Uganda is a small, landlocked country located on the equator in East Africa. Its beautiful and diverse landscapes make Uganda known as “The Pearl of Africa.”
Facts about Uganda:
Poverty is a major issue that seems to be a common factor in many other obstacles Ugandans face. “Between 2005 and 2009, for every three Ugandans who were lifted out of poverty, two fell back.” (Uganda) Because of these statistics, it is important for us at WE International to respond to poverty through a relational approach which empowers Ugandans through sustainable means.
The result of poverty in Uganda can look like children being forced into extreme child labor situations, deprived of access to education since their help is needed at home to help provide for the family. Women, for various reasons, can be forced or defrauded into prostitution, finding it next to impossible to leave the lifestyle once trapped in it due to corruption, fear, and their lack of power.
While Uganda has experienced major poverty, the country has been taking strides to eliminate absolute poverty. According to the World Bank’s 2016 Poverty Assessment, “Uganda has reduced monetary poverty at a very rapid rate. The proportion of the Ugandan population living below the national poverty line declined from 31.1% in 2006 to 19.7% in 2013. Similarly, the country was one of the fastest in Sub-Saharan Africa to reduce the share of its population living on $1.90 PPP per day or less, from 53.2% in 2006 to 34.6% in 2013. Nonetheless, the country is lagging behind in several important non-monetary areas, notably improved sanitation, access to electricity, education (completion and progression), and child malnutrition.” (Uganda)
Many families in areas of Uganda where WE International works are unable to provide for their basic daily needs and are trapped in the cycle of poverty. “Despite a remarkable reduction in monetary poverty, the country still faces widespread deprivation in several non-monetary dimensions of poverty, mainly improved sanitation, access to electricity, education (completion and progression), and child malnutrition. This warrants a continued focus on improving the access and quality of these basic services.” (Uganda)
Although the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and Ugandan government reached a ceasefire in 2006, the conflict and violence has left a mark on Uganda’s northern districts. More than 30,000 children were abducted by the LRA to train as soldiers, and about 1.8 million people fled their homes to escape the violence.
High unemployment rates and food insecurity face most Ugandans, especially in rural areas. About 19.7 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. Many communities face chronic hunger, and the World Food Program estimates that over 30 percent of children are stunted from malnutrition.
Health concerns also threaten Ugandans. Malaria, respiratory infections, and diarrhea are primary causes of death among children. More than 1,486,600 people are living with HIV and AIDS and more than 1.2 million children have lost one or both parents to this disease.
WE International – Uganda provides ways for people to respond to poverty and injustice by facilitating economic development through microfinance and entrepreneur training, education projects, and sustainable business development services. WEI-U also responds to human rights by child labor advocacy initiatives, and anti-trafficking programs
What WE are doing & how together WE can make a difference
WE International – Uganda, takes a holistic approach to reversing the cycle of poverty in Uganda. Building relationships through economic and community development projects, WE are making a difference. WE give women opportunity apart from prostitution, WE sponsor children’s educations, We empower families through microfinance and train entrepreneurs.
Through WEI business development services, WEI has given out hundreds of microloans, with a 100% pay back rate by its clients. We take time getting to know our loan clients and truly invest in them. Success breeds success; if one person succeeds, families succeed, and communities succeed!
Uganda Poverty Assessment 2016: Fact Sheet. (2016, September 20). Retrieved from http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/uganda/brief/uganda-poverty-assessment-2016-fact-sheet