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Nyaka Global works to provide holistic care for orphaned and vulnerable children in rural Uganda. They offer a comprehensive package of services ranging from high-quality education to healthcare and sanitation services, as well as providing micro-finance programs and domestic models of care. Nyaka also addresses the sexual and gender-based violence (GBV) epidemic in Uganda through counseling and medical support, while advocating for victims’ justice.
Nyaka now has a global reach, providing other NGOs with a model of child-centered care. This was made possible through their community-based approach, where they work with members of target communities to understand their needs and provide them with the necessary skills to independently lead these programs. For instance, they work with over 20,000 grandmothers to give them training and micro-finance services to ensure quality care and investments to ensure sustainable development inter-generationally.
Beyond their community-based approach, their multi-sectoral approach is worthy of another highlight. Nyaka creates impact on policy at the institutional, individual, interpersonal, and community levels. Their programs have been successful in building a safe and nurturing environment where children can learn, grow and thrive.
Nyaka’s success is the product of its sustainable approach to community-based service and care. They are an exceptional example of how to solve real problems effectively and we are proud to have them as one of our partner NGOs!
Nyaka was founded by Twesigye Jackson Kaguri, a Ugandan human rights advocate and author. In 1996, he faced an HIV/AIDS pandemic in his own village, Nyakagyezi. Jackson lost his brother to AIDS and lost his sister to the same illness a year later.
His siblings left behind children who were orphaned and needed to be taken care of. Unfortunately, Jackson's nephews were just some of the many orphaned children in Nyakagyezi who have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS. This hardship illuminated the plight of orphans in Nyakgyezi and inspired him to make change.
A large education gap existed for orphaned children because of their lack of resources and support. Education breaks barriers of poverty, and Jackson made it his mission with Nyaka to work with communities to nurture and protect children so they can learn, grow, and thrive.
In 2001, Nyaka was officially founded in Nyakagyezi, and their projects have made a great impact ever since. In 2003, Nyaka Primary opened with 55 students. In the following years, they launched their Clean Water and Nutrition programs serving 17,500 community members. Alongside this, they started their Grandmother Program and Desire Farm, which supported the development of the community by providing a sustainable form of income.
Nyaka Primary School earned such a great reputation that students would travel long distances to attend. This led to the opening of a second school in Kutumba, a neighboring village. Their support for education goes beyond schools– in 2009 they opened the Blue Lupin Library, a safe place where students have access to books and computers to facilitate learning.
Nyaka later opened a Health Clinic and a Vocational and Secondary School for their students in Nyaka and Kutumba. Later, they merged with EDJA Foundation, an NGO supporting victims of SGBV and educating communities on GBV prevention.
“Now, Nyaka has evolved into a global team building a replicable model of child-centered care for rural communities.”
Nyaka currently leads a wide range of programs. As part of their model of child-centered care for rural communities, they have programs supporting the education and nutrition of children, community strengthening and development, and GBV prevention:
“Our programs are wide-ranging and far-reaching. Because we know there is no single magic bullet that will change the life of a child.”
Nyaka supports students ranging from preschoolers to university and vocational students. They make sure cost is not a barrier to education by granting scholarships to students, and their schools have above-average attendance rates and test scores. They also provide students with valuable skills like public speaking and assist them in the transition to the job markets. This long-term support gives a great advantage to their students and ensures long-term learning.
Once grandmothers enter Nyaka’s program, they have access to a package of services including renovated or new houses, access to clean water, support groups, health education, counseling, and micro-loans for them to start their own businesses. This support ensures care for orphaned children and ensures multi-generational success despite hardship.
Nyaka serves children who must walk miles to school, or whose families cannot afford to provide them 3 meals a day and/or appropriate medical care. They ensure everyone has access to clean water using gravity-fed water systems. This additionally protects people from sexual assault as they do not need to walk long distances to gather water. Moreover, their clinics and workshops provide health services and education which play a key role in HIV/AIDs prevention, and they supply schools with menstrual products.
Nyaka partnered with the EDJA foundation to fight the GBV epidemic in Uganda. Together they fight harmful gender norms and stigma that contribute to GBV and prevent victims from getting support. They provide medical care, counseling services, and legal support to survivors of SGBV while spreading awareness of women’s rights.
The long-term involvement of Nyaka in rural Uganda has been effective, affirmed by quantitative data and also by the testimonies of those supported by the NGO. For example, Denis, who has worked 14 years with Nyaka and even went through the Nyaka program himself, talks very proudly of his job and acknowledges Nyaka’s support in giving access to a great education: "I went through the entire Nyaka school system and performed well which earned me admittance to Makerere University Business School. I never thought it would be possible for me to attend university.
As of 2019, Nyaka has:
ámaxa matches our students with expert mentors and a remote global team to solve real problems at global nonprofits, and Nyaka was our very first partner nonprofit. Our student, Sabrina, and her mentor, Madeline (who actually worked at Nyaka for a few years herself!), is currently raising money for the “Nyaka Solar Garden Project.” The fundraising will contribute to installing 20-40 solar panels next summer to provide sustainable and reliable electricity to Nyaka’s school, library, and the village! However, we aim to launch new projects with Nyaka later this year, so stay tuned!
To learn more about the Nyaka Solar Garden Project, visit their GoFundMe page where you can also support them by making donations or sharing it with friends.
If Nyaka’s work inspired you as much as it inspired us, don’t hesitate to apply to our Student Impact Program and start solving problems with ámaxa and Nyaka!
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