BRAC Uganda Wraps Up Two-Day Workshop, Urges Government to Adopt Two-Generation Approach

BY M FAHAD

Participants of BRAC meeting

Spera Atuhairwe, the Country Director of BRAC Uganda, concluded a two-day Early Childhood and Graduation Project National Stakeholders Workshop with a call to the government to embrace the innovative two-generation approach.

Atuhairwe emphasized the importance of empowering both children and their caretakers to uplift household livelihoods. The workshop, organized by BRAC Uganda at Royal Suits in Bugoloobi, centered on the Two-Generation approach, which aims to enhance both children’s education and household income.

The initiative integrates BRAC’s Ultra Poor Graduation (UPG) Programme with Humanitarian Play Labs (HPLs), offering graduating households a unique opportunity to break the cycle of ultra-poverty and access early childhood development (ECD) services for children aged 3 to 5 years.

Atuhairwe pointed out a gap in current efforts, highlighting the need for more support for caretakers who bear additional educational responsibilities. She emphasized the limitations of the capitation payment across all levels of education, hindering the government’s ability to meet school-related needs such as teacher salaries, school nutrition programmes, and infrastructure development. Atuhairwe stressed the importance of empowering caretakers to effectively address these additional costs.

Over the past two years, BRAC has implemented the two-generation model primarily in West Nile, targeting 700 households in Rhino and Imvepi settlements alongside hosting communities, with 70% comprising refugees and 30% nationals.

The manager of the programme, Joseph Kabanda, asserts that it is extremely difficult to concentrate on the children’s outcomes without taking their backgrounds into account. He maintained that children’s home environments frequently have a direct impact on them, negating the benefits of all the schoolwork they receive.

According to Kabanda’s presentation, the programme combines Humanitarian Play Labs (HPLs) and BRAC’s Ultra Poor Graduation (UPG) Programme, offering graduating households a rare chance to escape extreme poverty and obtain early childhood development (ECD) services for their children between the ages of three and five. He stated that the approach promotes family well-being by working with children and adults in their lives together.

Silas Aogon, Member of Parliament for Kumi Municipality who was also in attendance aksed the government to reform early childhood development regulations in order to empower children from an early age. Early Childhood Education (ECE) is for children aged three to five who are ready to enter primary school.

Community-based ECD centres frequently struggle with little state funding, which prevents them from providing basic essentials like as clean water and toilets. Silas Aogon, Member of Parliament for Kumi Municipality, Kumi District, stated that the government should revisit the previous childhood development policy to improve it.

”I look at now the education committee having a lot of work, in making sure we review our current policy, in this no clear policy in the issue of earlier childhood, cabinet should quickly come out and improve such a policy.” He said

Another MP who attended the workshop, Hope Nakazibwe Grania of Mubende District, stated that there is typically fewer child development centres in villages, which affects their early learning days compared to their urban counterparts, and urged the government to prioritize funding for them.

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