ROM sponsors orphans and vulnerable children with school fees, scholastic materials, nutritional support, and psychosocial interventions. Most of these children are either HIV-positive themselves or are cared for by a parent or guardian who is HIV-positive, with many households lacking a steady income and facing a slew of other socioeconomic problems ranging from a lack of food or a safe home to domestic violence and child abuse. In 2015, 162 of the 2,200 children that ROM supported with education were HIV positive. Each term, ROM staff members visit the sponsored children at their schools to track their academic performance, discuss their progress with their teachers, and counsel them in groups and individually. Many children have completed their studies from the primary level through graduating from university due to ROM’s financial support with school fees. ROM receives funding from the CDC, ROSE, SID’ECOLE, the Stephen Lewis Foundation, Barclays Bank, and donation boxes placed in local churches to sponsor these children. Cate is a 16-year-old paternal orphan, abandoned by her mother, who lives with her grandmother. Cate’s grandmother is one of the first clients enrolled on treatment by Reach Out Mbuya in 2001. Back then, she lived in a muddy house without windows covered with polythene bags. Her household was assessed, revealing that her family was critically vulnerable and needed immediate support in terms of school fees, food and shelter, which was almost collapsing.
Cate was enrolled into the ROM school fees program with support from SidEcole. During one of the donor’s visit to this family, the donor supported the family to build a permanent structure. Cate is also being supported with school fees support and scholastic materials. The family receives food on a termly basis, enabling them to eat two meals a day. Although Cate’s grades are not very good, keeping her in school is very important because it keeps her away from the risky environment and enables her to acquire knowledge and skills for a better life. Cate is currently in primary seven, and afterward ROM hopes to support her with hands-on skills. The social workers at ROM are working tirelessly to prepare Cate for the next step in her life, because being an adolescent, she is prone to temptations that may have far-reaching consequences.
Cate – who had dropped out of school and was collecting used water bottles for a living- is now a full-time pupil. Cate’s grandmother is also a VSLA member. Her grandmother says she is forever indebted to SidEcole for their kindness for putting a roof over her head, feeding her family and keeping her granddaughter in school. Number of Orphans and Vulnerable Children Served, 2012-2015
ROM has progressed over the years, in the 2019 Primary Leaving Examinitions (PLE) and Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) ROM had 95 and 28 students who sat for the examinations respectively . Below is a snapshot of their performance;