Education - Busia Area Communities Federation

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Children are at the Center of All We Do:
With the generous support of our sponsors and donors from ChildFund, BUACOFE works to help children and families leave poverty behind. We promote relationships that are built on children’s best interests: -
• We help families improve their relationships within the home — those first connections affect all that follow in children’s lives.
• We build relationships within communities.
• We connect with a broad constituency local National and International partner organizations, governments and civil society groups to create environments that support children from birth to early adult hood.

Below Are the Five Core Projects Implemented by Busia Area Communities Federation; -

Life stage One: 0-5 years: Desired Outcome; Healthy and Secure Infants.
A child’s earliest experiences of family and home form the foundation for all that follows. Children’s experience during conception to 5 years shapes their development, health, nutrition and Education outcomes. Therefore, BUACOFE with support from ChildFund work to improve the health of Ugandan children in Busia district from before birth through age 5. Our interventions include providing community health education, support in child nutrition, immunization, safe motherhood, water and sanitation, malaria prevention and positive living for HIV-affected families.
We have constructed and equipped more than 10 Early Childhood Development centers in 4 sub counties to promote children’s cognitive, social and motor development. The centers also provide regular child and maternal health care, including routine immunization, growth monitoring and training for parents on hygiene and how to prevent and control common diseases. While the centers provide learners with nutritious meals, they also operate demonstration gardens and kitchens to work with families to develop more nutritious diets.

Life stage Two: 6 -14 Years; Desired Outcome: Educated and Confident Children.
At BUACOFE we believe that education means freedom — freedom to pursue your goals and dreams, freedom from ignorance and illiteracy, freedom to advocate for your beliefs and against injustice. Children ages 6 to 14 are at the key time of their lives when they should be able to receive full educations; when they don’t, the world becomes a crueler, less open place, with fewer safe employment options and vulnerability to exploitation.
To unlock its wider benefits, all children need access to quality primary education. BUACOFE supports initiatives for pupils such as school clubs in extracurricular activities like sports, music, dance and drama. We also provide for the construction of classroom blocks, teachers’ houses and ventilated, improved pit latrines with the aim of creating a safe learning environment. BUACOFE has worked toward an improvement in school governance and the continuous assessment of children’s performance in schools. Through our programs, teachers and school counselors are also sensitized about how best to support orphans and vulnerable children, many of whom are HIV-positive and have experienced the death of a parent or caregiver. BUACOFE believe that an economically resilient house hold will stand all the economic shock and parents/caretakers will support their children to access education. We use VSLA as an approach to creating economically resilient house hold where families are trained and supported to initiate village savings and loans associations.

Life stage Three: 15 -24 Years: desired Outcome: Skilled and Involved Youth
In Busia like anywhere in the world, adolescence is a critical stage in the journey toward a healthy and productive adulthood. Young people become increasingly independent; their world expands beyond family and school. BUACOFE programs help young people ages 15 to 24 safely navigate this time of transformation and risk. The implemented initiatives to build young people’s abilities to make good lifestyle choices, protect themselves, treat others respectfully and manage conflict. We also provide training in job Skills to foster economic independence, and provide opportunities for young people to get involved, be heard and become agents of change in their families, communities and society at large.
For older, out-of-school youth, BUACOFE with funding from ChildFund Uganda provides training in life and vocational skills such as welding, motor vehicle mechanics, carpentry, tailoring and catering, and assists them with business start-up capital and kits. Business training enhances skills in group dynamics, leadership, record keeping, social dynamics and conflict resolution. Our initiatives empower youth to participate and assume leadership roles in local government and civil society organizations, improving their opportunities to advocate for their rights themselves.
Safety Net and Sponsorship Management;
Through ChildFund International, BUACOFE implements child sponsorship project. This is aimed at strengthening sponsorship programming and relationship between enrolled children and their sponsors for transformed wellbeing of children and communities. The project ensures that all enrolled children actually benefit or participate in the designed projects. Children facing life threatening situations are supported to benefit from the project interventions with the purpose of making them achieve their full potential. There are also deliberate efforts to strengthen the structures that foster proper child upbringing practices and value children through capacity building approaches. Through this design, enrolled Children are able to communicate with their sponsors regularly as one way of certifying that they are in the communities, build strong relationships for retaining them but also as one of the many ways through which the sponsors can mentor and impact on the lives of the children so as to grow up into responsible adults through sharing of experiences.
Capacity Building:
Capacity building as a means in which individuals’ and local organization’s abilities to carry out activities are strengthened. This project also views the organization in terms of its ability and strength to survive, become self-sustaining and fulfill its purpose for which it was established. Capacity building initiatives focus on; - Federation legitimacy and recognition, Identity and vision, systems and procedures, performance and results and networking which are critical for the Federation’s being, doing and relating.
Approaches like; exchange visits, meetings, peer reviews, trainings, mentoring, and coaching have been implored to ensure capacity enhancement for the federation.
• Experience working with marginalized groups shows that they learn more when they see and are given chance and space to practice what they have seen as this has the inbuilt advantage of responsibility transfer.
• Mentoring and coaching have been employed to improve their learning abilities in a practical way.
• Peer reviews and exchange visits have been conducted with sister organizations implementing similar projects to enhance shared learning.
• Trainings in various programme management concepts like planning, implementation, monitoring and Evaluation, resource mobilization, human resource management, and enterprise risk management and lobbying and advocacy have been conducted and attended by both federation board and staff. Staff who were found wanting in some specific technical aspects were given opportunities by the Federation to go for short courses to improve in those areas and serve the Federation better.

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