“We believe the family is the best place for every child.” This quote from a social worker narrating the video below is the central theme of the DOVCU program, which is implemented by ChildFund in Uganda and funded by USAID. Parents or family members who struggle through grinding poverty often feel that the best solution is to give their children up to an institution – an orphanage or children’s home – in hopes of a better life for them. The reality is that this often results in children growing up without culture and community and makes them more vulnerable to child trafficking or living on the streets. Furthermore, the standard of living in such institutions is seldom better. The Deinstitutionalization of Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Uganda program seeks to strengthen the livelihoods of families so that breaking apart the family is unnecessary. It also works to bring separated families back together again. I recently shot and produced these three short[…]Read More
Post Tagged with: "economic"
Coffee from the Mountains of the Moon
On my whirlwind five-day trip to Uganda last month I managed to cover a lot of ground in both the east and west of the country. Squeezed between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya, Uganda may look like a dwarf on the map, but it’s actually more than double the size of my home state of Virginia. Combining that with some poor road conditions means it can take 12 hours or more to get from one side to the other. Bukonzo Organic Coffee Farmers Co-operative Union (BOCU) is a fair trade coffee producer based in the town of Kasese, Uganda. Its coffee farmers, however, grow their crop in the nearby Rwenzori Mountains. Shared Interest invests in BOCU and other fair trade producers around the globe. The Rwenzori Mountains were known to the ancient world as the Mountains of Moon for their snow-capped white peaks. (Sadly there’s little of these[…]Read More
Investing in Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire
Want to make some extra cash while giving a boost to markets in the developing world? Shared Interest lends capital to fair trade buyer and producer organizations in areas of the world that have limited access to finance. Because they only invest in Fair Trade businesses, that means living wages, better working conditions, and often benefits for workers like health care and education for their children. For many of us in the West, starting a business without the help of a bank would be impossible. Those in the developing world face this challenge and more when beginning a new venture. Yet developing economies will never improve without the expansion of the free market; this can only happen through improving the environment in which business can operate and gain access to capital. This makes the work of companies like Shared Interest all the more crucial. Microfinance this is not; Shared Interest[…]Read More
Recovering from Kony
It’s hard to believe that as much hoopla as this guy has stirred up, as much attention as he’s garnered in the media, that the problems he caused are still not yet fixed. Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army plundered Northern Uganda for over a decade. The rebels killed tens of thousands of Ugandan civilians, displaced millions, and turned the peaceful farms across the region into heaps of ashes. The war against Kony’s LRA ended in Uganda in 2006. It’s still ongoing, albeit on a smaller scale, in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo. During the rebellion most families in Northern Uganda were forced to flee their homesteads and livelihoods for the security of crowded refugee camps. Still largely dependent on handouts from government and relief organizations, they’ve returned to their land with nothing. Economic and psychological recovery has yet to be realized. When you’re[…]Read More