Self starters’ (S*) initiative
This is an initiative geared towards nurturing a saving cultureamong OVC. OVC are given animals such as goats and pigs, banana suckersand trees to turn into money. These items are distributed as a mechanism to empower and ready OVC to take on meeting their own education when they enroll for university or vocational education. Prior to receiving these assets, OVC undergo a number of trainings in saving, entrepreneurship and record keeping. The saving is made a voluntary effort and OVC are supported to open up children’s bank accounts in child friendly commercial banks where they save as little as Ugx 10,000 in at least 3 months.
School feeding Program
“Teachers are hungry and teaching hungry children”, was a remark made by school teachers from PEFO partner schools during one of our project review workshop. There is no food in schools, and if it exists its porridge, which may not be adequate for everybody. Children and teachers report not concentrating at school because of hunger, in the afternoon, the number of children that return to class or demonstrate interest in learning gradually diminishes. Teachers too don’t return to teach. This situation which directly linked to the poor implementation of the UPE program in schools made retention of what is learned in class by children extremely difficult. The younger children lost interest in coming to school. Our response to this has been in working with partner government aided schools in rural communities of Jinja and Lira districts to set up school gardens. We provide seeds (maize/corn, beans and vegetables) to schools and farming equipments. PEFO education department makes direct maize flour contribution to these schools too to supplement on poor harvests resulting from unfavorable climate effects.
In Lira district, the department has worked with OVC caregivers to open community land where the caregivers farm maize and beans as contribution to the school mid-day meals. So far, the caregivers’ groups have opened up 3 different pieces of land not less than 3 acres to complement feeding programs in schools attended by their children.
Let the children play
This is a special project implemented in Jinja in 9 partner schools. Play materials including sports and MDD equipments are purchased and distributed to primary schools to promote play activities among children. We also encourage teachers to take part in them as a way of strengthening their relationship with the children.
OVC holiday program
The OVC holiday program is built around counseling, mentorship and career guidance services for OVC. We try to make life meaningful for OVC, we remind them of a great possibility of them attaining a much brighter future if they worked hard. For purposes of emphasis, we re-call graduate OVC who went through the same program yet excelled past university education and other influential persons known to and admired by our OVC. These events are often organized inform of workshops but the afternoon sessions are made special one-one counseling; where OVC seek to speak with s a staff or visiting individuals they feel comfortable with.
PEFO Alumni Association
The organization realized a gap that was increasingly developing between the outgoing students more especially graduates and the organization as their hunt for jobs grows bitter. Because of this, there developed a missing link between the organization and those graduated, leaving no room for the organization to make follow-up on its beneficiaries, therefore the director summoned a meeting to remind the orphans about the organization’s strategic direction (mission and vision) and also get acquainted with each other. In a bid to scaffold each other as orphans, all the beneficiaries that were present during the first meeting agreed to the need for an alumni association through which their views, careers, and help to the future beneficiaries will be disseminated. The need to work as a team and bridge the gap between the beneficiaries and the association propelled the notion of the association. The realization of the benefits of team work even after academics made members of the association propose new meaning of team work upon which its powers and origin will be looted.