January 2004 – June 2012 Overview
ECLT supported three projects in Uganda from 2004 to 2009. The first, the Elimination of Child Labour in Tobacco Growing in Uganda (ECLATU) ran for three years from the beginning of 2004 until the end of 2006. Six months before the end of this first project, a second project began in July 2006. This extension phase ran until the middle of 2008, and was immediately succeeded by one-year transition phase which ended in the middle of 2009.
The Community Empowerment for Elimination of Child Labour in Tobacco (COMEECA) project was a follow-up to the Elimination of Child Labour in Tobacco Growing in Uganda (ECLATU) project. COMEECA was initially conceived as a four year project (January 2010-June 2012), but was reduced to 30 months so that it concentrates more on capacity building. COMEECA followed up on recommendations from ECLATU final evaluation which suggested continuing the activities in the same areas.
Project 1: ECLATU 1
Project in brief
|Project Name||Elimination of Child Labour in Tobacco Growing in Uganda (ECLATU)|
|Duration||1st January 2004 until 31st December 2006|
|Expenditure||$US 516, 132|
|Development objective||To contribute to the prevention and elimination of the worst forms of child labour particularly child labour on tobacco farms in Masindi District.|
|Immediate objectives||1. To increase awareness on issues of child labour generally in the district of Masindi and specifically in the Sub counties of Karujubu and Budongo to 100% among all tobacco farmers and local leaders. 2. To reduce the prevalence of child labour to negligible levels at the end of the project. 3. To reduce school absenteeism as a result of child labour from the current 25% to below 5% within three years. 4. Provide viable sustainable alternatives to child labourers through education and skills development.5. Increase awareness on and create linkages with the existing Poverty Alleviation Programmes to make them more accessible to the tobacco growing families, which are in great need of financial management skills.|
Agriculture is the key sector of the economy in Uganda. It provides 80% employment and livelihood to the majority of the poor in rural areas, including the Masindi district. Most agricultural activities are carried out on smallholder farms using rudimentary tools and implements, particularly for tobacco growing which is labour intensive and requires whole families to be part of the labour force. Because of the high value of children’s contribution to family survival, children are obliged to participate in one way or another even if it means not attending school.
It was difficult to have precise data on the nature, magnitude, dynamics and trends of child labour in Uganda. A number of studies, particularly the thematic and sectoral studies on child labour in Uganda (ILO/SIMPOC, 2004), are progressively bringing to light the extent of the problem in Uganda.
At the time the project was conceived, available statistical information (UBOS, Labour Force Survey, 2003) indicated that there were 1.5 million working children—and that may have been a conservative estimate. The 2000/2001 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey identified a higher figure of 2.7 million working children. Differences in methodology and definition make it difficult to track exact changes in child labour over time.
Despite Uganda’s ratification before the project began of key international instruments and conventions aimed to protect children from exploitative work, child labour remained widespread. Most children were working in the informal sector, in agriculture (often on subsistence farms), as domestic servants, and in illicit activities. However, it was clear that child labour differed from district to district, sector-to- sector, and occupation-to-occupation. The Uganda National Child Labour Policy, 2006 indicates that the worst forms of child labour included commercial agriculture especially on plantations and in fishing, in domestic service, through commercial sexual exploitation, the informal sector, construction and other hazardous activities. Nearly 70% of child labour occurred in agriculture, fishing, hunting and forestry. In the years running up to the start of ECLATU, children had been found labouring in tobacco, tea, sugarcane, rice growing, herding and oil seed production. The baseline study survey conducted by SODECO for BAT-Uganda in 2003 found that 25% of children were involved in child labour in tobacco growing.
Child labourers in tobacco growing are exposed to various hazardous activities, including working long hours, carrying heavy loads and being exposed to chemical products. Although they may go to school, such children are unable to concentrate in class since they are exhausted from having to work long hours. The factors that have contributed to the increase in children engaged in child labour in the region include: continued rapid population growth; increasing poverty; and the devastation of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Key achievements from ECLATU 1
1. Awareness-raising and community sensitization
The first step to ensure that child labour in tobacco-growing could be successfully tackled was to set in place the systems and frameworks required to do so.
At the very start of the project, all staff were given appropriate and comprehensive training to facilitate project activities. Following this, and as part of the community mapping exercise and consultation with local leaders, parents, community figures, potential mobilisers, selected families and other stakeholders were identified to help implement the action plan.
Seminars for district leaders were held which scrutinized all activities involved in tobacco farming and determined those that are acceptable for children to engage in. Following this, local sub-county chiefs, sub-county chairpersons, women leaders and sub-county councillors attended workshops, during which it was decided to pass by-laws that would make it unlawful both to send children to tobacco farms during school time and that all parents would be required to send their children to school.
- 35 farmers’ workshops were conducted in Karujubu and Budongo sub-counties which were attended by 4,149 people.
- Three teachers’ workshops were conducted in project area, 224 primary schools teachers – 91% of those targeted – attended.
- For both farmers and teachers, emphasis was placed on both the dangers of child labour and the importance of school as a necessary and viable alternative.
- On top of these measures, 52 youths in and out of school were trained at a special workshop by the District Youth Councillor of Masindi district in collaboration with youth leaders.
- Finally, as a result of eight seminars attended by 125 women and 353 men, 52 child labour committees were created at village, parish and sub-county level, which were instrumental in the registration of children working on tobacco farms and for protecting children over the lifetime of the project.
Awareness-raising about the project was extensive. Radio, short films, drama performances and posters were deployed to reinforce the project’s messages.
- Different radio spots were developed, and were broadcast over the course of the project well over 1,000 times on Masinidi Broadcasting Services (MBS) and Radio Kitara. Messages were broadcast mainly during the peak seasons of planting, harvesting and marketing, and emphasised the dangers of child labour, the importance of sending children to school and the role of child labour committees in ensuring that children stay in school. Latterly, the radio spots urged parents to send older children to the Kyema Vocational Training Institute.
- Five radio programmes were developed and broadcast that sensitised policy and law makers, farmers and the general public on the plight of children in child labour.
- Four radio drama performances were conducted that was followed by a phone-in from listeners about child labour in tobacco farming.
- Nearly 6,500 coloured posters – in English, Runyoro, Swahili and Luo – and 700 T-shirts, depicted the harmful effects of child labour, laws relating to child labour, the importance and availability of educational opportunities and child rights.
- Films were shown in 10 locations every six months that described the worst forms of child labour and appealed to parents and opinion leaders to send children to school. Vocational skills development was highlighted as an alternative for children who had dropped out of school. Following these screenings, children were asked to distinguish between child work and child labour.
2. Education and protection from child labour
At the beginning of the project, the newly-established child labour committees identified 164 boys and 139 girls of primary school age and referred them to schools. The committees also identified 430 boys and 115 girls for vocational skills training. By the close of the project, 2,091 children of school-going age had been identified for withdrawal and been placed in schools.
A major focus of the project was to ensure that pupils should be given the chance to study to the best of their ability. New scholastic materials – exercise books, pens, pencils and mathematical sets – were regularly issued to over 3,000 pupils. Whilst these undoubtedly had a positive impact on students’ performance, it should be noted that school attendance rates varied considerably over the course of this phase of the project. This variation was largely due to factors well outside the control of the project, such as families returning to their original homes following the end of the civil war, migration caused by ethnic clashes between the indigenous tribes of Masindi and the Congo tribes at the border, and displacement caused by repossession of a farm by a landowner.
Extending vocational training was a significant success of this project. The Kyema Vocational Training Institute, built from scratch by the project and opened in October 2005, enabled boys and girls of school-leaving age to undergo training in key professions. It assists children withdrawn from child labour who do not meet normal entry requirements of technical colleges and do not have the resources to pay full fees.
Before the Kyema Institute was completed, the project had already established a successful apprenticeship system with local employers.
- 24 older children were given scholarships to undergo vocational skills training in sewing, bricklaying, carpentry and joinery, catering, metallurgy and secretarial work.
- Students were issued with a set of tools/equipment for their trade. These tools were issued under a cost recovery scheme through which they agreed to pay back the full cost, between 5,000 and 50,000 Ugandan shillings, payable over a period of 20 months.
- Once opened and fully functioning, the Kyema Institute successfully ran and completed two semesters of training.
- 90 students studied in the first semester. Courses included bricklaying and concreting, carpentry and joinery, tailoring and agriculture. 66 completed their classes of which 44 passed their final exams.
- In the second semester, 101 students were reporting for lectures. 65 students were able to complete their courses and intensive efforts were made to target 300 students for the third intake, Feb-May 2007 (100 for boarding and 200 for the day scholars).
- The drop-out rates for the first two years were attributed to the long distances from homes, lack of money to pay for regular overnight accommodation, and defaulting on fees. All these issues were to be addressed as ‘lessons learned’ in the second phase of the project.
Overall achievements for KVTI in this phase of the project included:
- The majority of the graduates succeeded in earning a living from their chosen profession. Some were contracted by the Institute and engaged at commercial rates to construct the agriculture infrastructure, toilets for the boarding section and parts of the kitchen.
- One acre of cassava was planted from cuttings and were collected for sale.
- A woodlot of pines was created and 100 trees were planted and a nursery bed of pines for commercial purposes was also laid out;
- By the end of this phase of the project, dormitories were almost completed and beds and mattresses were on site.
Project 2: ECLATU 2
Project in brief
|Project Name||Elimination of Child Labour in Tobacco Growing in Uganda (ECLATU)|
|Duration||1st July 2006 until 30th June 2008|
|Project goals||1. To increase awareness on issues of child labour generally in the district of Masindi and specifically in the sub-counties of Karujubu and Budongo to 100% among all tobacco farmers and local leaders. 2. To reduce the prevalence of child labour to negligible levels at the end of the project. 3. To reduce school absenteeism as a result of child labour from the current 25% to below 5% within three years. 4. Provide viable sustainable alternatives to child labourers through education and skills development.5. Increase awareness on and create linkages with the existing Poverty Alleviation Programmes to make them more accessible to the tobacco growing families, which are in great need of financial management skills.|
|Objectives||1. To prevent the recruitment of child labourers for work on tobacco farms through intensive sensitization and awareness creation among parents, community leaders, potential victims and the public at large on the problems and consequences of child labour. 2. To remove children engaged in exploitative child labour and provide with appropriate education/vocational skills. 3. To increase access for tobacco farming communities to existing poverty alleviation programs and will have acquired financial management skills.|
Building on the successes of the first phase, a key target for the project was to make the KVTI self-sustainable through income generating activities.
- Two cross breed heifers, 160 local chickens, five goats, one improved Boer goat and three sows in calf were purchased at the beginning of the project. One cow delivered a calf early on in the project and produced at least four litres of milk per day.
- By the end of the project the piggery farm had 11 pigs which had bred several piglets for sale. Following advice from the District Veterinary Officer, three of the local male goats produced on the farm were sold to avoid generating weak breeds; at the end of the project there were 14 goats. Both cows produced calves, one of each sex.
- 3 kgs of pine seeds (Caribbea) were purchased at the start of the project and a nursery bed established for commercial production of pine seedlings.
- Over 9,000 seedlings of pine were produced and sold. Improved seedlings of mangoes, paw paws, avocado and oranges were purchased in batches of 30.
- An orchard was established and water was also extended up to the farm for livestock and general use.
- Two former KTVI agriculture students were recruited, one to work at the farm and the other to care for the plant nursery.
- Three tutors were trained in motorised tools and equipment for income generation. The concrete mixer and porker were hired out to contractors.
The KVTI continued to improve and expand. Over the course of this second phase of the project:
- The kitchen at KVTI was constructed by former students and became operational.
- Construction of a library by former students under the supervision of their tutor commenced in July 2007.
- Also in July 2007, the construction of a semi-detached house for tutors got underway, again by former students under the supervision of their tutors.
- The construction of the dormitories was completed. Water was extended to both the toilets and bathrooms and thus became fully operational. This at first allowed 45 boarders – 20 girls and 25 boys – to stay at KVTI; by the close of the project the figure was 54 students, 18 girls and 36 boys.
- As before, tools were purchased and issued to students. They signed agreements, endorsed by guarantors , that the cost of the tools would be paid back;
- A total of 25 HIV/AIDS orphans – 9 boys and 16 girls – were identified with the help of TASO (an HIV/AIDS local based organization), the child labour committees, BUCODO and were recruited for training at Kyema. All are under 18 years of age; 11 were in the boarding section while 14 were day scholars.
- 117 students registered for the third intake of the KVTI. This disaggregated into 39 studying bricklaying and concreting; 26 in carpentry and joinery: 50 in tailoring and two in agriculture. After the mid-term break, 108 students returned. The nine who did not return had been unable to pay the course fees.
- Of these 108, 92 completed the course. Again the discrepancy in figures is down to failure to pay fees. Of the 92 who sat exams, 82 passed.
- 64 students enrolled for the first term of 2008, the fourth session intake since the inception of the KVTI. A further 21 students, sponsored by NGO the Christian Children’s Fund joined mid-way through the term, but four of the original students dropped out because they were unable to pay their fees.
In terms of school support:
- Scholastic materials – exercise books, pens, pencils and mathematical sets – were regularly issued to those students most in need;
- Over the course of the two years of the project (July 2006 – June 2008) school attendance increased from 102,916 to 111,046, a difference of 8,130, in the 12 sub-counties of the project area.
2. Awareness-raising and community sensitisation
The project continued to prioritise and promote awareness-raising activities. This included sensitising community members about the dangers of child labour and ensuring that beneficiaries were regularly exposed to the project’s messages.
- 30 sensitization workshops were conducted in the seven sub counties of Masindi Port, Kimengo, Nyanghaya, Pakanyi, Mutunda, Kiryandongo and Kigumba in the extended project area. There were 1,199 participants consisting of 914 men and 285 women.
- These workshops were attended by sub county officials, opinion formers and religious leaders, head teachers and class teachers and farmers’ and parents’ groups.
- Child labour committees were formed during these workshops at the village/parish level and special effort was focused on areas where tobacco is intensively grown.
- Talk shows were conducted specifically for World Day Against Child Labour in June.
- Radio spot messages were aired at peak periods, which latterly focused on the importance of parents sending their children to the KVTI.
- 1,060 posters were distributed by the participants who attended the sensitization workshops. The posters were displayed in public places like schools, market places, shops, churches, mosques, and community halls in the sub-counties.
- 16 film shows were conducted in the project area during this phase of the project. The films depicted various forms of child labour that children are subjected to. The key message emphasized the relationship between child labour and HIV/AIDS. (According to UNICEF, over 15% of youth below the age of 18 are orphans in Uganda).
Project 3: ECLATU 3
Project in brief
|Project Name||Elimination of Child Labour in Tobacco Growing in Uganda (ECLATU) (Transitional phase)|
|Partners||Budongo Forests Community Development Organization (BUCODO)|
|Duration||1st July 2008 until 30th June 2009|
|Project purpose||1. To address project weaknesses and consolidate project successes so as to establish strategies for a smooth handover of the project to the local authorities, ensure sustainability after the take over and support from the relevant Central Ministries by June 2009. 2. To prepare the central and local government authorities involved in the transitional project to take over the project by end of June 2009.|
|Objectives||1. To strengthen the village child labour committees to undertake community driven elimination of child labour in tobacco growing in the project area 2. To strengthen the institutional capacity of Kyema VTI to deliverquality vocational and technical educational services to, as apriority, the former child labourers who generally do not haveformal educational qualifications and secondarly, to other students 3.To establish a commercially viable business entity (Kyema Business Enterprise) for Kyema VTI by the end of the project4.To enhance the organisational and management capacity of
ECLATU Trust for effective and efficient coordination of the
stakeholder efforts in the project
1. Awareness-raising and community sensitisation
As before, awareness-raising remained a key component of the project. In total:
- Three talk shows were aired, which featured the Senior Community Development Officer for Masindi, the Executive Director of BUCODO and representatives from the child labour committees.
- 756 spot messages were broadcast in four languages. As with the talk shows, the key issues covered were the role of Village Child Labour Committees (VCLCs) in the fight against child labour, the importance of building effective partnerships, and the need for parents and stakeholders to send their children to school or KVTI instead of into tobacco growing.
- 5 VCLCs were set up during this phase of the project; one training session was held and two exchange visits took place between different VCLCs;
- 10 meetings were held to revitalise VCLCs, from which the following proposed points of action were drawn up to form the basis for an action plan:
- More awareness creation among the communities by VCLCs with the help of the working manual and through mass media;
- Speedy formulation of district ordinance on child labour and bye-laws at sub-county and village levels that should be enforced without fear or favour;
- Stern warnings and tough actions should be taken against Local Council officials who fail to enforce bye-laws;
- The issue of poverty and HIV/AIDS should be addressed using a multi-dimensional approach through community participation in government poverty eradication programmes and enforcement of food security bye-laws;
- The production of the working manual for VCLCs should be undertaken speedily so as to empower them with knowledge and skills required to eliminate child labour;
- 400 working manuals for VCLCs were produced; 100 in each of the four local languages. This manual was a simplified version of the training manual with additional information on HIV/AIDS, vocational training and orphans and vulnerable children.
- One meeting was held to discuss by-laws.
This transitional project continued to build on the earlier education successes.
- Enrolment levels remained stable throughout the twelve months of this transitional project;
- The planning department of Masindi District agreed to develop a strategic plan for KVTI
- The construction of the outstanding buildings completed was completed: the semi-detached teachers’ house, the library, the kitchen and dining room and the VIP latrine.
- 47 students sat the final exams from the fourth intake of the KVTI of which 29 passed; a further 32 were due to take exams in February 2009.
Key achievements 2004–2009
- Sustainability. The projects were community driven and addressed child labour directly at the roots by identifying affected children and offering them solid, long-term alternatives.
- Local Institutions. The project successfully established 50 functional Village Child Labour Committees (VCLCs) – one committee per village – to identify and withdraw children and place them in primary education or in vocational training. VCLC activities were accepted by local governance structures and have positively impacted on the formulation of byelaws.
- Stakeholder commitment. Masindi District Local Government donated land for the KVTI and after January 2007 incorporated KVTI staff into its payroll.
- Child Labour Awareness. The final external evaluation survey found that the number of farmers with knowledge of the law prohibiting child labour had dramatically increased from 36% in 2006 to almost 80% in 2009.
- Withdrawn children. 3,780 children – 2,058 boys and 1,722 girls – were withdrawn from child labour between 2004 and 2009.
- Kyema Vocational Training Institute (KVTI). The project successfully constructed the institute to provide vocational skills to children withdrawn from child labour in tobacco growing who were too old to return to primary education. The institute also served other children supported by other NGOs such as Orphans and Vulnerable Children. The KVTI was also supported with resources from the Masindi District Local Government.
Project 4: COMEECA
Project in brief
|Project Name||Community Empowerment for Elimination of Child Labour in Tobacco (COMEECA)|
|Partners||Community Development and Conservation Agency (CODECA) and Platform for Labour Action (PLA)|
|Duration||30 months from 01 January 2010, to 30 June 2012|
|Project Budget||US$ 1,126,771|
|Location||Masindi and Kiryandongo districts, Uganda.|
|Overall Goal||To contribute to the elimination of hazardous child labour in tobacco-growing areas in Uganda.|
|Direct Beneficiaries||3,000 children identified for withdrawal and prevention during the first 12 months of the projec|
According to the 2005/06 Uganda National Households Survey, there are an estimated 1.76 million 5-17 year-olds engaged in child labour in Uganda. HIV/AIDS affected and infected children, children from very poor families, orphans, and children with disabilities as well as children caught up in armed conflict are some of the most vulnerable groups. These children have very little chance of accessing education and are highly likely to be exploited in the labour market.
The COMEECA project was implemented in Masindi and Kiryandongo districts of Western Uganda, over 18 months to achieve the following two objectives:
- To reduce the incidence of child labour in Masindi and Kiryandongo districts by 3000 children; and
- To improve national stakeholders knowledge to address hazardous child labour in tobacco growing areas in Uganda.
The project met its objectives and exceeded most targets, key among which are the following:
Objective 1: Reducing the incidence of child labour in Masindi and Kiryandongo districts by 3000 children by June 2012
- 4’898 children were withdrawn (2063) and prevented (2835) from child labour through direct and indirect interventions;
- 120 scholarships awarded for former child labourers to attend vocational training at Kyema College;
- 812 key stakeholders trained in addressing hazardous child labour. The trainees included project staff, district and sub-county officials, teachers, village child labour committee members and farmers;
- 9,000 communities reached with 6564 child labour programmes and messages on community radio. The community radio stations have an estimated listenership of 2 million people in the Bunyoro sub-region where the project was located;
- 54 schools supplied with sporting equipment to assist with the physical and social development of school children and improve school attendance and retention; and
- Rapid assessment on child labour in tobacco growing conducted in project areas and launched at a national public event to maximize awareness.
Objective 2: Improving national stakeholders’ knowledge to address hazardous child labour in tobacco growing areas in Uganda.
- Formed and trained 50 functional village child labour committees and child labour advocacy network members on advocacy, programming and interventions in addressing child labour issues in tobacco-growing areas;
- 118 teachers from 54 primary schools and Kyema Vocational Training College trained in the use of SCREAM (Supporting Children’s Rights through Education, Arts and Media) methodology, an education and social mobilization initiative to help educators in formal and non-formal education settings, to cultivate young people’s understanding of the causes and consequences of child labour. The programme places heavy emphasis on the use of the visual, literary and performing arts and provides young people with powerful tools of self-expression while supporting their personal and social development; and
- 300 tobacco farmers provided with entrepreneurship and financial management training through the ILO Get Ahead (Gender and Entrepreneurship Together) methodology in order to promote enterprise development among farmers and address poverty that is a cause and consequence of child labour.
Other key external evaluation findings
- The COMEECA project was relevant to the international and national context related to child labour, the needs and priorities of the local situation and ‘sensitive to critical design elements’ such as building on previous experience, participation of relevant stakeholders and logic and internal coherence;
- Project management, partner performance, financial management, coordination and cost effectiveness were strong but could have been stronger if partners could ‘leverage each other’s strengths’ and improve project visibility at a national level;
- Project impact at child, household, community, school and district levels was ‘immense’, but weak at a national level; and
- Project impacts were sustainable, especially at community, school and district levels due to the appropriate design of the project.
Key lessons learnt
- Projects whose sustainability will require government support and resources should be designed in consultation with relevant national government offices. Such an approach will enable influence on government policy framework and action as well as national scale up;
- A project that recognizes the importance of capacity building of partners and communities enhances empowerment, ownership and commitment. Such efforts are vital in galvanizing collaboration and spearheading the main project outputs; and
- The subjects of the intervention are the children and youths. They should be involved from project inception if the project is to be relevant to their needs.
 Summary of the project evaluation conducted in April 2012