Ssamba Foundation, a community based development organization in Mukono district is helping needy elderly members of the society by building homes for them through our Elderly Support Program.
The rural elderly people in need vary from those staying alone with no relatives to those with orphans and grandchildren. Traditionally, the extended family provided care and support to the elderly. However, in modern society, the role of traditional family support has greatly reduced. These people have been neglected and they are isolated. They need a decent nutrition, health assistance, housing, education for their dependents, and a way to generate an income.
Ssamba Foundation is building permanent and safe housing for elderly persons and their surviving family members on their own pieces of land. We also advocate for security of land tenure and initiate ownership processes for vulnerable households to ensure they legally own the land before the home is built.
The beneficiaries are mainly elderly widowed women, with grandchildren or lonely abandoned elderly men and persons with disabilities. Although family members in Uganda are expected to provide for the elderly until their death, the old tradition is fast changing given that some parents outlive their children especially in this era of HIV/AIDS. In the event that this occurs, the elderly grandparent takes on the role of bread winner again, for the orphaned grandchildren and this is a big challenge for them.
Ssamba Foundation through the Elderly Support Program provides permanent shelter/housing to these vulnerable members of the society who are living in desperate conditions. The constructed houses consist of a permanent two roomed house, a small kitchen and a pit latrine. The homes include safe sanitation facilities.
Community members and neighbors participate in the building of the homes, including collecting water, helping gather locally available materials (bricks, for example) and construction activities under the close guidance of a building supervisor.
With a goal of transforming communities, members of the family are empowered through various trainings on personal hygiene and home maintenance.
The Ssamba Foundation’s Elderly Support Program aims to improve the quality of life of elderly persons and their dependents in Mukono district through: –
- improved living conditions
- better housing facilities
- easy accessibility to health facilities
- getting more income through the income generating activities
- supporting the education for orphans staying with the elderly