Many children in Mulanda sub-county are orphaned and vulnerable due to HIV and poverty. The orphan population on the area is quite significant. In 2006 Sikiliza Leo commissioned a baseline survey that was conducted in the project area. The key findings of the study were as follows:
- There are many children in Mulanda who are living in dire poverty
- Orphans often live with their extended families. These families do not have the means or ability to cater for these children as their economic situation is bad and they can’t even take care of themselves
- Destitute children who have been neglected or abandoned are often abused and some of them have been engaged in exploitative labour.
- Priority needs of these orphans are education and scholastic materials, food, shelter, psychosocial and medical care.
Through generous donations routed via the King Baudouin Foundation, and the technical oversight from the Sikiliza Leo Working Group, the NGO has been providing care and support for 120 orphans and vulnerable children and has now trained a team of 10 child monitors who are members of the community. The role of the child monitors is to monitor the school attendance, performance and general well-being of the children (including access to health services) through follow-up by the child monitors in their homes/households. The Child Monitors play a key role in the Family Support Initiative. They are the eyes, ears and speaking mouths of this initiative. The Family Support Initiative has collateral advantages for all the children in the nursery schools, as they all benefit from the extra care.