Living library project on AIDS Memorial Day where the ‘books’ were real people with stories of their own to share © 2008 Alliance Ukraine Participants in the Photovioce project, India © 2006 Jenny Mathews / Alliance / Photovoice

Reaching vulnerable children in Uganda


Seven year old Juliette Mueswa. In Uganda there are an estimated 1.2 million children who have been orphaned by AIDS © Nell Freeman for the Alliance
In Uganda there are an estimated 1.2 million children who have been orphaned by AIDS. Services are currently reaching less than a quarter of these children.

SUNRISE-OVC aims to change this. The project works with local government and communities to improve access, utilisation, coverage and quality of comprehensive services for orphans and vulnerable children in 80 districts across Uganda. It aims to reach over 1m vulnerable children over 5 years.

SUNRISE-OVC stands for ‘Strengthening the Ugandan National Response for Implementation of Services for Orphans and Vulnerable Children’. It is funded by USAID and implemented by Alliance Uganda.


Thanks to SUNRISE, 72 out of the 80 districts the project covers map service coverage and empower communities to plan and respond to the needs of vulnerable children. Sixteen-year-old Maureen from Bushenyi District is one of the many vulnerable young people who have been reached by the project.

After the deaths of both her parents from AIDS she found herself the head of her household with three siblings aged between 12 and 15 to look after. They were struggling to get by, living on just one meal a day in a house on the brink of falling down.

Things changed when they were identified as part of a community mapping exercise. The mapping exercise was conducted by the district’s local government with the technical support of SUNRISE and their partner ACORD. It aimed to identify the most vulnerable children in the community, and find resources within their communities to improve their situation.

After Maureen was recognised as needing urgent support, SUNRISE provided hands-on support to the community to develop and implement a plan of action to meet needs of the children. Following this the house the children live in was renovated and a new latrine was built. Funds were also put towards sending the children to school. Maureen is overjoyed with the changes, “community members are our guardians” she says. She and her siblings now plan to grow bananas and beans to improve their daily diet and become more self-reliant.

Maureen’s story demonstrates one part of the wider work SUNRISE is doing to strengthen support to vulnerable children across Uganda. By strengthening the capacity of local governments and communities the lives more than 1m other children like Maureen will be improved. You can read more about what the project has achieved so far here.