Youth-Led Refugee Education Program KIDSAID Seeks Support Amidst the Pandemic Crisis

KIDS AID first started in 2016 as a program aimed at providing primary level education to refugee children in our refugee communities. It was founded by Agaba Francis Dunok, a former refugee and a student at Makerere University.

Along the way, KIDSAID widened its program as there arose a need to be more inclusive and involve all the disadvantaged children in our greater community and Uganda at large, this increased the number of beneficiaries.

KIDSAID refugees Children project  

In pursuit of a greater capacity to impact, KIDSAID secured a partnership with the Kitwe Preparatory School located in Kitwe-Ruhaama in Ntungamo District, South Western Uganda. This school and KIDS AID project sealed the partnership by way of a Memorandum of Understanding to work together in order to achieve organizational goals. “We normally clear education arrears for these children through seasonal sponsorships by community people and my personal business of tree planting and selling firewood,” says Dunok.

The major goal of  KIDSAID is to help refugee children and other disadvantaged children to attain formal education and excel to the university level and beyond to the best of our capacity. Currently, the program funds up to primary education level and are progressively looking for opportunities to increase our capacity to fund higher levels of education.

Highlight 

“In 2016 we started with only 20 children but today we have helped 349 kids. Out of 349 children, about 200 plus have been able to make it to high school through other sponsorships.”

Agaba Dunok Francis, Founder and Director

In 2019, KIDSAID under Director Dunok was recognized among the best eight in the Global Millennium Fellowship Program.
In 2019, KIDSAID under Director Dunok was recognized among the best eight in the Global Millennium Fellowship Program.

Challenges

Along the journey, the organization has faced numerous challenges for example as noted above, the lack of capacity to take children to higher levels of education, a shortage of capacity to provide sufficient medical attention to the children, a shortage of wholesome and sufficient food, scholastic materials among other inadequacies.

“The year 2020 has particularly been the hardest year in the organization’s life and this is predominantly due to the pandemic. With little and minimal financial resources, the organization rarely budgets for disaster and other shortcomings during our annual budgetary meetings, and hence the Coronavirus pandemic caught us unaware,” Dunok notes.

Additionally, the current crisis is a great problem as the times are incompatible with organizations’ methods of operation. The non-negotiable measures used to control the spread of the virus negatively affected the organisation and its operations in many ways; notably, the presidential directive to close all academic institutions affected the organisation because normally the students/pupils stay at school as their home and yet they were also forced to leave school which pushed the organization to move out looking for families to host these children with minimum payments.

 

KIDSAID beneficiaries
KIDSAID beneficiaries

This was even tougher given that the directive to close all businesses in and around Uganda caused these host families to lack facilitation to provide basics to the children such as food, drinks, soap, sugar, and clothing. According to Dunok, “they (hosts) tasked us to provide these things to them which is so costly given the current crisis.”

KIDSAID, therefore, wishes to request for any support by any donor or well-wisher in any way in order to maintain our organizational goals in this crisis.

To support contact Agaba Dunok Francis, the Director at franciadunok@gmail.com or ‭+250 788 246 763‬