Over 80% of the children living in orphanages in Uganda have at least one living parent.

Due to poverty, many families bring their children to institutions in hopes that they receive better care.


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Our Stance

At Cherish we exist to build a hope and a future for children living with HIV and we are convinced it happens best in the context of family.

We endeavor to resource families as they take up their God-given responsibility to raise the children God has given to them. We want to promote dignity and responsibility, not dependence.

Rather than taking a child in, the impact is greater by going out to the child’s family and being a resource to them on how to best care for their child/teen.

While in the short-term, it might seem effective to take in a child to help meet their basic needs, we found that most situations were not medical emergencies. With a child’s long-term benefit in mind, we seek to encourage family preservation by working alongside families to empower them to be able to care for their child.

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Family partnerships

Cherish partners with the families of students at Cherish Schools, families referred to us by local hospitals specializing in HIV care, as well as the families who have a child that used to live in our Short-Term Care Facility (emergency housing for children who are HIV-positive).

No matter how hard we, or any other organization try, an institution is not a home. Children thrive in a family settings and many of these parents don’t want to be separated from their children.

In 2018, we finished resettling all the children from our Short-Term Care Facility and reunited them with found family members, extended relatives, or foster parents.

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Family Strengthening Program

We ended the Short-Term Care Facility program to start the Family Strengthening Program.

The Cherish social workers visit the families throughout the year to check on the children, to assess the health of the family and living conditions, and to do individualized trainings with each household.

Social work team visits each partner family 3 times a year.

  • Discipleship

  • Trainings (such as budgeting, family planning, etc.)

  • HIV care training

  • Counseling

Learn more about Family Strengthening Program here.


FAQs

What if the family is very impoverished?

We address every obstacle in an individualized manner. While a child’s basic needs do need to be met, we believe love is far more valuable to a child’s wellbeing than material measurements of wealth. We do try to connect families to opportunities where they can sustain their family through a livable income. On a few occasions, we even helped families by building them a safe home to live in that would also give them a steady income with rooms they could lease.


What if you can’t find a parent?

If the child is brought to us by a referral, such as a hospital, the next 48 hours are crucial when searching for evidence, as they are in any investigation. Our social workers work diligently the next 48 hours to try and find out how this child was found, if they were abandoned, and if so, by whom. Often times, parents who do not have money or hope will drop off their sick child at a hospital with the desire that their child will be cared for. In many situations, these parents simply want the best for their child, they just don’t know how to help them.

In cases where we can’t locate a parent at all, we look for extended relatives such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, or siblings who have reached adulthood. We help these families integrate the child into their own home. In the rare case that we can not trace down a family member, we have local families in the village and among our staff who have agreed to be foster parents.


What area of Uganda do these families live in?

We work all over Uganda! A large concentration with our kids in the Entebbe area, but our CLP team members travel all over Uganda to visit our partner families.


How do you make sure the child is safe?

We check in on the child and family 3 times a year. During each visit, our trained team uses the CSI (Child Status Index) tool to assess the situation to ensure that the child’s needs are being met.