Children from the streets are enlisted in the rehabilitation program which runs for one year. Its curriculum is child-centered and aims at interesting the child in learning. The children are taught the following; Literacy lessons, Reproductive sexual health, Life skills, Math, Art, English, Science, Agriculture, games, Sports, Music, drama and HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention and care. After the program the child can join either formal school or vocational training.
Counseling is a core activity of the project. The children are provided with psycho-social care and support to help them cope and survive within their environment. Individual, Group, peer and Family counseling, are carried out on a regular basis.
TAATA KIDS provides two nutritious meals daily to children who come to the center. Children who attend the rehabilitation program have breakfast and lunch. Some of the children who attend formal schools within the Mbale municipality have lunch and at the project.
The families of children found on the streets are traced and children are enabled to resettle within their family extended systems. School going children are placed in schools nearest to their homes. Other children are resettled with vital items like mattresses, blankets, or a goat for an income generation project, depending on the prevailing situation in the home.
Formal School Sponsorship.
The children who qualify from the Rehabilitation program are sponsored to attend school in the government primary and secondary schools nearest to their home. TAATA KIDS pays the school fees and uniforms to enable children to be retained in school. Parents/guardians are encouraged to contribute other scholastic materials e.g. books, pens etc.
Recreation (Sports,Games, Music,Dance & Drama).
TAATA KIDS encourages children to participate in different sports and games in order to develop their talents, team spirit, improve their self-image and for recreation purposes. The TAATA KIDS football club has been able to participate in the district and regional leagues. Annual games are played within the TAATA KIDS projects to create strong relationships among all the children of the three projects.
Peer education is an important program in which TAATA KIDSuses children to reach other children. This is because children understand each other and communicate to each other better. At every TAATA KIDS center, there are Peer Clubs comprising 25 to 35 children who spearhead information sharing with other children. The Club members meet monthly to plan their activities. They carry out training and outreaches for other children and youth on the streets, in schools and in the community. The Clubs talk about Sexual Reproductive Health and rights, Behavior change, Life skills, Child Rights and Responsibilities HIV/AIDS, Child Participation, Child Savings, and, Discipline. The children also provide counseling services to each other and provide support to children who faced difficult situations. The Peer Clubs have ensured that children’s rights are observed.
TAATA KIDS owns medical clinics at its centers which treat all the street children and poor families living slum area in Mbale.
TAATA KIDS also provides family planning and immunization to the poor families. A mobile clinic is held two times in the month in the Namatala slum. This program has greatly reduced on child mortality rate and improved the health of mothers in the community.
Children’s Annual Camp
TAATA KIDS Uganda often takes children for camps so that they can have some wonderful time away from the towns and participate in various games,life skills and discipleship lessons.Children learn about drug abuse,health issues,better language use,e.t.c.During the camping,children also mak e friends with other children at times from different schools which reduces their stigimitization.Camps also impact on children behaviour change such as stopping drugs and use of vulgar language as well as deciding to join either formal or informal education programs.
TAATA KIDS peer educators carry out monthly outreach programs to reach other street children and youth in the wider community with messages on HIV/AIDS/STI. The peer educators disseminate information on HIV/AIDS through drama and music and make referrals to other HIV/AIDS support centers for further management.
Since these events are greatly celebrated in Uganda,TAATA KIDS always holds Easter and Christmas parties for all the street children and their parents/guardians living in the slum areas so that they are part of the celebrations. The occasions are also attended by government officials and well wishers who pledge support for the project.