Child Restoration Outreach (CRO) Uganda

Location:Masaka, Uganda Setting: Urban Established: 2002 Staff: 10

Organization Overview:

Founded in 1992, Child Restoration Outreach (CRO) has been working to support street children and their families in over four districts throughout Uganda. CRO’s Masaka branch has been in operation since 2002 and has been working to alleviate the daily struggles of street children in and around Masaka town. CRO’s approach focuses on building the capacity of street children so that they can effectively combat and ameliorate the myriad of hardships they face on a daily basis: these include drug addiction, disease, hunger, child labor, sexual exploitation, as well as physical and emotional abuse. While equipping the street children with these tools is effective, CRO recognizes that the only sustainable solution to the problems faced by street children is to reintegrate them with their families. To this ends, CRO provides a variety of trainings, workshops, and resources to the families of street children to assist in the reintegration process as well as to ensure a hospitable environment for the physical, mental, and spiritual development of the children.

Subject Areas:

Youth and Education: Provision of formal & informal education to Street Children
Human Rights: Health Education, Childhood immunizations Advocacy, and basic health care

Community Development: Family Economic Empowerment, Community and Parents’ Sensitization Programs

Organization Objectives:
Child Restoration Outreach (CRO) Masaka is committed to rebuilding the lives of street children - their families and communities. These are their activities:

• Provide Psychosocial care and support to Street Children
• Enroll former street children in formal and informal education programs
• Provide medical services as needed to Street Children
• Conduct routine home visits to families of street children
• Provide adult literacy to the parent and caregivers of street children
• Establish women and men’s clubs within communities
• Develop Self-help Groups in communities with high numbers of street children
• Provide Family Planning and immunization services to targeted communities

Program Information:
I. Rehabilitation and Re-settlement of Street Children

CRO-Masaka does not believe in the institutionalization of children. Rather CRO-Masaka seeks to assist children with rehabilitation and resettlement within their families and communities. This is a lengthy process and requires CRO to closely collaborate with a number of governmental and non-governmental organizations. CRO considers its drop-in centers the heart of their organization because it is where street children voluntarily come on a daily basis to receive and participate in activities to better their quality of living.

• Street Canvassing to identify Street Children in Masaka and surrounding communities
• Counseling Street Children
• Escort Children when resettled into homes
• Home Visits to monitor re-settled children

• Friendly, Patient and Loving
• Ability to physically walk at least 1km daily
• Willingness to devote time to individual Children’s concerns
• Willingness to work with Children’s families and/or communities

II. Youth and Education

CRO-Masaka believes that all children are important people within society who have great ideas and skills to share with their communities. A central aim of CRO-Masaka, therefore, is to empower these children so as to allow them to unleash their potential and fully participate in the decision processes affecting them.

• Develop Lesson plans
• Introduce new relevant topics for children’s study
• Conduct remedial education classes: English, science, math and/or social studies

• Loving, patient and creative
• Some knowledge of the subject areas
• An interest in Children and education

III. Health – Hygiene and Nutrition

Children who live and work on the streets are routinely subjected to a number of factors which can negatively impact their health, including: sleeping on the streets in the cold, drug substance abuse, violence from peers and adults, sexual exploitation and child labor. Consequently, one of CRO-Masaka’s main activities includes providing basic health to street children and informing them of the health risks that their lives on the street make them vulnerable to.

• Assist in provision of meals to Street Children
• Encourage Children to adopt hygienic personal habits
• Develop workshops, Lessons and other activities to promote healthy living

• Patient, Friendly, and creative
• Some knowledge of Public Health
• Willingness to work with Street Children and communities

IV. Community Development/Women’s Empowerment

Children in Masaka live on the streets for a myriad of reasons, such as: poverty, domestic violence, and the death of parents due to the AIDs pandemic. Since the central objective of CRO-Masaka is to reintegrate children with parents, extended families and/or communities; CRO-Masaka places particular importance on empowering and developing the skills of parents and caregivers in targeted communities.

• Assist with literacy lessons
• Develop Income Generating Projects with community members
• Develop Workshops on Family Planning, Personal Hygiene, Parenting Skills and other relevant topics

• Willingness to interact with the families and communities of Street Children
• Patient, independent and creative

Working Conditions:
CRO-Masaka is located in the center of Masaka Town and is approximately a five minute walk from the FSD offices. The typical workday is from 8:30am to 4pm. There is electricity and a few computers, but the intern is encouraged to bring their own. All the staff speaks English well, but a basic knowledge of Luganda will be useful when interacting with the youth and community members. The office culture is both friendly and casual.

Program Supervisor:
Mrs. Adah Ojur holds a bachelors degree in social sciences. Since 2007 she has been working with Child Restoration Outreach as the manager of the Masaka branch. She previously worked for Compassion International, an NGO which looks after orphans in Uganda, and also spent five years working with Kitovu Hospital in Masaka on issues pertaining to Community Based Health Care.

Organizational Background:
Child Restoration Outreach Uganda was founded in 1992 in the eastern city of Mbale, Uganda. Since its inception CRO has impacted the lives of over 5,000 children who were living on the streets with resettlement and education. CRO opened its Masaka branch in 2002 in the Nyendo Slum in 2002 but has recently moved to a central location in Masaka Town. CRO Masaka believes in resettlement - not institutionalization – and accordingly works with both street children and their families/communities to address the root causes of street children.

About CRO's Clients:
CRO-Masaka is principally a child focused organization. However, recognizing that children are on the streets due to conditions in their natal homes and communities CRO-Masaka also places particular importance on outreach to parents, guardians and community members to stem the tide of children running to the streets. Through involving parents and community members in the resettlement process CRO-Masaka has been able to resettle at least 50 children – mostly boys – to their families and communities each year and has prevented countless other children from joining life on the streets.

Previous Projects:
Some previous projects initiated by FSD interns with CRO have included:

- An Organic Garden Project that teaches the children valuable agricultural skills while providing them with much needed food and nutrition
- A family empowerment fund which gives small loans to the families of retuned street children to assist them in undertaking income generating activities.