Watch the ASCO Journey video above to see the conditions the boys were living in.
GI Trust is the fundraising and sponsorship and donations receiving partner in the UK for Get Involved with African Street Children (GI ASCO).
GI ASCO started in January 2010 as a drop in day centre for street homeless children in Jinja, eastern Uganda. In April 2010, the project was able to rent a house and become a residential home for street homeless boys. A couple of months later, the boys started at local schools.
GI ASCO now operates three centres across Jinja, providing a range of support services and care to street homeless children and young people.
Community Outreach & Assessment Centre –
Opened in the summer of 2016, GI ASCO’s Assessment Centre aims to work with young people who are currently living on the streets. Its outreach team tries to understand the circumstances that led them there in order to address the root causes of their homelessness.
It provides them with short-term residential care whilst its social care team work with them to assess their situation and attempt to find their families.
So far, GI ASCO has received over 50 referrals from local authorities, and has accepted 23. 18 young people, including 2 girls, have now been re-integrated into their families, a 78% success rate. It’s not always safe for children to return home to their families, and so 4 boys have been referred to GI ASCO’s Children’s Home. 1 boy decided the programme was not for him.
We’re extremely excited about this project as, for the first time since the beginning of GI ASCO, it has been able to help girls who find themselves on the streets, and we’re hoping to do more to support girls and run at full capacity over the next 12 months.
Community Support & Children’s Home –
Where possible GI ASCO always tries to reintegrate children back into the care of their families or local communities. For boys where it is not safe to return home, it provides a loving family home and long-term day-to-day care. It supports them through their education, and looks after their emotional and physical health and wellbeing.
For children who are able to return home, GI ASCO provides them with community support by regularly visiting them and their families.
Transition Home & independent living –
GI ASCO provides semi independent living for young people aged 18 – 23 years still in education or training.
The transition home launched in 2015. As street children often spend long periods of time out of education, it’s common for young people to turn 18 and still be in education. The Transition Home provides them with a supportive environment in which they can continue their studies, but also take the next steps to independent living.
Each young person is in some form of education or training, and has to cook, clean and wash their own clothes. They also take part in our life skills programme to prepare them for when they’re ready to move on.
In the past 12 months, GI ASCO have made huge progress by significantly expanding for the first time the number of extremely vulnerable children it is able to support.
GI ASCO has bold ambitions for the future – always looking to improve its support services, reach more children and find long-term sustainable solutions.
Watch the GI ASCO boys talk about how the project has changed their lives.
Watch a video showing the day the project moved to the new GI ASCO House in April 2012
Originally structured as a local CBO, the project is now registered as a Ugandan International NGO called Get Involved with African Street Children (GI ASCO) (reg. no. 9015). The overall project director is Sarah Kelly, a UK trained social worker. The local project director is Gerald Wandera, and the project provides jobs for 11 people in Jinja.
GI ASCO’s address is Plot 1, Nalufenya Close, Jinja, Uganda
We need your help!
GI ASCO needs as much financial and practical support as possible. You can do this in a number of ways – by volunteering in Uganda, fundraising in the UK, becoming a regular sponsor, making a one off cash donation, donating clothes, books, pens or other teaching materials resources or simply telling your family and friends about the project.
To see the GI ASCO Facebook page, click here
If you would like a copy of the latest GI ASCO newsletter, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org