Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa, bordered by Kenya, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Tanzania. Called the "Pearl of Africa" by Churchill, Uganda borders Lake Victoria, the origin of the Nile River. There are over 35 million people living in Uganda, with nearly 2 million in the capital, Kampala. With a combination of disease, poor access to health care, and frequent wars, the median age is only 15 years. The official language is English, though Luganda is the most commonly spoken local language, and there are many others.
Uganda is one of the poorest countries in the world, with 37.7% of the population living on less than $1.25 per day. The GDP is $300per capita, only half of the Sub-Saharan average ($600). Women are generally less independent and poorer, yet work longer hours than men. "Women of Uganda... you are at the center of production but at the periphery of benefit.” Solo-parenting is also a problem, with children in these circumstances even further disadvantaged. For this reason, the Kids First primary obligation is to children, and secondarily to their mothers. We hope to expand to work with fathers and families to build stronger and more supportive communities where children can thrive.
Success of a childis clearly linked with education, hence the importance we place on child sponsorship. The slow improvement in incomes in Uganda over the past few decades is related to diversification of employment: people are learning to branch out to trades other than agriculture, to get creative in order to survive, and thrive. By supporting our women in their craft making, and helping others to set up small businesses with micro financing, we hope to support Ugandan ingenuity and income development.