Abaana Community Outreach Africa (ACO-Africa) was founded in 2009 as a community based organisation in Lwengo District. It was later renovated into a non-government organisation with the purpose of breaking the cycle of poverty.
Our volunteers work with vulnerable children, women and elderly caretakers to meet the practical physical and emotional needs of these target groups.
Community Development volunteers will work with underprivileged children, elderly caretakers, HIV-positive children, women and other vulnerable groups. Our volunteers will conduct home and school based visits to meet the practical as well as psychosocial needs of our target groups.
Objectives of the program:
• To improve the status and well-being of vulnerable children through support and care in order for them to access essential needs such as education, clothes, food and medical care.
• To provide counseling and recreational activities for vulnerable children.
• To provide home and school visits for HIV-positive individuals and other vulnerable households in order to monitor clients progress.
• To raise awareness to vulnerable individuals regarding issues of reproductive health, human rights, life skills, and behavioral changes
• provide social support to HIV-affected households, underprivileged children and other vulnerable populations.
• provide school and home-based counseling.
• educate in nutrition, hygiene, sanitation, and other life skills.
• prepare workshops and presentations focusing on health, rights, drug and substance abuse, and other issues affecting the communities.
• conduct administrative work relating to organization development and programming.
• Participate in organizing recreational activities, and retreats for children.
• Provide training to individuals in basic life skills, reproductive health, early pregnancy and relationship.
• Identify ways for fundraising for the programs and to link the organisation to international partners.
• Promote the organization by means of articles, photos and other media sources.
Have a kind heart, open mind, sharing attitude, interaction with vulnerable ones, ready to work with them, and be ready for a very fragile community, and emotionally strong.
Training: Courses in community work.
Meals: 3 meals a day.
Bottled water: Clean sanitary water.
Transportation: All transport covered.
Social events: Organized by ACO Africa.
Safari discount: Available to all volunteers through our safari for Charity program organised by ACO-Africa with an associate company called "Johnsons Safari"
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
1. Used laptops to teach rural children in computer lessons
2. Second hand clothes for children of different ages and poor women
3. Second hand shoes and slippers or sanders
4. Sanitary pads for poor rural girls
5. Reading or story books for children and youth
7. Basic medical supplies like plasters, gloves, masks, sponges, gauze, deworming, pain killers,pressure and malaria tablets, any others that can help the rural communities
8. Bicycles (changers/bikes) etc
9. Children's toys for play therapy
10. Balls including volley balls, netball and football, tennis and other sporting items
Background of the underprivileged children children
Majority of these children that are reached out by Abaana Community Outreach Africa (ACO-Africa) have lost one or both of their parents due to HIV/AIDS. They are staying with communities and are under elderly caregivers, widows, and others are child headed households. Additionally some of these are children living with HIV/AIDS who need protection, support and care, since they live under difficult circumstances, and being that also their caregivers are helpless themselves.
ACO-Africa uses a community based model, where children are left in their communities and support from with in their own communities. Currently we reach out to over 250; out of 73 are HIV positive or living with HIV/AIDS in four districts of central Uganda.
These children are reached out through different activities such as;
•Education; we provide school tuition and requirements to vulnerable children. This includes primary, secondary, vocational, university and artisanship
•Psycho-socio support and care; we provide both spiritual and psychological counseling to vulnerable and adults in distress like HIV/AIDS infected children, underprivileged children, women, elderly caregivers, and prisoners(inmates in prisons)
•Food-security and nutrition; vulnerable children and women are supported with nutritious foods to improve their nutrition health while living with HIV/AIDS. Additionally, their families are supported with seeds like maize, beans, vegetables in order for them to grow their own foods, and have food in through out the year in their households, as the sustainable mechanism.
•Sufficient kit support; provision of basic physical needs items like clothing, mattresses, shoes etc
•Child Protection; we provide safety including shelter/house construction and educating caregivers of vulnerable on the rights of children and their responsibility in relation to the existing challenges. More still ACO-Africa promotes foster caring/alternative care among local communities.
•Health; we provide basic health care to vulnerable children especially HIV+ children , HIV+ women and the communities through outreaches and fairs, meeting their health care costs in the hospitals, clinics (like cost of medicines, scans and transport fares etc
•Education and ongoing support to improve the livelihoods for vulnerable children including helping vulnerable children HIV+ and women’s families to achieve self-sufficiency through income generating activities including being supported with start up funds for business through micro loan revolving schemes, animal rearing like chickens, piggery, charcoal selling businesses, coffee buying, craft and weaving etc
We lay an emphasis on education, health, psychosocial care, economic empowerment, nutrition, human and environmental rights to the poorest and most vulnerable people — especially children and women. We endeavour to ensure that children and other vulnerable people are made aware of their rights and able to reach their full potential.
ACO-Africa is fully registered with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, with a registration number S.5914/11486, with a main office based in Kyebando-Nssoba Zone, Kampala-Gayaza Road, off Kyebando-Ring Road. It has outreach offices in its areas of operation including; Lwengo, Mityana, Rakai and Wakiso district.
Vision: ACO Africa’s vision is to care for children and other vulnerable groups.
Mission: ACO Africa’s mission is to create sustainable socioeconomic changes capable of generating lasting impacts on communities affected by deprivation.
• Advocate and advancing the rights of children, women and other vulnerable groups
• Improving and expanding care and support for people and families affected by HIV and AIDS
• Improving in the standards of individuals of living among people at all community levels using the human rights based approach
• Contribute to the mitigation of the social and economic effects of rights abuse, HIV/AIDS at individual, household and community level by providing support to the deprived communities especially children and women
What we do:
• Supporting of school related expenses for underprivileged children and other vulnerable children to have education (scholastic materials, fees, etc)
• Conduct home and school based visits to meet the practical as well as psychological needs and social support for underprivileged children, elderly caretakers, HIV-positive children and women
• Capacity building and empowerment to poor individuals, particularly HIV positive women, underprivileged children and vulnerable care givers, with training and income generating activities (e.g. chickens and pigs for rearing or a start up fund to earn household income)
• Supporting vulnerable households with seeds for growing various foods like cereals and vegetables to improve their livelihoods and food security
• Raising awareness on community development issues like child rights, gender issues, disability, nutrition education, sanitation and hygiene, environmental issues, HIV/AIDS, and reproductive health education among young people
• Supporting prisoners with counseling sessions in spiritual, psychological and legal education which includes: raising awareness about the laws of the country; advocating for rights of prisoners human rights, specifically the right to bail and its legal procedures; and supporting inmates with sessions on life in and after prison