Who we are
Global Support Development Initiative (GDI-Uganda) is a locally-focused CHILDCARE, Not-for-Profit and Non–Governmental Community Development Organization, established in Uganda in 2004 during the Lord’s Resistance Army Rebel (LRA) insurgency from Northern Uganda that ravaged the region and got duly registered in 2013 to comprehensively reach out to vulnerable children, families and communities with the philosophy of ONE CHILD; ONE Community at a time’’.
GDI-Uganda believes that; ‘’Every Child was Born Free and Equal’’ and is entitled to live to his/her full potential; has a right to a life without hunger, poverty, malnutrition, illness, depression, oppression, poverty and illiteracy.
Our Program is anchored on five (5) broad themes deliberately focused on: (1) Education of orphans and other vulnerable children with an emphasis on Girl Child (2) Child Protection, Governance and Advocacy on Girl Child and Women Empowerment (3) Agriculture, Food Security, Livelihood and Humanitarian relief (4) Health and Nutrition interventions with emphasis on Maternal Child Health (MCHN) (5) Water, Sanitation, Hygiene & Environment (WASHE).
Since the aftermath of the 21-year war and since the loudness of the gunshots went silent in Northern Uganda, GDI-Uganda has been charged with its main mandate to engage, mobilize, support, monitor and involve different development stakeholders in pursuing right-based, healthy, socio-economic recovery and development in the region of Northern Uganda and beyond with multiplier effect.
Our Strategy: GDI-Uganda, transitioned from a humanitarian relief organization, where we supported individual children and families who lived in resettlement camps (Internally Displaced People’s Camps) between 2004 and 2009 to access basic necessities like food and healthcare to a community approach where we believed that building the capacity of the family to support the children is more sustainable.
In the past years, we realized that many young girls are getting pregnant or engaging in early marriage and thus abandoning their marriages and babies thus leading to increased child protection problems within communities. Additionally, we also realized that there is an increased mortality rate among children and their mothers due to lack of or inadequate health services, poverty and malnutrition. Besides, the need to establish rehabilitation centres for children, youth and women also remains a critical challenge in the region. We then transitioned our program to dealing with child protection and child marriage problems by advocating for children’s rights and girls inclusion.
Over the years, we have put more attention to building the capacity of local leaders to combat issues of child abuse within communities as well as empower low-income families through women empowerment in areas of Farming as a business; Village Saving and Loan Association (VSLA); training of Girls and Child Mothers in Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM), production of Reusable Sanitary Pads and Vocational Skill Training so as to improve their socio-economic statuses. GDI-Uganda has also been at the forefront supporting girls and youth to have access to Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) information and services.
GDI-Uganda is headquartered in Lira District with Field Offices in Kole and West Nile District of Nebbi in Northern Uganda respectively.
GDI-Uganda has over the years built mutual trust and partnerships with both local, national and international development organizations in combating silent violence against younger children, youth and women. GDI-Uganda has been in Partnership with Plan International Uganda from 2015 to 2021 in implementing ‘’Combating Silent Violence Against Younger Children (VAC Project)’’ and ‘’DECIDE-TO-END Child Marriage’’ Projects respectively with an overall impact of Adolescent Girls and Boys aged 10-19 years from Kole District are protected against child marriage and empowered to enjoy their sexual reproductive health rights in a violence-free society that values girls.
GDI-Uganda, with funding support from Plan International Uganda, has established a vocational training centre and is currently training 40 girls Rescued from Child Marriage in Tailoring and Garment Cutting. The current challenge at the centre is that there is inadequate training equipment, supplies and materials to effectively and efficiently meet the overwhelming demands of the beneficiaries enrolling for training.
GDI-Uganda works with over 750 out of school girls between the ages of 14-24 years. 30% of these are already living in union and 50% have had children. The other 20% are at home and live by supporting the family chores with no definite plan of their own. These girls are even more susceptible to child marriage as they do not have any concrete plan for their living. We, therefore, appeal to other donors, partners or individuals to join hands in supporting this noble cause.
Besides, GDI-Uganda has also been partnering with Vitamin Angels USA since 2014 to date, to improve children’s nutrition and pregnant mothers through community health education, distribution and administering of free Vitamin A supplements, deworming tablets to children under the age of 5years and prenatal multivitamins to pregnant mothers. Most rural communities of Northern Uganda has been recorded to have a lack of access to clean water sources which has resulted in a leading risk factor for infectious diseases and deaths. Reports reveal that 6% of deaths in low-income countries like Uganda are the result of unsafe water sources.
A similar project of Ending Child Marriage, education of orphans and providing vocational skills to school dropout child mothers and girls rescued from child marriage has been replicated to West Nile District of Nebbi in September 2021, with support from Purenessity Germany. More funding support from well-wishers, donors and partners is still required in order to completely create an everlasting impact in the lives of girls in the West Nile Region.
GDI-Uganda thus; strive for a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. The organization is, therefore, best known in the fields of child protection and supporting orphans and other vulnerable children and advocating for girls’ rights.