“Stand UP” Program

The “Stand UP” Program in Uganda is a program designed with the objective to support and promote indigenous communities living below poverty line. This program is delivered under three main activities: 1. Support for children and youth in low income household, 2. Social-cultural and economic wellbeing supportand 3. Support for victims of human rights abuse.Examples :

1. Support for children and youth in low income household

In the fiscal year 2015/22016 ECAAIR financially supported 60indigenous children and youth diagnosed with mental health illnesses, HIV/AIDs and malaria, etc. in low income households (age up to 24 years old). The financial support helpedthe beneficiaries access basic health services e.g. comprehensive physical examinations, medications prescribed by their doctors, referrals and transportation to health services. Support to each beneficiary was up to $US35 per person.

The World Bank has defined the international poverty line to be of US$1,25 (PPP). Over 60 % of Ugandan population and 97% Batwa (pygmy) community falls under this poverty line. For the purpose of this initiative, we will consider households to be of low income if the total household income is or under a US$ 1.00 per day. Other criteria included households who do not own other sources or means of income generating including farms, domestic animals, properties to let and employment earnings of above a US$1 a day.

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ECAAIR program coordinator holding a dialogue with the Batwa (Pygmy) community ref. support for children and youth in low income households in Uganda

2. Support for victims of human rights abuse

2015/22016 ECAAIR financially supported 47indigenous victims of human rights abuse (children, women and men) such as domestic violence, torture, abandonment or abused because of their health such as HIV/AIDs status or mental health illnesses. Support included advocacy, referrals and legal aid provided to the beneficiaries which estimated at up to US$100 for each beneficiary. A 2014 ECAAIR research conducted in 8 different indigenous communities in 4 districts (Bundibugyo, Kabarole, Kasese and Kisoro) in Uganda determined that over 40% of women were domestically abused and over 30% of children under 18 were either abandoned, rape victims, in a forced marriage or trafficked into prostitution.

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An ECAAIR staff holding a child infected with HIV/AIDs supported by this program

3) Social-cultural and economic wellbeing support

Social-cultural and economic wellbeing support activities have proved to be very valuable and effective as a mean to provide food, income to children and group/communal mental health therapy for women and men who have survived violence and torture. Under the social-cultural and economic wellbeing support, 80 people received support in cash and in services valued up to $US400 per person. This program directly benefited children, youth and women victims of traumatic events from households identified living below a $US1 per household. Trainings and skills are provided and ECAAIR monitors project developments. For administrative and monitoring purposes beneficiaries were placed in groups of 10 to 20 members each.

Examples of long term innovative income generating activity:

A group may have started community domestic animal husbandry cultivating the production and care of hens and roosters for the purpose of providing nutritious food and continuous source of income. The money generated from the sales of eggs and meat can help access additional healthy nutrition, basic health care services and meet other needs such as renting shelter for beneficiaries. This in turn increases the probability of saving the lives of direct beneficiaries and members of their households. The care of hens and roosters are low labor intensive allowing for new mothers and pregnant women to participate with minimal risk of physical health concerns to their selves and unborn foetus. This meets the biophysical and socioeconomic needs of the local communities.

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Project supported by ECAAIR Social-cultural and economic wellbeing support

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ECAAIR field coordinator working with Batwa (pygmy) community to develop and sell their traditional art instruments produced to tourists