The African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN) Uganda Chapter was started in 1992 to address the growing problem of child abuse in Uganda. ANPPCAN Uganda was formed to promote the objectives of ANPPCAN a continental body that had earlier been formed by professionals to address child abuse on the continent.
The idea of starting a continent-wide network on child abuse and neglect in Africa was conceived at an ISPCAN meeting in Amsterdam in April, 1981. Dr. David Pitt, a consultant with World Health Organization Maternal and Child Health Unit at the time envisaged such a network for Africa and actually mobilized resources through World Health Organization for African participation at the meeting. The experience gained from subsequent ISPCAN meetings in Paris facilitated the beginning of the African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect.
ANPPCAN was officially launched and its constitution ratified in Enugu, Nigeria on May 2, 1986. The major concern of the individuals instrumental in the formation of ANPPCAN was the state of children in Africa. Right from the onset, ANPPCAN was very clear of the adverse conditions affecting children in Africa and has since then consistently attempted to address these issues.
ANPPCAN Uganda Chapter was launched on July 8th 1992 at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel where the constitution was ratified. The Uganda chapter was formed as an independent NGO and was made up of a diverse interdisciplinary membership. The Chapter was formally registered with the NGO board in 1995 as registration number S.5914/1419.
ANPPCAN’s initial focus was on the rights of the children with a view of improving their conditions using the media as a major partner to influence society on the observance of the rights of children. ANPPCAN Uganda Chapter was able to establish itself as a pressure group for advocacy and sensitization about children’s rights and protection from abuse and neglect.
Between 1992 and 1994 all the activities of the Chapter were spearheaded and implemented through the voluntary input of the founding members with the support of a part-time Coordinator. In 1994 after successfully organizing the Eastern African Regional Workshop on the impact of armed conflict on children, the Executive Committee of the Chapter decided to establish a full-time secretariat to ensure more effective coordination of the activities of the organization.
In the late 1990’s, ANPPCAN Uganda Chapter recognized the need to move beyond the limited focus on specific projects to a more strategic orientation thus the development of the first strategic plan in 2000 – 2004. This strategic plan had five major program areas namely; Advocacy, Networking, Service Delivery, Research and Organizational Development.
In 2008, another key change took place. The work in the districts was till then organized in cooperation with district groups. To further ANPPCAN’s vision and mission at district and grassroots levels, in 2008 district branches were elected. Main goals at this transition were to facilitate effective communication and management of the work and operations of ANPPCAN Uganda Chapter in the Districts and quality control /assurance of ANPPCAN work.
ANPPCAN Uganda Chapter has over the years registered a lot of successes which include the production of an annual situational analysis report, active participation in the reviewing of child protection laws, organizing several international conferences, community mobilization and awareness raising, , capacity building for members of the public, empowering children to advocate for their rights and working closely with the media and other child protection actors to safeguard children’s rights in Uganda.
Today ANPPCAN Uganda Chapter is a national NGO operating directly in twelve districts namely Arua Apac, Gulu, Napak, Kitgum, Kasese, Rakai, Mukono, Iganga, Jinja, Moroto with the secretariat based in Kampala. ANPPCAN also operates in other districts in Uganda through partners. ANPPCAN is currently implementing its strategic plan 2011/12 to 2015/16.
The Organization in detail:
Protecting the children, Securing the future