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S.A.L.V.E. International

S.A.L.V.E. International is a small charity based in Jinja Uganda.

They run an impressive variety of projects that reduce the number of children living on the streets. All of them have education at their heart. The strict COVID lockdowns have seen the situation worsen for children in Uganda. Now the global cost of living crisis has forced many more children onto the streets, while also making it harder for charities like S.A.L.V.E. to help.

You can help S.A.L.V.E. by sharing this story. You can visit their website and make a donation, volunteer (or both) to help them provide urgent care to children forced onto the streets.

Uganda had two very strict COVID lockdowns keeping its children out of school longer than any country in the world. With no government support scheme many family’s savings were wiped out.

The global cost of living crisis is now disproportionately affecting people living in extreme poverty. Prices of vital items such as soap, food, school fees and fuel have all increased dramatically, pushing more children onto the streets. In the last year S.A.L.V.E. International have seen a 76% increase in children accessing their Drop in Centre services. They are seeing more cases of child abuse with the increasing number of children on the streets, including more cases of children being raped or even beaten to death.

The global cost of living crisis is making it harder to raise funds and for small charities like S.A.L.V.E. to meet the increased need for their services. For example, S.A.L.V.E. used to get 4,800 Ugandan shillings to £1, it is now around 4,400. An 8% drop.

S.A.L.V.E. are using their resources to help as many children and families as they can. But operating on a shoe string won’t be possible to sustain long term. They continue to find more ways to help, building resilience within households and helping children off the streets with lifesaving results. They have increased their drop-in sessions and now help over 720 children per year. They have also increased the capacity at their Halfway Homes and Drug Rehabilitation Centre.

S.A.L.V.E. were recently reminded of what grit and passion for education looks like by a grandmother they helped. Stories like hers are what helps to inspire them to keep going despite the challenges they are facing. Her story is shared with her permission.

She was married at very young and never got the chance to finish school. She had 14 children, just 9 of whom are still living. Some of her children have fallen ill and she has become a single caregiver to 7 of her grandchildren. She had no source of income to care for them so at the age of 59 scrimped and saved what she could by doing intermittent daily labour to pay her fees for tailoring school.

S.A.L.V.E. International met her through her grandchildren who were on the streets trying to make money for food. She explained that she was trying to learn tailoring to be able to support her grandchildren but was struggling to pay the fees and buy food, let alone pay for school fees for the children.

S.A.L.V.E. enrolled her on their Business Empowerment programme to ensure she could get the training, mentoring and start-up capital she needed to put her new tailoring skills into practice. They also helped her to finish her tailoring course and graduate for the first time in her life.

All 7 of her grandchildren are now in school and she can afford food and medication at home. She is proud to give them opportunities she never had. She has even bought a small plot of land and roofing materials for the house she plans to construct, so she can provide a more stable home for herself and her grandchildren in the future.

This is just one of the hundreds of stories of how S.A.L.V.E. has been able to help give the timely and individualised support that was needed to allow a family to turn their fortunes around. Please do consider supporting S.A.L.V.E. and ensuring that this small charity can go on to help many more families like this one to thrive.


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