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New partnerships secure USAID funding for Retrak

Retrak has secured funding from the USAID’s Displaced Children’s & Orphans Fund (DCOF), as part of a consortium led by Childfund International.  The project, which includes Childs i Foundation and Child Restoration Outreach (CRO) allows Retrak to train government personnel in reintegrating children, as opposed to institutionalising them, and will indirectly benefit 620 children in remand homes. These strengthened partnerships also ensures 200 street girls are reintegrated over the three-year project with CRO.

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The aim of the grant is to reduce unnecessary separation of children from their families and to place children into nurturing families. Retrak works hard to find alternative ways to care for, and provide care to, children without institutionalising them and, from research we have learnt how harmful institutionalisation is to children’s cognitive development. Retrak’s contribution involves offering training to Ugandan government officials from a number of centres  and to build their capacity in future.

We hope this will also raise awareness within the government about streetchildren and their specific issues. This work builds on our work on deinstitutionalisation in Ethiopia and our documented guidelines on returning children home successfully. In addition, it is the first time Retrak will be training nationwide in Uganda and our staff are already travelling to the far north and west of the country to give training.

Retrak will also partner with CRO again and reintegrate 200 street girls. This is work which CRO are already undertaking and the grant will allow them to also strengthen their financial, monitoring and programme systems.

Diarmuid ONeill, chief executive of Retrak, said: “To receive funding from such a prestigious body as DCOF is recognition of the great work Retrak does. We are delighted to be a partner with ChildFund and look forward to working with ChildFund to train and support government staff responsible for children all over Uganda. We hope this will have a very positive, enduring impact on the nation’s children.”