WHAT WE DO AND WHY
Educating girls can benefit the whole community. Te-Kworo’s High Schools in Pader and Nwoya are creating a pathway for hundreds of girls to stay in school.
Te-Kworo Foundation has two boarding schools providing quality education for girls who cannot enrol in mainstream education because they have babies to take care of, they are too old to go back to their grade level as a result of abduction by the LRA rebels, or they were orphans or vulnerable children due to extreme poverty from the insurgency.
Along with specific curriculum suited to the levels of these child mothers, these schools provide for the special circumstances of these girls. Each school has child care facilities so mothers can leave their babies while they learn. Vocational training in catering, hairdressing and tailoring are also part of the schools programs in circumstances where higher education might not be an option.
The girls are all deeply committed to their studies and determined to pursue their education and build a life for themselves and their families. Many are role models for others in the same circumstances.
Every day in Uganda, 15 women die from pregnancy and childbirth-related causes, 94 babies are stillborn and 81 newborn babies die. These deaths are preventable.
- Less than 50% of births in northern Uganda have a skilled attendant present
- Less than 50% of births are in a medical facility
- Less than 50% of births have any antenatal care
- Less than 30% of births have immediate post-natal care
Te-Kworo Medical and Maternal Health Centre
The Te-Kworo MMHC offers services for minor surgery, maternal health care, paediatric care, laboratory services, vaccination against killer diseases and reproductive health services. There is a life-saving ambulance on standby that can transport women with complications due to childbirth and children with malaria-related anaemia to the nearest hospitals in Kalongo (60 minutes away) and Gulu (2 hours). The team conducts regular outreach to remote communities to educate people about family planning and provide medical support to vulnerable mothers and their babies.
The Te-Kworo clinic services a population of 300,000, through a staff of five midwives (rostered around the clock to ensure 24-hour care for women in labour), a medical officer, a comprehensive nurse, two laboratory technicians and a number of ancillary workers. Pader District has been ranked in the bottom 20 of 122 districts in Uganda for its poor health services. Already, the MMHC is improving outcomes for pregnant women, childbirth, and sick children.
Expansion across Northern Uganda
In 2018, Te-Kworo initiated a mobile MMHC program in the districts of Nwoya and Omoro, providing health care services to the population in need through outreach programs in collaboration with the government health facilities.
It costs $60 to give a Ugandan mother a safe birth
Labour of Love
Labour of Love is a voucher system, whereby a pregnant woman is given a voucher and pays only 5,000 Ugandan shillings ($2) – as much as most can afford – for access to services valued at $60. These services include skilled antenatal care, a safe and clean delivery (with a birthing kit), monthly postnatal check-ups, and complete immunisation of the baby up to six months.
Included in the voucher is a birthing kit. A birthing kit can give a pregnant mother a safe and clean birth with a few basic necessities that help prevent infection, disease and death for mother and child.
Many mothers cannot afford to buy their own kit. And without a kit they cannot give birth at the local medical centre or receive medical support. The kits are also provided to pregnant women in remote communities where they often give birth without trained professionals. Other women often help them give birth in isolation and the few items will ensure the births are safe and clean for mother and baby.
A birthing kit contains:
- Clean cord for tying the umbilical cord
- Plastic gloves to prevent the transmission of HIV and other disease
- Sterile scalpel so old rusty knives aren’t used to cut the umbilical cord
- A plastic sheet to lie on
- A wrap for the baby to ward off pneumonia and other illnesses
To improve and sustain the health of its population across northern Uganda, the MMHC trains students who have completed secondary education to undergo midwifery/ nurse training. So far 26 vulnerable girls have benefited from the program.
Ending gender based violence through community education and support
Children are among the most vulnerable in our communities. In northern Uganda, girls as young as fourteen can be left unprotected and fall victim to defilement and rape, often by older men. Girls of this age are also often coerced into early marriage, at times polygamous, and can easily find themselves in a violent home.
Te-Kworo Foundation works to strengthen the protection of children and their rights, to develop child protection strategies, and to provide care for victims exposed to early marriage and sexual violence. We lobby and advocate members of the local government and communities on the rights of children through:
- Referrals to trauma support, medical treatment and a temporary centre for emergency accommodation
- Working with local leadership to prevent early marriage and child abuse
- Offering an accelerated learning program for girls to resume their studies
- Working with parents to become healthy role models
- Advocacy campaigns through radio programs, public debates, brochures, and booklets
Ensuring sustainability and jobs for graduating girls in hospitality
Te-Kworo has two beautiful guest houses in Pader town and Nyowa district. The guest houses have been created to meet multiple needs.
- Provide quality accommodation and dining opportunities for travellers
- A training facility for hospitality training for young women
- A social enterprise that is able to provide income to the local community