The Republic of Uganda is a landlocked country in the Great Lakes Region of East-Central Africa. Around 42 million people live in Uganda.
At present, most of them live in rural areas, but cities are growing fast. The country has suffered years of violent conflict and political instability, and this has created extremely difficult living conditions. Although in general terms, the economy has improved in recent years since the discovery of oil and gas, it is still volatile, and the distribution of wealth remains very unequal.
SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it in Uganda since 1988.
While Uganda has made some economic progress in recent years, nearly 20% of people still live in poverty. Many of them live in rural areas, surviving off farming. They are often affected by climate changes and produce less food than they need to feed their families.
Malnutrition is a problem: more than one third of all young children are not growing as they should, since they do not get enough nutritious food.
Due to Uganda’s universal primary education policy, the number of children who start school is quite high. However, only 1 in 4 children actually finishes primary school.
Many stop going to school because their parents can't afford the fees or the extra costs. In other cases, children who have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS have to work instead of going to school. Overall, girls are more likely to drop out than boys. Furthermore, the quality of education needs improving.
In spite of some improvement in recent years, the lack of medical care remains a problem for many families in Uganda, especially in rural areas. People may have to travel hours to see a doctor. Pregnant women, mothers and young children are severely affected by the lack of health care.
The HIV/AIDS rate, at 7.3 per cent, is also unusually high. There has been some progress: a fall in the number of people with HIV/AIDS and an increase in the number of people receiving antiretroviral therapy. However, more needs to be done to prevent further infections.