Omwaana Tugende is a home for abandoned children. It is run locally and the whole community is involved in caring for the children, bringing food and helping in the gardens.
It takes a village to raise a child.
Omwaana Tugende (Forward child in the local language, Runyoro) is run by Adelante África Uganda with help from the District Authorities and with support from Spain.
In Uganda the extended family usually takes in children who become orphaned or are abandoned. Those who come to live in Omwaana Tugende have no family they can turn to or have been mistreated. They are brought to the home by the District Probation Officer, who follows their progress.
The first phase of the building was finished in July 2012 and the second in 2014. There are 4 houses (with room for 64 children) built around a central playing area.
Up to September 2015 there was a total of 57 children in the home, 27 girls and 30 boys, all between 3 and 16 years old. Between September and December 2015, 18 children were resettled with their families or, in one case, with a foster family from the village.
The home has a vegetable garden to supply fruit, vegetables and pulses as well as providing the opportunity for the children to learn basic farming techniques. There is a farm a bit further away where the basic foodstuffs, beans and maize, are grown for the children.
The vegetable garden in the home is aimed at being a model, with an area dedicated to traditional vegetables and an area with newly imported varieties (for example cauliflower, spinach, chard and leeks). Cooperative groups can visit the home and ask for seeds to try growing these vegetables themselves.
All the children attend St Joseph’s School or the Adelante Africa Nursery School in the Community Hall.
The philosophy behind the children’s home is that it should be, as far as possible, a part of the local community. In line with this idea a community hall was built in 2013. The community hall has various uses:
- It serves as a dining room for the children of Omwaana Tugende.
- It is a place where local councils and committees can have their meetings and where adult education courses and self sufficiency seminars organised by the local government and by NGOs like World Vision can be held.
- There is a nursery school here for very young children from the home and local community; orphans and children from very poor families can attend free.