Environmental Women in Action for Development (EWAD) has expanded its geographical scope of operation under the Work no child’s business program to Busitema Sub County in Busia district.

This is part of the bigger WNCB project being implemented by EWAD in Busia district in the sub counties of, Buteba, Sikuda and Tiira Town Council.

The “ Work: No Child’s Business (WNCB)” is also being implemented in other two districts of Moroto and Nakapiripirit in the Karamoja region funded by the Dutch government ministry of Foreign Affairs supervised by Hivos in Uganda.

Our project rollout to Busitema Sub County is aimed at rescuing more children from the claws of child labor and progressively contributing to government efforts to eliminate all worst forms of child labor.

Busitema is one of the sub counties in Busia district where children are commonly involved in child labor especially, street vending, and farms. Such had denied children the golden opportunity to attend school hence rolling a dark end to these children.

Busitema Sub County has 8 parishes and to start with, EWAD will focus on 30 village where children are most at risk of being engaged in child labor.

More that 6 million children in Uganda aged between 5 and 17 are involved in child labor which puts their lives in jeopardy according to the 2021 Uganda bureau of statistics (UBOS) report.

According to EWAD executive director Mrs. Margaret Tuhumwire, Child labor threatens the health, safety, physical growth of children and mental development of children.

“I feel pain as a parent to see many children involved work that is meant for adults and it’s common in Busitema worsened by the COVID 19 two year’s lockdown of schools. I see children carrying heavy jerry cans of water on their heads, some of them are involved in petty trade, smuggling and others involved in mining. The children are negatively impacted though some parents seem not bothered,” she says.

The executive director is hopeful that through this program, more awareness about the evil of child labor will be created, the capacity of local leaders and duty bearers built and community structures formed and empowered to contribute towards ending this vice.

“Now that we are here in Busitema, we believe that slowly the community will appreciate that child labor is injurious to their children and progressively we shall jointly end it,” she explains.

While commission the program at Busitema primary school, Busitema sub county district chairperson Mr. ……………applauded EWAD and its partners WNCB for heeding to the cries of the children and parents who are stuck without a solution to ending child labor.

“We know that EWAD has done great work to get children out of the mines and other dangerous places in Busia town, Tiira town council and other areas, but we have been wondering why for us in Busitema had been segregated. We are extremely happy that finally you have come to or rescue”

According to the chairperson, child labor in Busitema is fueled by a mindset confusion that children no matter the age, must also contribute to the welfare of their families yet not.

“Most parents here think that child must work and earn something to help their parents to sustain the family. The children must either bring money or some food on the table or at least work with their father and when the father is paid, he buys food for the family.”

Speaking at the launch of the WNCB project in Busitema sub county, Shallon Ninsiima the EWAD/ WNCB project manager, urged Busitema community to own this program with keen attention that it will save their children from suffering the gross negative effects of child labor.

“This is by EWAD for you the people of Busitema. The change starts with all of you the community members, stop employing children, don’t give them work meant for adults, and inform authorities within suspected cases of children involved in child labor”

She added that the children will not be rendered redundant after they have abandoned child labor.

“Once we rescue the children, we will rehabilitate them through our support system and we encourage parents to enroll these children in school. For those who are past the school going age group, EWAD has setup quality vocational skilling centers to for children, young people and youth to lean employable vocational skills.

The WNCB project takes on a multi-stakeholder approach and will be implemented by EWAD, district leaders, community members in this case refer to as community based monitors and the local education system.

Child labor comprises work that children are too young to perform, that is below the minimum age for work, which is usually 15 years (developing countries may set it at 14), and 13 years for light work that does not interfere with schooling. In all cases, the minimum age for work should be the same as the age of completion of compulsory education.

The minimum age for hazardous work, which is work that by its nature or circumstances is likely to harm children’s health, safety or moral development, is 18. Hazardous work is one of the worst forms of child labor, which also include slavery and similar practices, commercial sexual exploitation, and the use of children in illicit activities such as drug trafficking.

Child labor can encompass work in both the formal and informal economy, inside and outside family settings, for pay or profit (cash or in-kind, part-time or full-time) and domestic work outside the child’s own household for an employer (paid or unpaid).

On behalf of EWAD management, together we shall progressively end child labor and create child labor free zones for all our children. I want to thank all our partners, WNCB, HIVOS, Save the children and Busia district local government for their full support towards this project to end child labor,” adds Margaret Tuhumwire EWAD executive director.