SHiNE Child Program
‘’Our conviction is that we can raise a community of compassionate people to support children from impoverished families who are facing challenging life situations to realize their full potential.’’
In this heart-touching journey, Staff from the Palliative Care Association of Uganda (PCAU) embarked on a trip of about 350 kilometers in October 2023 from the PCAU Office in Kampala to Kitagata. Our mission was to reach out to a family facing unimaginable hardships.
Guided by the nurses from Kitagata Hospital, we encountered an embattled family, whose story serves as a poignant reminder of the struggles faced by some of the most vulnerable members of our society. The youngest among them, a three-year-old child is living with HIV and is also a TB survivor. Their journey embodies an unyielding spirit in the midst of unimaginable hardship.
This family consists of six siblings. Three of them are separated from their mother who is 50 years old, while three (3, 6, and 9 years) stay with her. The mother, who is also HIV positive, is a widow, facing the daunting task of providing for her children.
The children in this family face profound challenges. Among the three who stay with their mother, one child (9 years) is being supported by the community Reverend with school fees, and another (6 years), deals with speech impairment, adding to the immense burden they carry. This family finds itself in a dire situation, struggling to meet their basic needs. They have no source of income, and their survival relies on the generosity of well-wishers within the community.
Their living conditions mirror the weight of their circumstances. They sleep on the cold, hard floor, as they lack even the basic bedding. Their temporary mud house devoid of ventilators and fitted only with poor state windows, also doubles as their kitchen. Despite their agonizing adversity, this family’s story is a testament to their unwavering determination. Their situation is not only urgent; it is a heartbreaking struggle they face daily.
Upon this visit, PCAU resolved to offer a lifeline to this family through the Special Hearts to Nurture Every Child – SHiNE Child Program. We are committed to supporting the treatment and care navigation needs of the mother and her children, ensuring they have access to essential medicines and health education through the nurses of Kitagata Hospital who support the program. PCAU also aims to address the family’s nutrition, and housing by renovating their house and constructing a proper kitchen, and other pressing needs.
Originally designed to address treatment abandonment and malnutrition, the SHiNE program has evolved. PCAU now recognizes that there are many underprivileged families like the one in Kitagata and we believe with your support, we can provide the hope and resources necessary to help these families overcome their overwhelming challenges.