Uganda Children’s Centre or UCC is a registered charitable civil society organization strategically located on Plot 392 along Salaama road opposite Haki Petrol Station, Dubai Zone, Makindye Division in the Capital City of Kampala. The organization is registered with the National Post office under Post Office Box number 24127 Kampala. The area within which the organization is located is densely populated with low-income earning community.
UCC was formed in 1998 by a group of development workers who had gained experience and pragmatic working methods after engaging with various child focused organizations and agencies in Uganda. The organization is legally registered with the National Bureau for Non-Governmental organizations, and its 1st Certificate of Registration was received in 2000. The Registration and Permit numbers are 2257 and 2726 respectively. UCC is a non-governmental, non-political, non-denominational, non-partisan and non-sectarian organization established for charity purposes.
UCC Promoters came together to form an organization that would harness community needs and demands as well as provide direct services to the disadvantaged out of school children and young people in urban areas. These include vulnerable children experiencing exploitative circumstances and others in dire need of humanitarian services.
UCC started with a Drop-in Centre in 2003 with support from European partners known as Maison des Enfants du Monde – MEM, based in Belgium. Several programs including provision of daily hot meal to slum and street children, community mobilization and sensitization, talent and skills development, sports and recreation, formal education sponsorship, and apprenticeship were offered by the organization and fully funded by MEM. The program was fully successful with a few challenges characterizing the implementation process. The effectiveness and efficiency of the program had challenges of non-cooperativeness by other actors such as local artisans who failed to play their roles to the expectations of the project. UCC facilitated local artisans to procure training materials for effective training but some abused the process by not fulfilling these objectives. The trainees were tasked to do home chores and to go on errands not related at all to the mainstream program.
These unsupportive circumstances led to subsequential meetings between implementors and donors to lay strategies of how to improve the situation. Eventually, members agreed to identify potential donors that could fund the establishment of a big Centre to centralize all the skills trainings. Incidentally, MEM identified another Belgian based NGO called Enfants Tiers Monde (ETM) which was already working internationally to support African organizations in addressing issues of vulnerable children. Promoters of ETM accepted to cooperate with MEM to commit funds to establish a Centre.
Purchase of land and subsequent construction was completed by October 2008 and all structures were ready for use. They include the administrative block, vocational workshops, dining hall, hostel, and the guardians’ home. The vocational 1st intake took on 120 trainees to fill the first six courses offered. The courses included computer studies, electrical installation and electronics, hairdressing, tailoring, carpentry & joinery and catering.
The hostel accommodated 50 children who were ready for rehabilitation programs. Thereafter, two caretakers were also recruited. In a way to mobilize community members, management organized local community sensitization workshops to keep communities around the center with information and knowledge about the social issues in the community as well as services offered by the Center.