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In the beginning of February, we started the Community Based Approach (CBA) program in Uganda. The consequences of the lockdown are extreme. “Girls have been married off at an extremely young age, so a little money remains for the rest of the family to eat from. The number of teenage pregnancies has increased tremendously, alcohol and drug abuse among boys and girls has risen and violence within the communities is occurring more often.”, according to our Sports and Play Coordinator Boniface Byamugisha.

The CBA has been developed by our local Sports and Play Coordinators during the lockdown, aiming to fight the arisen issues, to stimulate children to return to school and to convince parents/caretakers of the importance of education. Children, parents/caretakers, schools and churches are actively involved in the program, to ensure the impact on the entire community.

Resilience and anti-boredom workshops for children
Sports and play activities are organised weekly for children within the community, with the development of their resilience as main goal. Through anti-boredom workshops, they learn how to make sports and play equipment out of material they find on the street. Children learn different games in which they can use these self-made materials.

Discussing responsibilities and taboos with parents/caretakers
During workshops with parents and caretakers, urgent issues such as child marriages, teenage pregnancies and hygiene are discussed. Besides this, the workshop focuses on the importance of education for children. The value of education and the significance of letting children return to school is stressed.

“It is touching to listen to the stories from parents about the current situation in the communities. After the workshop ended, they told us they were happy with the introduction of the Community Based Approach program, because they now see the importance of education and know how they can keep their children positively busy at home.” Boniface Byamugisha said after the first CBA.