Meet the CEO

Lillian Nakanwagi

Lucky Child and Elderly Foundation is located in Eastern Uganda and was founded in 2016 by Lillian Nakanwagi (CEO) with an aim of supporting orphans and other vulnerable children with improved access to quality affordable education, healthcare and above all build and provide a home to ensure social support and fulfillment of their life’s desires and inspirations.

Lillian is a lucky child in all aspects having lost her mother to HIV/AIDS in 1991 when she was old only 7yrs old, it was a trying moment and her granny took on the mantle of raising her. Such a traumatizing experience for a 7 year old little girl, things just changed overnight and she had to be moved from the city to stay living with her granny. Luck was always on her side, her father later found a job, single handedly he raised Lillian. It was never a smooth ride and never easy, but the bonds she had mood with her grandmother – Lillian Waiswa, were so powerful that impacted her. The very reason she decided to start an Organization which creates an enabling environment for the grannies to care and look after their orphaned grandchildren. 

LCEF took it on like a superstar, in 2015 after officially being registered; LCEF designed key projects with strategic partnership with URICT Uganda and Rape Hurts Foundation. URICT which was running the Kamuli Community School entered into a joint operation with LCEF, so that LCEF can provide scholastic materials to 168 Orphans and Vulnerable Children (108 Girls aged 5yrs to 12yrs and 60 boys aged 6yrs to 14yrs). A window of hope program was designed, where an inclusive activities of counseling, self hygiene, sports & games, this was implemented in Namisabya Parish and it raised 25 schools (averagely 1,200 children) With Rape Hurts Foundation, LCEF has created an enabling environment for the grannies to be in a better position to look after their orphaned grandchildren. We designed the pink butterfly project; –
Addressing the impact of HIV/AIDS among grandmothers and their grandchildren/OVCs.
It’s important that strategies to tackle HIV/AIDS should also target grandmothers and their grandchildren. Grandmothers are heads of HIV/AIDS affected households, caretakers, counselors and educators and at the same time, they are also at a risk of infecting themselves either through being sexually active or through exposure to secondary infections of HIV related illnesses by caring for infected children and other household members. They are at a risk because majority of them lack knowledge about the causes, transmission and prevention of HIV/AIDS and are routinely excluded from HIV awareness and educational campaigns. LCEF is working with 50 households of grannies in Kamuli

Economic empowerment through provision of agricultural incentives grandmothers.
Grandmothers can be empowered to become active members within their households and communities. Basing on our research findings from Kamuli it was discovered that grandmothers have traditional skills and knowledge, which they can use to contribute to initiatives in their households and communities. Sometimes grandmothers manage to produce a substantial harvest, which can be enough for home and commercial consumption. But such mothers always have low access to available markets and do lack agricultural incentives to boost their produce. LCEF is working with 50 households of grannies in Kamuli

Provision of school requirements to orphans living with their grandmothers.
Lack of education is both a consequence and a cause of poverty. Education across the life course increases chances of employment and improves poverty outcomes for children. 50 grannies with their 168 targeted orphaned grandchildren have been reached.

Provision of food supplements for the grandmothers and their dependants / grandchildren.
Nutrition is both one of the most crucial inputs to children survival and development and an area where damage in early childhood can have some of the most significant effects on an individual’s well being and that of the next generation. 50 grannies with their 168 targeted orphaned grandchildren have been reached.

Provision of sanitation and hygiene kits to homes of grandmothers living with HIV/AIDS affected children / orphans.
Like the rest of the grandmothers in the project, the additional homes are supplied with sanitation and hygiene facilities like soap, basins, mosquito nets, and jerry cans.

Lillian holds a bachelors degree of Information Technology but pursued a social work career for over 7 years where she met and interacted with numerous individuals at all levels and strata in society. Being a social worker, she was blessed to have travelled in and around Uganda as a Research Assistant and discovered that in most rural communities, many children and the elderly never get the basic requirements they need given that they are neglected in their own communities and the responsible authorities have not done enough to intervene.

The children face a challenge of accessing quality and affordable education, malnutrition characterized with food shortages sometimes leading to death more so those below the age of 5 years. Early marriages mostly for girls between 12 and 15 years are also rampant due to the economic situation of communities who in turn trade their children into marriage for economic gains thereby shuttering these youngsters future with lots of uncertainty. Access to health is far from reach for children which could justify the mortality rate being high in addition to the low life expectancy. The unfortunate bit is that many children are orphans and are left in the hands of relatives most of whom cannot take good care of them most importantly not being able to provide even the basic requirements. These children then wonder around villages most of whom are left to fall victims as child laborers for example in sugar cane plantations in eastern Uganda and victims of traffickers with promises of a better life thereby being asked to work and earn income for these individuals compromising their future, also in the long run becoming a nuisance (criminals) in these communities because they also want to survive and to them it doesn’t matter what they have to do to make a living which loudly is a wrong path to take.

The elderly are no different in these same communities; they still lack adequate basic requirements of life such as food, clothing and shelter. Access to healthcare is also difficult in addition to lack of income sources to help them through as most of these have lost their children in unpleasant circumstances most of which are related to poverty and for those children that manage to make it to the cities never want to associate with their parents due to the hardships they had to go through thereby abandoning these elderly who remain at no one’s mercy since even the grant provided by the government to the elderly however small it is does not reach most of them. They are also isolated when it comes to government programs targeting livelihood improvement. This has sunk most of them into poverty and hopelessness.

It is therefore against such a background that Lillian with the support of friends envisioned championing an organization in the name of Lucky Child and Elderly Foundation to contribute to giving hope for better to these groups of vulnerable people such that the community appreciates each one of them by giving a hand where necessary.

The foundation has had to ensure its sustainability by securing land where they have been able to establish a food farm to help these vulnerable groups by also involving some of them into these activities. The foundation also rears animals specifically pigs for commercial purposes which also help to cater for the school requirements and supplementary feeds for these vulnerable populations.

The organization seeks to expand and reach out to more communities to support vulnerable groups of individuals but is limited by funds and calls upon all well-wishers to lend a hand so as to provide a safe future for the youngsters and in turn minimize criminality in our society.