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The Baaba Project - Uganda

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Goal Uganda

GOAL Uganda homepage

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Baabas singing at a community outreach - GOAL Uganda / 2004

Contact details

Monica Nyakake
Baaba Project Manager
GOAL Uganda
PO BOX 33140
Kampala
Uganda
Tel: 00 256 41 266742
E-mail: mnyakake@goaluganda.com

Organization

The Baaba project is coordinated by GOAL, an Irish based humanitarian organisation. GOAL is dedicated to alleviating the suffering of the poorest of the poor in the developing world.

Location

The Baaba Project operates in 5 areas of Uganda; Kampala, Jinja, Mbale, Masaka and Wasiko.

Aims & objectives

The goal of the project is that the street children will be able to exercise their rights to sexual and reproductive health within an environment where information and services are freely accessible and their rights are respected by the community and its members. This is based on the premise that street children with increased knowledge, skill and confidence are able to make their own informed choices for a healthier future. The project adopts a variety of strategies including advocacy, capacity building and peer education to achieve this goal.

Background

The Baaba project was established in January 2001 to promote the ability of street children to exercise their sexual and reproductive health rights. Sexual health was identified as a key area where street children were particularly vulnerable and in which there were no existing interventions. The project began with 6 partners and expanded to 12 within the first year.

Target audience

The Baaba Project is a peer led sexual health rights project for street children and youth. It works through partner NGOs and reaches approximately 2000 street children directly. It also targets local counsellors, police and child rights advocates for advocacy seminars. Furthermore the project also targets local communities through outreaches.

Involvement of children

The Baaba project is peer led. In the local language, Luganda, a Baaba is a respected older brother or sister who advises and guides his or her younger siblings. The Baaba project centres on 300 Baabas. Street children thus play a central role in the project.

Funders

The project receives the majority of its funding from MAPS (Multi-Annual Programme Scheme), Development Cooperation Ireland.

Summary of project
The Baaba project is a peer led sexual health rights (SHR) programme for street children. It seeks to mainstream SHR into on going street children interventions and into the activities of other agencies that impact on the health and welfare of street children and youth. The project revolves around a group of 300 trained peer educators (Baabas) who plan and implement SHR activities within partner NGOs, on the streets and within surrounding communities. The Baabas are trained in HIV/AIDS and sexual health issues, as well as participatory teaching methods. The Baaba project uses role-plays, drama, song, dance and puppetry as means of promoting their message and involving people.
The project also runs workshops on sexual rights of street children for local councillors, child rights advocates and the police. Street children perform role-plays and give testimonies about living on the street. The performances are instrumental in breaking down prejudices about street children.
The project seeks to build the capacity of local NGOs by providing regular training to staff on HIV/AIDS issues. It also promotes networking between NGOs and encourages the formation of partnerships with interested service providers to improve access to street friendly sexual health services.

Project Successes

  • The project has successfully reached the target group with HIV prevention messages
  • Increased coordination and cooperation between partner NGOs
  • Advocacy seminars for the police, child rights advocate and local leaders have been effective in breaking down prejudices against street children
  • Baabas have assumed positions of responsibility within NGOs and are increasingly demonstrating leadership skills
  • The capacity of NGOs to confront HIV/AIDS has increased.
  • Reported behavioural change as a result of peer education activities.

Challenges

  • High turnover of Baabas due to resettlement and schooling
  • Disruption of outreaches due to police round-up activities
  • Difficulties in following up on 1 day trainings with police, local leaders and advocates
  • Difficulties in developing consistent policies across NGOs due to the diversity of needs and expectations
  • Difficulties in maintaining effective and real partnership with local NGOs.

Sustainability

The project builds the capacity of the local partners. Increasingly these partners are planning and managing their own activities with support from GOAL staff. GOAL intends to withdraw fully from the programme by 2006.

 


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