Children in rural areas rarely receive quality education they need, forcing many of them to dropout or leave schools without vital basic skills.
Outside the classrooms, children face huge inequalities including poverty, discrimination based on gender and cultural attitudes that hinder them from exploiting their full potential.
Rural children often struggle to have access to schools. When they do, classrooms can often be inappropriate for learning, dilapidated leaving children without appropriate place to learn and play from.
Without access to age-appropriate textbooks, materials and games, children not only struggle in schools but they grow without learning. Limited access to clean water and hygienic toilets also put children and teachers at risk of dangerous but preventable diseases.
We support education for rural children because we know,it has the power to transform a child’s life, give them a more prosperous and healthy future, while helping their communities to overcome poverty and inequality. Keeping a child in the learning center for a year costs only 130 United States dollars
Unemployment is the greatest challenge faced by out of school youths in the region. Many of the youths lack skills required by potential employers thus, the need for a youths’ skilling program. Our plan is to establish a Youth Skilling Center where youths will be facilitated to learn vocational skills and encouraged to establish entrepreneurial ventures for self-reliance. Progress towards realizing this dream has been boosted by receipt of vocational training tools from a UK based Tools With A Mission.
HEALTH, WATER AND SANITATION
The overall goal of our Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) program is to increase the development and utilization of sanitation and hygiene facilities thus contributing towards the reduction of morbidity and mortality rates due to sanitation related diseases among the people in Teso. Our focus is not only on behavior change but also on the construction and use of sanitation and hygiene facilities. The key result areas include stopping open defecation, increased access to clean water, increased utilization of descent toilets and the reduction of morbidity and mortality rates due to sanitation related diseases.
Teso Women Development Enterprise also implements health interventions which are focused on improving public health. Our behavioral change interventions are mainly for disease prevention, and family planning, reproductive health, childcare and nutrition.
Many families in rural areas do not have enough income to meet their basic needs, and yet agricultural production which is the mainstay and main source of income for rural households has plummeted. This notwithstanding, many small-scale farmers struggle without knowledge, skills the right seeds, equipment or training that they require to make them more productive and earn more income. As a result, they are unable to produce enough food for their families, pay healthcare bills or afford their children’s education..
We help households to increase their productivity, earn secure livelihoods, access basic needs and social services through our training programs. Using our unique education approaches of training trainers; farmer-to-farmer mentorship and value addition demonstration, small holder farmers gain knowledge and skills to increase their production and earn more incomes for their households. We also train small scale farmers on sustainable agricultural practices to improve food production, nutrition and food security, farming as a business,while testing and refining our training approaches. The cost of training a small-scale farmer is as low as 15 United States dollars!
Teso Women Development Enterprise is implementing environmental conservation education programs, including environmental protection, management of natural resources and protection of biodiversity. We have distributed mango and orange seedlings as a double-edged strategy of improving tree cover and increasing incomes of the rural households. We are spearheading tree planting in the region. The cost of planting a tree is as low as 1.5 United States dollars!
In addition to increasing tree cover, we promote biodiversity conservation by enhancing survival prospects of endangered plant, bird and fish species in the region. Through our multiplication sites, we have increased the populations of endangered vitellaria paradoxa, (shea), Tamarindus indica, and Banyana tree species. Our strategic focus in the next ten years will be focused on establishing more multiplication sites and sanctuaries for critically endangered tree, fish, plant and animal species in the region.
EMPOWERMENT AND GENDER EQUALITY
Our efforts are directed towards achieving gender equality and empowerment of women and other vulnerable groups. Women are vital in transforming livelihoods of their families and attainment of environmental and social changes required for sustainable development.
Empowering women is important not only for the well-being of individuals, families and rural communities, but also for overall economic productivity, given women’s dominance in agricultural production. Our women’s empowerment program aims at increasing women’s access to, and control of productive assets and participation in making decisions on matters that affect their lives and livelihoods.
Many women and girls in Teso who experience physical and sexual violence do not have access to legal and other services, which are essential for post violence support.
Such services as health care for their injuries, post-rape care and counselling, and justice should be made available to victims of domestic violence and rape. Through our network of volunteers, we are sensitizing rural communities on the consequences of domestic violence, violence against women, and we are improving the response to violence against women and girls by making pro bono legal services readily available to victims of violence against women.