Meet The Need Africa Foundation was set up to try to address the basic social-economic needs of communities in the East & Central African region, comprising Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and DRC; in partnership with the local partners and communities that include local NGOs, schools, hospitals, clinics, youth organizations, cooperatives, etc. The programs that we hope to accomplish include the following:
1 – Constructing a boarding Vocational/Technical school for homeless children in Uganda:
Homelessness is Uganda has been an ongoing problem since the early 1980s and resulted from internal conflicts and wars between the prevailing dictatorship of President Apollo Milton Obote and the guerrilla warfare that was waging in Uganda spearheaded by the National Resistance Movement (NRM) led by Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. During this same period, Uganda faced an outbreak of people getting infected with the deadly AIDS virus and hundreds of thousands of Ugandans died due to the complications of this disease, leading to many children left as orphans, some of whom simply moved to the big towns and city (Kampala), to try to fend for themselves.
A study by the African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect estimated there were 10,000 such children in 2013 – up 70% since 1993. Additionally, emotional and physical abuse, combined with poverty, drives children on to the streets in Uganda in huge numbers. The Human Rights Watch (HRW) estimates there are 2.7 million orphans in Uganda as per 2014.
Furthermore, youth unemployment in Uganda is the highest in Africa. A recent study, “Lost opportunity? Gaps in youth policy and programming in Uganda,” published by ActionAid, put youth unemployment at 62%, although the African Development Bank says it could be as high as 83%. Uganda has the world’s largest percentage of young people under 30 – 78% – according to the to the 2012 State of Uganda population report by the UN Population Fund.
With very little help from national and international agencies to cater for the needs of these children therefore, this was a mission that we, at Meet The Need Africa Foundation thought we could undertake, to try to address in the form of setting up an educational institution where we could enroll homeless children into vocational-skills training, protect them from physical and emotional trauma, and finally train them in skills they could use to get back into productive and valuable members of Ugandan society.
2 – School/Educational material, supplies & Eqpmt for the vocational school and partner schools in East & Central Africa:
Educational, and especially vocational skills educational, is an area of special interest for us at Meet The Need Africa Foundation. Youth unemployment in Uganda, plus almost all the countries in East & Central Africa, like Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and the DRC), is mostly an outcome of the fact that a lot of these young people simply do not have the skills to be employable. Professor Augustus Nuwagaba, director of Reeve Consults Uganda, believes the problem lies in the education system. He says the country is stuck with the colonial education system that trains students to be clerks, teachers and lawyers. Times have changed, Nuwagaba says, and the country needs metal fabricators, carpenters and mechanics. Foreign investors also bemoan the lack of skilled workers in Uganda. Lack of skills is a global problem.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) says training institutions continue to produce graduates whose skills do not match what the market wants. This mismatch makes it harder to tackle youth unemployment. This is an area of critical interest that we at Meet The Need Africa Foundation, want to help turn around. Procuring vocational school educational materials, supplies and equipment is a major goal of our Foundation. Such equipment will include welding equipment, agricultural/farming equipment, metal fabrication equipment, carpentry equipment, auto repair, motorbike repair and bicycle repair equipment, etc.
3 – Construction Eqpmt for vocational school & partner communities in-need, in East & Central Africa:
Constructing a boarding Vocational/Technical school in Uganda that would hold over 200 youths would require a range of heavy equipment that we hope to procure from our partners and funders from the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa and many other global partners wherever they may be. Our goal is to make sure that we set up an institution with quality that will last for decades serving thousands of homeless youths.
Meet The Need Africa Foundation hopes to use this equipment not only to help construct the boarding vocational school, but will also help in the construction of partner schools and communities in Uganda and surrounding East & Central African countries. We also hope to rent out this equipment for purposes of sustaining our vocational school budget and activities, going forward, thus creating a self-sustaining school model over time.
4 – Medical Eqpmt for vocational school and partner healthcare facilities in East & Central Africa:
The healthcare system and conditions in Uganda, much like many of the other East & Central African Countries such as South Sudan, Burundi, DRC, Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya; is extremely understaffed and underequipped especially in the rural communities. Many of the hospitals and clinics in the main towns and cities lack the basic life-supporting amenities and it is fair to say that a lot of lives are lost due to the absence of these rather basic amenities and life-saving equipment. Despite record investment over the past five years, Uganda’s healthcare performance is still ranked as one of the worst in the world by the World Health Organisation. (ILO). The country is ranked 186th out of 191 nations. The situation in Uganda is no different from the other East African countries.
Meet The Need Africa Foundation in partnership with various global agencies, funding authorities, corporations, NGOs and private individuals, want to make a positive impact to make this sad healthcare situation a lot better. Starting with our vocational school healthcare facility, we hope to expand our access to healthcare supplies and equipment needy healthcare facilities in Uganda, and then to the wider East & Central African region.
5- Agricultural Eqpmt for vocational school and partner communities in-need in East & Central Africa:
Uganda’s economy widely depends on the agricultural sector. Over 85% of the estimated 32 million inhabitants of the country live in rural areas and rely mainly on agriculture for their livelihood. At the same time, it can be said that most agricultural activities take place in these rural areas. It is therefore right to say that Uganda’s food production is widely dependent on rural women and men farmers.
Agriculture in Uganda, like many other East & Central Africa countries, is the core of the economy and the primary source of employment, engaging 73% of the country’s labor force primarily in the rural areas. However, a lot of the agricultural activities in these communities is very subsistence and needs a revamp especially in form of machinery and equipment such as tractors, cattle keeping equipment, poultry equipment, etc., to increase production and efficiency.
We there at Meet The Need Africa Foundation would like to make sure that our boarding vocational school makes a deep impact in this area of our school curriculum. Our hope is that we will develop partnerships with various communities, and local NGOs in Uganda and the wider region of East & Central Africa, to expand access of this agricultural equipment.
We will partner with various global institutions to procure agricultural equipment that will help with our skills training for our enrolled former homeless youths, at our vocational school. We hope to gain sustainability of our programs by renting some of this equipment out to raise much-needed funds to run our school programs and projects.
6 – Water drilling rigs for communities in-need in Uganda, and East & Central Africa – Access to clean water and sanitation:
It is a well-documented fact that access to clean water in the world is becoming a very important issue and you can imagine how much of an issue this is, in many parts of the developing world. In many third world countries, access to clean water is a luxury, and every day people walk for miles in the hopes of finding it. In the rural communities of Uganda and many of the East & Central African countries that include Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Sudan, DRC and Burundi, the situation is dire.
Despite steps forward over the past few years, Sub-Saharan Africa “remains at the back of the queue” in terms of drinking water and sanitation, says George Yap, executive director of WaterCan, a Canadian NGO active in East Africa. He says access to drinking water goes hand in hand with access to improved sanitation and hygiene education, which is much less widespread.
The lack of water is an often-insurmountable obstacle to helping oneself. You can’t grow food, you can’t build housing, you can’t stay healthy, you can’t stay in school and you can’t keep working. Without clean water, the possibility of breaking out of the cycle of poverty is incredibly slim. For women and children especially, this crisis is real. It effects every minute of the day.
With unclean water sources often miles from villages, many of the able-bodied members of a community are forced to spend hours each day simply finding and transporting water. The typical container used for water collection in Africa, the jerry can, weighs over 40 pounds when it’s completely full. Imagine how demanding it would be to carry the equivalent of a 5-year-old child for three hours out of each day. And some women carry even more, up to 70 pounds in a barrel carried on the back. That’s like carrying a baby hippo.
The United Nations estimates that Sub-Saharan Africa alone loses 40 billion hours per year collecting water; that’s the same as a whole year’s worth of labor by France’s entire workforce! This is incredibly valuable time. With much of one’s day already consumed by meeting basic needs, there isn’t time for much else. The hours lost to gathering water are often the difference between time to do a trade and earn a living and not. Just think of all the things you would miss if you had to take three hours out each day to get water.
When a water solution is put into place, sustainable agriculture is possible. Children get back to school instead of collecting dirty water all day, or being sick from waterborne illnesses. Parents find more time to care for their families, expand minimal farming to sustainable levels, and even run small businesses.
The social and economic effects caused by a lack of clean water are often the highest priorities of African communities when they speak of their own development. The World Health Organization has shown this in economic terms: for every $1 invested in water and sanitation, there is an economic return of between $3 and $34! This is where we at Meet The Need Africa Foundation, have identified as a critical area of intervention. We will partner with various stakeholders to procure water-drilling rigs that can help drill wells and boreholes for clean water and provide access to schools, hospitals and various communities in Uganda and other countries in East & Central Africa.
Meet The Need Africa Foundation plans to use these water drilling rigs/trucks to help sustain our projects and programs long term, by renting them to attract much-needed funding for resources to help run our vocational school programs.
7 – Strategic partnerships with local partners in Uganda and East & Central Africa, to help where possible, in the delivery of their missions/goals.
Meet The Need Africa Foundation plans to have strategic partnerships in Uganda and the wider countries in the East & Central African region including Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and DRC, to assist where possible, in the delivery of major goals of these strategic partners. Some of these local partnerships will include stakeholders such as local NGOs, Schools, farming Associations, Hospitals, Clinics, Cooperatives, poor community business start-ups, Youth organizations, etc.
Lack of funding and access to funders is a major hindrance to the success of the mission of many of these local community service organizations. We at Meet The Need Foundation are in a unique position to help with access to a global funding base. Based in Los Angeles, California enables us easier access to major funding sources that could be passed on to various strategic partners in Uganda and others in East & Central Africa.
Therefore, we will ensure that our strategic partnerships with these stakeholders, will lead to access of resources that can help them achieve a high degree of success in their unique areas of public service in their respective communities. We will be able to offer sustainable solutions to their missions, help them with Grant Writing Expertise, help them access funding to their projects and programs and make sure that they stay on truck by monitoring their progress long term.