Charity in Uganda: The Kitega Community Centre

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Welcome to the Kitega Community Centre!

I decided to write this Hub as a result of the volunteer work I am doing for them through the Online UN Volunteer Service.

I have a big heart for small organizations that work very hard to do what they can to improve the lives of others with the little resources they have. Despite the odds, they continue to make a difference and Kitega is certainly one such organization.

They rely heavily on financial support from donors and the hard work of their volunteers both on the ground in Uganda and online from around the world. Volunteers such as myself.

They are not large enough to have a Canadian or US office so all donations outside of Uganda are not tax deductible. This makes it difficult to attract much needed funding for many of their programs. They are a charitable organization, but simply lack the clout and administration that other large-scale organizations possess. Despite this huge disadvantage, they continue to work hard to provide valuable services and programs to its community members.

It is my hope that this Hub will generate awareness of the wonderful work they do, support for their programs through even the smallest of donations and volunteer support in Uganda or online to help them achieve the success I truly believe they deserve.

Thank you, and please read on!

Their website is http://www.kitegacc.org

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The Kitega Community Website
The Kitega Community Website | Source

What is the Kitega Community Centre?

The Kitega Community Centre envisions a future in which all community members have access to quality education, affordable health care, and secure, sustainable employment.

Kitega Community Centre is about 40km from Kampala, the capital of Uganda. It is located in Kitega village, Kawolo Sub-county, Mukono District. The neighboring town is Lugazi.


THEIR MISSION STATEMENT

Kitega Community Centre aims at attaining a good standard of living for the disabled children and the people in the area surrounding the project base. We seek to empower those who have been marginalized and under-served, providing them with the knowledge, strategic information, skills, resources and capital necessary to become economically independent and self-sustaining. Our main programs focus on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, vocational training, adult education, and micro-enterprises. Our advocacy programs focus on the special strengths as well as needs of children with disabilities, and we seek to end prejudice and discrimination against people with disabilities.

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What They Do

The Kitega Community Centre offers many programs designated to benefit their community. They are:

  1. Empowering Disabled Children - Initiatives include: Physical Therapy, Academic and Extracurricular Programs, Vocational Education, Basic Needs Support, Home Visits, and Home Visits.

  2. Orphans and Vulnerable Children - Initiatives include: Child Sponsorship, A Scholarship Fund, Global Dignity, Project Porridge, Vocational Training, Sports and Games.

  3. Economic Development - Initiatives include: Village Community Banking (VICOBA)

  4. Community Health - Initiatives include: Mosquito Net Distribution and Malaria Awareness, Combating Jigger Infections, HIV/AIDS Awareness and Testing, Dental Care, Eye Care, Community Health Centre and Community Health Insurance.

  5. Community Capacity Building - The Better Community Competition

Everyone can benefit from Kitega Community Centre's programs
Everyone can benefit from Kitega Community Centre's programs | Source
An international volunteer with one of the children
An international volunteer with one of the children | Source

Empowering Disabled Children

Kitega Community Centre was founded to end discrimination and prejudice against disabled children and to give the children the tools and self-confidence to live dignified and productive lives.

Today, the centre provide a wide variety of programs to foster the educational, social and emotional development of mentally handicapped children and children with development disabilities:

  • Physical Therapy: Kitega Centre has an occupational therapist, Mr. Kennedy Bamusubire, who works with the children to improve their physical development and motor skills.
  • Vocational Education: The Centre provides specific training for the children so that they are able to have the technical skills necessary to support themselves and their families once they are finished school. This has enabled many to lead independent, productive lives.
  • Basic Needs Support: The centre is able to provide financial support to help the families provide for the children's basic needs, including food, clothing, shelter and school fees. As a result of donations to the centre, they are able to cover some of the disabled children's medicine and health care costs.
  • Home Visits: Certain children require a home-based program so that they are able to participate in activities in their homes. Centre staff conducts home visits to conduct evaluations and to provide any required assistance.
  • Advocacy and Public Awareness: The centre works hard to help remove the stigma and discrimination associated with disabled children. The centre relies on outside support to enhance their vocational and skills programs so that even if disabled children are not able to complete a secondary education, they will be able to have the necessary skills to gain employment and be able to improve their standard of living.
  • Academic and Extracurricular Programs: Children participate in both academic and extracurricular classes such as arts, crafts, music and dance. Centre staff and international volunteers help the children to improve their reading and arithmetic skills; the extra support they receive at the centre enable them to succeed to mainstream classes with non-disabled children.

Kitega's Children's Programs

3 Year old HIV positive orphan (seated) whose parents both died with caregiver
3 Year old HIV positive orphan (seated) whose parents both died with caregiver | Source
Children benefiting from Project Porridge
Children benefiting from Project Porridge | Source
Painting project with the children
Painting project with the children | Source

Orphans and Vulnerable Children

Many of the orphans and vulnerable children served through the work of the Kitega Community Centre have lost parents and guardians to HIV and AIDS (as shown in the picture above). The centre works to help meet the children's most basic needs such as food and shelter, aid in their educational development and access to healthcare.

Programs that the centre provides include:

  • Child Sponsorship: By sponsoring a child through the centre for $180 USD a year ($15 a month) donors are able to help orphan children attend school by helping to pay for their uniforms, school fees and learning resources.

  • Scholarship Fund: Enables parents to help cover the costs of schooling for their children.

  • Global Dignity: Kitega proudly supports Global Dignity Day by organizing assemblies, workshops, workshops and performances to help remind the disadvantaged children that they deserve a life of dignity and respect.

  • Project Porridge: A program that gives the children a nourishing meal at school because many of the children are not able to eat breakfast or must travel long distances to attend school. This has enabled the children to perform better at school and is a very popular program with both the students and the teachers.

  • Vocational Training: A program that equips orphaned and disadvantaged children with specific skills that enable them to support themselves and be productive in the community.

  • Sports and Games: International volunteers are instrumental in helping to provide sports and games for the children to participate in to build sportsmanship and instill a sense of teamwork that benefits the children greatly.

How Project Porridge Changes Lives

Woman making bricks
Woman making bricks | Source
Women benefiting from VICOBA
Women benefiting from VICOBA | Source
VICOBA funded quarry business
VICOBA funded quarry business | Source

VICOBA and Economic Development

Central to Kitega's mission to reduce poverty and allow community members to provide for themselves and their families is the ability to generate income and create jobs. Village Community Banking (VICOBA) is a major program created to achieve these goals.

VICOBA is a community bank that was created when a group of village women pooled their savings to form a community bank. Thanks to the help Kitega received from donations from Kitega supporters, VICOBA built up enough reserve to enable the bank to make loans to support micro-enterprises.

What is Village Community Banking (VICOBA)?

VICOBA is a micro-finance program created by the Kitega Community Centre. Its purpose is to provide credit to low-income people who need capital to start their own business. The program brings together groups of 25 to 50 people, especially women, and allows them to combine their savings to create a community-based bank.

Members can take out loans in order to fund micro-enterprises and self-employment initiatives. VICOBA is a community based system that provides mutual support, encouragement, and empowers poorer members of the community to work together to create sustainable development. VICOBA gives people a chance to succeed where they wouldn't have been able to prior to this program.

Micro-credit & Micro-enterprises in Kitega, Uganda

Getting an eye exam from a volunteer doctor
Getting an eye exam from a volunteer doctor | Source
Mosquito nets for the community
Mosquito nets for the community | Source

Community Health Programs

Unfortunately, health concerns such as malnutrition continue to take the lives of several young children each year. Other serious illnesses, such as malaria and HIV/AIDS, continue to affect the health of many other community members.

The main reason that community members suffer from these health problems is a result of a lack of access to basic, affordable healthcare that many of us in the developed countries of the western world enjoy. The nearest public hospital is far away and is often crowded; many families also cannot afford the fees.

Therefore, Kitega Centre has made it a priority to implement short and long-term initiatives and programs to improve the health of everyone in the community.


Short-Term Initiatives:

  • Mosquito Net Distribution and Malaria Awareness -There has been mosquito net distribution as well as a re-treating of old mosquito nets along with educating community members how to prevent mosquito bites.

  • Combating Jigger Infections - Jiggers are a flea-like insect that are rampant in certain areas and it is common for homes to become infested. Jigger bites can cause painful sores, inflammation, legions and infections and can lead to more serious problems like gangrene, tetanus and loss of limbs. To fight jigger infections, the centre sprays insecticide in some of the affected areas to help reduce the occurrence of jigger infections.

  • HIV/AIDS Awareness and Testing - Every year the Kitega Centre commemorates International HIV/AIDS Day by partnering with staff members from the Kawolo hospital to provide testing, counseling and education. Previously, Kitega centre engaged online volunteers from the United Nations Online Volunteering program to create educational materials to be distributed during awareness week.

  • Dental Care - In 2011 Kitega centre partnered with Mulago Paramedical school to provide dental exams and dental hygiene education. With the help of international supporters, Kitega has also distributed toothpastes and toothbrushes to community members.

  • Eye Care - In 2012, international volunteers brought equipment to provide eye exams and to raise awareness about vision care; they also distributed eyeglasses to children and adults.

Long Term Health Initiative:

It is Kitega Centre's long term health initiative to build a healthcare centre right in the community that Kitega operates as well as having mobile health units and a community health insurance program. Most notably, online volunteers have researched successful health care co-op models and community health insurance schemes

The next major step is fundraising to ensure that a basic health room or mobile unit can be equipped to treat common problems.

$5 a Month Challenge

Volunteers learning a new skill
Volunteers learning a new skill | Source
A volunteer helping in the field
A volunteer helping in the field | Source
Volunteering to help with food preparation
Volunteering to help with food preparation | Source
Getting a new hairdo
Getting a new hairdo | Source

Volunteering for Kitega

Kitega Community Centre warmly accepts volunteers from around the world. The Centre relies heavily on volunteers to help it achieve its goals.

If you are interested in volunteering in person or online you can visit their website kitegacc.org and fill out their online application and email it to volunteer@kitegacc.org.

Volunteer Opportunities at the Centre in Uganda include:

1) Volunteering in nearby schools
2) Teaching Music and Dance
3) Home Visits
4) Home-Based Care
5) Water projects and other building construction projects*
6) HIV/AIDS Awareness
7) Environmental Project
8) Farming Project
9) Empowering rural women
10) Medical Services
11) Evangelistic Ministry

*The construction projects are ideal for teams/groups and it is vital to gather the necessary donations and construction materials prior to volunteering.


Online/Virtual Volunteer Opportunities include:

  1. Fundraising and Publicity
  2. Writing and Editing
  3. Design
  4. Coordination and facilitation
  5. Research
  6. Project development and management
  7. Consultancy

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Comments welcome! 3 comments

baja2013 profile image

baja2013 3 years ago from Sarajevo, Bosnia

Always nice to know that despite all dificulties there is always someone who will help someone else.

We don't need to go far away, sometimes our own neighbors need help.

Great work!


renegadetory profile image

renegadetory 3 years ago from Ottawa, Ontario Author

Its too easy to think of helping via donating or volunteering to big organizations that do incredible work like the Red Cross, for example, but there are tiny organizations that do just as important work on a smaller scale that also need our help.


baja2013 profile image

baja2013 3 years ago from Sarajevo, Bosnia

I prefer direct help. That's why I mentioned neighbors. Public kitchen for example. You just need to go to supermarket buy groceries and donate it there. Or simply ask poor people what they need.

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