St. Francis UGANDA

Family Helper Programme

Registered charity
Ireland CHY18409, Uganda S5917/278, UK 1079811
Recognized for tax purposes by Kindermissionswerk of Aachen, Germany; Email:
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St. Francis Family Helper Programme is a charity organization registered in Uganda, the UK and Ireland. It receives patronage and support from the Archbishop of Mbarara and is located on diocesan land on Nyamitanga Hill on the western outskirts of Mbarara (western Uganda). The surrounding region is also its main area of operation. However, the different departments may operate in a broader area depending on their current tasks and responsibilities.

Launched in 1984 with the foundation of our Child Sponsorship Project, our Programme has grown over the years and now also comprises a Tailoring School and a Counselor Training Institute. Two years later, in 1986, our Tailoring School came into being where we have since then been offering vocational training to young women and men aspiring to take up tailoring careers.

St. Francis Family Helper Programme was founded by a group driven by the desire to provide support to those most in need – the very poor children of the Ugandan society. The financial means required to pay for these children's education initially came from England and the USA. Later on, St. Francis was able to also attract donors from Germany, Belgium, Canada, and the Netherlands. In addition to funds coming in from these foreign countries, the Ugandan Government as well as the Archdiocese of Mbarara make valuable contributions to support the work of the organisation. All our land is diocesan land. The Ugandan Government has sent students to us for training, has selected St. Francis –among a variety of organisations - to implement a project in Child Health and Nutrition for a number of years and paid all the expenses. The Ministry of Health has approved money for AIDS counselling and for tax payment of a vehicle to be used by the CTI.

A Meeting of Psycosocial Facilitators

St. Francis was registered as a National Non Governmental Organisation in Uganda (last renewed 2010), and it was registered in the UK (2000) and in Ireland (2009). However, our aim was not to simply provide material aid, but rather to focus on the general well-being of the family. This vision of service to the family has been present right from the beginning.

As needs of the family grew so did the response of the organization. We began to develop nutritional, agricultural, and counselling projects, eventually founding the present Counsellor Training Institute in 1998. Since then we have been offering training in counselling and psychosocial skills to communities, counsellors, catechists and development workers, continuously revising and optimizing our training methods.

The context of the Programme's operational outreach

Mbarara district is predominantly agricultural (both Arable and Cattle) with a population density in excess of 100/km2
Leading Problems
The top-3 highest ranking problems in Mbarara District are Poverty AIDS Inadequate education, low or no electricity The top-3 highest ranking problems for Children are: Poor parenting Inadequate education and malnutrition Diseases The top-3 highest ranking problems for Adolescents are: Inadequate education AIDS Poor parenting, early pregnancy/marriage, unemployment. The top-3 highest ranking problems for Women are Poverty Illiteracy Workload, lack of voice It is therefore evident that a growing development organization would respond to some of the above needs which in fact we have been doing in our training and service programmes.
St. Francis Family Helper Programme
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(CroDodo, 2013 ~ 2024)