and Training (UPPET). Previous studies show that although 94% of Ugandan children enroll in primary schools, as few as 32% complete the final class P7. Ordinarily, UPE and UPPET interventions are good and would encourage improved and increased enrollment and retention although this is not the case. While children enroll in schools, they drop out for various reasons that include among others the following:

  • Financial constraints pose serious challenges for poor families and impair their ability to provide their children with scholastic materials such as: uniforms, pens, pencils and exercise books.
  • Failure to provide children with food.
  • Early marriages and/or pregnancies.
  • Provision of labour in family gardens during peak planting seasons and harvesting seasons.
  • Engaging in petty trade.
  • Lack of effective gender friendly sanitation facilities

In this intervention, VAD will address the above listed challenges though its program linkage of sustainable agriculture where the selected schools will be encouraged and facilitated to grow their own food and consume it. Within this program, VAD will provide schools with improved seed planting materials and trains pupils and teachers in best agronomic practices. It is expected that the schools will harvest this food and consume it as way of promoting good practice for skill transfer to families for livelihood support. In addition, the schools that will grow more food surpluses will be supported to construct food granaries for safe storage of their food.

[1] FAO, 2000 “IFAD’s Gender Strengthening Program Foe East and southern Africa-Uganda Diagnostic Study”