Alternative Care
for Children in Uganda
A government and civil society partnership
to support the Alternative Care Framework

The SAFe Campaign

As an alliance of individuals, government and organisations working in Uganda, we appreciate the overwhelming care and concern for our children by the international community, including governments, churches, organisations and individuals. We seek to ensure that our children are in safe, happy and healthy families and that should be a priority for all of us.

"In Africa, we believe that families are the foundation of our communities and that everything should be done to keep children within their own families and communities."

SAFe Campaign

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Current situation

In Uganda many children are vulnerable mainly due to poverty. About 38% of the population live in absolute poverty with children constituting 62% of the poor - but the situation of Uganda children is more complex than is often portrayed, for example:

  • Over half of Uganda's Millennium Development Goals are on target
  • More than 90% of orphaned children are cared for by their own family
  • 85% of children in child care institutions or orphanages are not orphans and have at least one living parent
  • Kinship care and informal foster care is already embedded in Ugandan culture and tradition
  • Domestic adoption already happens and is increasing in numbers

"When you label a child an 'orphan' you respond to the 'label' and not the individual needs of a child."

A call for change

We are increasingly concerned by the way our children are often described and their best interests not upheld. A number of organisations fail to recognise and work within the legal frameworks of Uganda. Though intentions may be good, such organisations often end up working against national policies and programmes designed to strengthen child welfare provisions.

The inappropriate and inaccurate use of the term 'orphan' has increased stereotypes and stigma for our children and created negative perceptions and individualised short term responses. This needs to change.