Amatsiko is a registered community based organization (CBO) operating in South- Western Uganda, Kabale District, Kigezi region. The idea for the project was initially conceived in 2005 by Alex Atuheire, the project director, after he saw the detrimental effects that being orphaned or vulnerable had on the future of the community's children.
Frequently Asked Questions
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Q: What does Amatsiko mean?
A:Amatisko means hope in Rukiga, the local language of the Bakiga tribe based in South West Uganda
Q: Why was Amatsiko founded?
A : The idea for Amatsiko came about when the co-founders identified a number of problems that were affected children around the Lake Bunyonyi area, including:
- Growing number of orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) due to HIV/AIDS
- Poor living standards suffered by high numbers of orphans and vulnerable children, including malnutrition, lack of education, lack of basic necessities.
- High number of school drop outs amongst OVCs due to poverty and ignorance among the parents and care givers.
- Increased level of immoral and bad behaviours among OVCs due to lack of guidance and counselling.
- Stigmatising of OVCs by wider community.
Q: Who are the Founders of Amatsiko?
A: The founders of Amatsiko are Alex Atuheire and Denes Twinomugisha. Both are from the Lake Bunyonyi region. Alex is a teacher by profession and both men have experience of working in local schools.
Q: Why did they begin Amatsiko?
A: After their own personal struggles (Denes grew up as a single orphan whilst Alex was only able to continue his education after some kind sponsors from Canada helped him), they didn’t want other OVCs to suffer in the ways that they had.
Most of the children Amatsiko help have: been stigmatised by fellow villages, are at risk of dropping out of school, live in poor conditions and/or show immoral or bad behaviours.
Q: What progress has been made since the intial idea in 2005?
A : Amatsiko is currently sponsoring 6 students through secondary school. We have also helped over 100 children with the provision of clothes, food, mosquito nets, basic medical treatment and school supplies. These children are given support as and when it is required.
Q: How are the beneficiaries selected by Amatsiko?
A: The founders, community and church leaders and Amatsiko staff form a committee that reviews the cases of current and potential beneficiaries. This is done through interviewing of families, students and teachers and critical observation.
Priority is given to double orphans (those who have lost both parents), secondly to single orphans and then to vulnerable children (with parents who are unable to help them).
Q: What is the vision of the Project?
A: Amatsiko has made some progress since its inception but our vision takes us much further. We see Amatsiko taking a major role in the community where education is seen as a key to empowerment. Not only in terms of sponsorship for students which will allow them to realise their potential, but also the education of the community as a whole. We plan to teach communities about health and hygiene issues, farming methods, acceptance of community member living with HIV/AIDS in order to create a more productive, healthier society.
Q: What are the specific objectives of the project?
A: The specific objectives of the project are to:
- Emphasize the importance of education for orphans and vulnerable children at all levels.
- Help orphans and vulnerable children meet their basic needs.
- Sensitize and empower orphans and vulnerable children and their families.
- Give guidance and counselling to children if needed.
- Sensitize the community members on the rights and needs of orphans and vulnerable children (particularly those living with HIV/AIDS).
- Promote unity among the orphans and the vulnerable children.
- Teach basic hygiene an importance of sanitation.
- Develop children’s talents and help them appreciate their culture through traditional dances.
- Encourage the elimination of social, economical and political practices that detract efforts to address the needs of these needy children.
Q: How is Amatisko funded?
A: Amatsiko is a non profit organization which relies on donations from kind hearted individuals, groups and corporations around the world. 85% of the money the project receives in donations goes directly to feed, shelter and educate the children. The other 15% is used for the running costs of the project, including identification of new potential beneficiaries.
Q: Why sponsor a child in Amatsiko?
A: Sponsoring a child through Amatsiko is a one-by-one and a one-to-one approach to helping a child. By becoming a child sponsor, you are not only taking a step to help change a child’s life for the better, but you will also be supporting their family and community as well. You will get the pleasure of following the progress of this child through their school years and to know that you have affected change in one child’s world. For more information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The children we help lack the resources they need; many have very poor living standards with limited access to food and adequate housing. In addition, the director identified a number of other problems that need to be addressed. Read More