The Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka has formally presented the UN-HABITAT Scroll of Honour award to Mrs Janet Museveni, wife of President Yoweri Museveni, who is also the Patron of Uganda Women's Efforts to Save Children.
The event took place at State House Entebbe after the opening ceremony of the African Water Association International Water Congress and Exhibition.
The award was given to UWESO last year in Washington during the World Habitat day on 5th October in recognition of the organization’s valuable efforts and commitment to providing water, health and sanitation to orphans and vulnerable children in Uganda.
The organization was established in 1986 to respond to the needs of the children orphaned by the civil strife in the early 1980s and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Over the years, the organization has evolved into a broad based child rights organization. Uganda Women’s Efforts to Save Children was chosen for its outstanding track record in delivering integrated assistance programs to orphans and destitute children and their care givers.
Through the Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation Initiative, UN-HABITAT has been implementing the project on Improving Access to Water and Sanitation for HIV/AIDS Orphan-Child-Headed Households in the Lake Victoria Region. In Uganda, the Uganda Women’s Efforts to Save Orphans is a key partner in a demonstration project in Masaka, Kyotera, Nyendo and Mutukula.
So far, more than 2,740 people have directly benefited from its water, health and sanitation services, while a further 1,000 directly receive financial support through Village Savings and Loans Associations and business skills management training. As a result of the project, the vulnerable children, especially girls, no longer have to walk long distances to fetch water which greatly saves time for studies and rest. Another achievement has been the empowerment of communities, especially women.
For example at the end of the saving cycle in September 2009 one of the beneficiary groups of the microcredit revolving fund scheme under the Village Loan Savings Association emerged exemplary in Masaka town in Nyendo area. Bunyonyi Cluster members managed to save a total amount of Ugandan shillings 23,000,000 equivalent to USD13,000 which was distributed among members.
UN-HABITAT is considering Uganda Women’s Efforts to Save Children as one of the best practices in the Lake Victoria Region so that its model is shared and promoted world wide.