The Socio-Economic Arm of the Archdiocese of Kampala
Caritas Kampala has been operating since 1973, working to improve the lives of the most vulnerable in society, delivering technical assistance, training, and capacity building to empower communities by creating opportunities to improve livelihoods through cooperation and entrepreneurship skills among individuals, groups, associations and cooperatives. Faithful to its vision of building “a self-sustaining family of God founded on love, solidarity and reconciliation” Caritas has engaged in various projects throughout the years, and currently has been nurturing inclusiveness and social justice through 7 main projects/units as a catalyst for change.
Sustainable Agriculture Program (SAP)
SAP is a Misereor funded project and has been operating since 1991, supporting smallholder farmers in the parishes of Mwerwere, Nansana, Gayaza and Buyege, and SAP partners in Uganda. Major interventions are community empowerment in sustainable organic farming; water harvesting; agro-forestry; agro-processing; home improvement and sanitation; advocacy; school-greening and horticulture program and support towards institutional development of organized groups. The program has mobilized and trained over 200 farmer groups; equipped over 300 trainers with the knowledge and skills to foster farm-led extensions; engaged over 100 youth in holiday programs to build self-employment skills and supported the growth of 18 existing Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs).
Central Archdiocesan Province Association (CAPCA)
With the support of Caritas Denmark, the project has managed to economically transform 1291 households’ lives, promoting sustainable livelihoods by assisting the community and farmer groups, particularly in collective marketing, value addition and advocacy in Bulo, Kalamba, Kammengo, Buwama, Kituntu and Mutuba sub-counties in Butambala and Mpigi districts. It has empowered the formation of six cooperatives that through their share capital investments have constructed a coffee factory and a maize mill for primary processing to obtain higher returns and boost farmer’s income.
Caritas Cooperatives Office
Caritas has been supporting the development of parish-based cooperatives, which resulted in 37 registered groups, including 24 SACCOs and 13 multipurpose societies. With the support of Viatores Christi, funded by Irish Aid, the office developed an assessment report, a Cooperatives Strategy and Action Plan 2016 – 2020, Policies and Procedures Handbook and established the Caritas Cooperative Council. The office is engaged in a capacity building agenda to strengthen governance, management and business development to support cooperatives to grow into self-reliable and self-sustainable societies, expanding financial and social inclusion for the members and the development of the communities.
The Desk has been building women’s capacities to advance their rights and gender equality, reaching groups from over 40 parishes. PROMIC has operated since 2004 in partnership with Foundation Open Hand Swisshand, providing credit for the development of small business and entrepreneurial training, implemented in 15 parishes through a loan portfolio of US$ 31,000, reaching over 5,000 beneficiaries. A livelihood project is running in collaboration with Cordaid Lenten Campaign to benefit 750 households in Katabi, Kalamba and Makindye sub-counties. The Desk is also engaged in the production of reusable sanitary pads set up in partnership with Trócaire Uganda, and most recently with the support of Kindermission, have distributed kits to 45 schools and 20 groups, directly benefiting individual women and girls with income, product access and education in WASH and menstrual hygiene.
Justice and Peace
The office is mandated with the promotion of reconciliation, love justice, peace, human rights and dignity inspired by the Gospel and social teachings of the Catholic Church. Since 2009 it has raised public awareness on human rights issues in Wakiso district with the support of GIZ; developed culturally sensitive counseling model for victims and perpetrators of domestic violence with UNESCO and Trocaire. In collaboration with USAID/SAFE it has improved access to justice through strengthening communities’ capacities in utilizing alternative dispute resolution mechanism to resolve land conflict in Wakiso district.
The departments focus on improving the health of people by strengthening the Archdiocesan health systems, coordinating and supporting the work of the healthcare workers of the 22 health agencies – including 4 hospitals and 18 lower level units – delivering training in quality assurance, medical safety, computer skills and data management to improve the excellence of its services. It has also undertaken complementary activities, treating 180 orphans and vulnerable children with communicable and non-communicable diseases, training 30 village counselors and 150 care takers in income generating activities.
The department helps people who are in distress by providing essential social services on a small scale through agencies, care givers and counselors meeting their needs and alleviating their suffering. Counseling, mentoring and parenting education are also delivered to help solve family problems, as well as referrals to other appropriate services.