Over 10,000 young women returned from Uganda’s civil war (1986-2007) with children born as a result of abduction by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Upon returning, these young mothers faced poverty and gender-based violence and they and their “rebel” children are still marginalized by their communities today. These women missed years of education, many earn less than $1 day and many cannot afford to pay school fees for their children.
The NGO, Uganda Women’s Action Program and Michelle Savard have been implementing a new model for the reintegration of these formerly abducted young mothers since May 2015. The next goal is to open a daycare centre and offer a curriculum to pre-schoolers grounded in peace education. Alongside a registered Early Childhood Educator, the 15 young mothers will be trained to be daycare workers. The daycare will accommodate 70 children who are twelve months to four years old. Some of the mothers will care for the children and implement The Peace Education Project, a pre-school curriculum that fosters non-violence, respect for diversity, and early literacy skills.
This project will create an escalating income will result in securing a sustainable livelihood for the young mothers which will allow them to pay the fees for their children to go to school. Working at the daycare will provide the young mothers with early childhood education skills. Both the children and those young mother who never had a chance to go to school will benefit from the curriculum and learn to read. Finally, the community will benefit by having affordable child care and knowing that their children are safe and getting a head start.
This project will be led by the young mothers and supported by community-based organizations, experts in early childhood education, community members and Michelle Savard, PhD Candidate in Education.
Budget (includes training, start-up and funds needed for six months of operation)
Young mothers training, 15 days of training (food, water, materials, local transportation costs)
Learning materials for daycare
Six months’ rent and site inspections
Furniture and supplies
Monthly supplies x six months
Group savings from YM group
Two meals a day for staff and children for six months
UWAP Daycare Profits
ECE part-time resource for seven months
Based on a market analysis, it would be reasonable to charge $35 per child per month. With a ratio of 6:1, the daycare could manage approximately 70 children at any given time. After expenses, each mother will earn approximately $150 per month, which will cover household expenses and school fees. The women will be well-trained and will receiving ongoing training; have the support of an ECE; and four volunteers who will advise them on financial management, marketing, pedagogy and early childhood education. As mentioned, if this pilot project is successful, the same process will be followed with another group of young mothers in a neighbouring town.