Restore Hope To Child- Headed Families in Uganda The Challenge The 2016 National Household Survey shows 24,063 child-headed households in Uganda. In homes where parents are severely ill and need palliative care, children are often the primary caregivers. With no money, the child quits school to earn a living while caring for the dying parent. These children are vulnerable to deprivation of parental love and psychosocial support, various abuse, lack of education and healthcare, and food insecurity. The parent is distressed they cannot provide for the child.
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The Road to Hope Program supports child caregivers from financially poor backgrounds to access basic needs for their families and continue with education while caring for their chronically ill parents. The palliative Care Association of Uganda (PCAU) in partnership with the Center for Hospice Care (CHC) in Indiana USA under the Global Partners in Care, established the Road to Hope program in 2012. The children are identified in collaboration with palliative care practitioners especially in the rural districts of Uganda. They have cared for or are still caring for their chronically ill parents while at the same time are burdened with the responsibilities of fending for the family, a role the parent can no longer fulfill. They often walk long distances to receive their parents’ medication.
Child caregivers are forced to do odd jobs to get income to support their families which does not leave them much time to focus on their education. The Road to Hope Program relieves them of this burden. Once identified, children are enrolled in schools within their districts to enable them to continue to get additional community support. Their other needs which include financial social and psychological support are taken care of by the Road to Hope Program. Currently, the Road to Hope Program supports 58 children from various districts of Uganda including, Arua, Yumbe, Moyo, Masaka, Hoima, Jinja, Lira, Buikwe, Kibaale, Luuka, Mayuge, Tororo, Luwero, and Kanungu.