Challenges of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) in providing for the welfare of vulnerable children in Uganda: A comparative study of AMG International and Sunrise Children’s Village.
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The study was set to examine the welfare of vulnerable children in Uganda. The research design used was a comparative type where AMG Bukoto Child Development Centre (CDC) an International NGO and Sunrise Children’s Village, Entebbe a local national NGO were studied side by side. The study was guided research by objectives which included identifying the achievements of AMG-International and Sunrise Children’s Village Entebbe; examining the existing legal framework on child rights and welfare; assessing the challenges faced by AMG-International and Sunrise Children’s village, Entebbe; establishing emerging ethical issues related to providing welfare services to the vulnerable children and making suggestions for the possible available opportunities of providing better welfare services to the vulnerable children. Information was gathered from a sample of 66 individual respondents as well as 20 children who participated in focus group discussions altogether. Specifically, the categories of respondents included children under programme / assistance, staff members of Bukoto Child Development Centre and Sunrise Children’s Village, as well as government representatives and community members. Ethically, this research based mainly on the “principle of the common good” where the common good is realized when economic, political and social conditions ensure protection for the fundamental rights of all individuals and enables all to fulfil their common purpose and reach their common goals. According to the principle of the common good, there are three essential elements: respect for persons, social welfare, and peace and security. All three of these elements entail the provision of love, feeding and health care, accommodation, education and security. All these conditions were fulfilled by both NGOs most especially Sunrise Children’s Village, Entebbe. It was concluded that both Bukoto Child Development Centre and Sunrise Children’s Village have achieved and changed children’s lives to whom they provide assistance. Both NGOs have objectives under whose guidance they operate. Most of all, they both exhibit concern for humanity but Sunrise Children’s Village beats AMG-Bukoto in effectively creating a favourable environment for vulnerable children to exploit their rights. Sunrise Children’s Village earned more credit for providing a whole range of basic assistance from accommodation, feeding, health care, education, social growth and love. It is recommended that: funding agencies do strict follow-up up of funds to child welfare oriented NGOs through periodic monitoring and evaluations by external experts in order to ensure transparency and proper accountability; national governments should put welfare programmes on the fore front of all in the budgeting process other than funding political programmes; massive child rights sensitisation of the people especially those that live in the rural areas where communication barriers are more apparent than in the urban, and defining who the real vulnerable children are in the context of Uganda.