Programs undertaken by MACDEF

MACDEF focuses its implementation in sectors that will improve the welfare of communities and children and these are:

MACDEF uses the term “child protection” to refer to preventing and responding to violence, exploitation and abuse against children – including;

  • Commercial sexual exploitation,
  • Trafficking,
  • Child Labour and
  • Harmful traditional practices, such as child marriage.

MACDEF’s child protection programme targets children who are vulnerable to abuses such as;

  • Living without parental care/Child headed households.
  • Violation of the child’s right to protection. These take place in every community and are massive,
  • Under-recognized and under-reported barriers to child survival and development,
  • Human rights violations.
Children subjected to violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect are at risk of death, poor physical and mental health, HIV/AIDS infection, educational problems, displacement, homelessness, and poor parenting skills later in life.

Our Approach

MACDEF works towards building a protective environment for children that will help prevent and respond to violence, abuse and exploitation
The approch is made up of eight essential components including:
  1. Strengthening community commitment and capacity to fulfil children’s right to protection.
  2. Promoting the establishment and enforcement of adequate legislation.
  3. Addressing harmful attitudes, customs and practices.
  4. Encouraging open discussion of child protection issues that includes development partners.
  5. Developing children’s life skills, knowledge and participation.
  6. Building capacity of families and communities and structures.
  7. Providing essential services for prevention, recovery and reintegration, including basic health, education and protection.
  8. Establishing and implementing ongoing and effective monitoring, reporting and oversight.

This is a comprehensive approach to policies and programmes for children from birth to eight years of age, their parents and caregivers.

It’s to encourage children to play and explore, this helps them learn and develop socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually.
Play in cognitive development is important and cannot be overlooked. Play is central to children's learning, regardless of the actual content.
The process of play is a powerful, multifaceted learning experience. Children’s play involves exploration, language experimentation, cognition, and the development of social skills. Parents, teachers and caregivers determine the level of development of infants and young children through interaction and play. Their involvement is crucial for early learning and lays the foundation for future learning in school.
The overarching goal of early learning is to ensure disadvantaged children enter school on time and are cognitively, socially and emotionally ready for school.

MACDEF has 8 supported community based Early Childhood and Development centers across Kiryandongo and Masindi districts all licensed and registered with the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) they Include; Tecwaa, Kitwara, Yelekeni, Kalwala, Diika, Siriba, Bedmot, and Okwece.

Our Approach

MACDEF designs and conducts Early Childhood Education and School Readiness programmes to ensure that children are ready for school and since their early years are being brought up in an environment conducive to learning.

MACDEF has constructed ECD centres in communities which are child friendly aimed at getting children ready for School:
A child-to-child approach, which provides supplemental cost-effective and efficient interventions in communities that have inadequate formal early learning opportunities.
Through this approach, older children are empowered to help younger peers gain linguistic, social and emotional tools for successful learning and to make a smooth transition to school.
The critical issue in programme implementation is quality. To that end, MACDEF is working with in the Ministry of Education and sports policy guidelines to deliver Early Learning education.

MACDEF’s goals in Early Childhood Development program is to help the youngest children develop their potential, enjoy good physical and mental health, live in supportive communities and be part of stable households that interact in nonviolent ways.
Thus, prevention of violence and exploitation is a strong focus in our work with children of this age, combining home- and center-based interventions aimed at strengthening caregiver-child relationships as well as families’ economic security.
In doing so, we promote conditions where love flourishes rather than desperation.

We support parents and caregivers to develop the skills and resources they need to be responsive to both their own needs and the needs of the children in their care.
Parenting education helps build on what parents already know and do and increases their knowledge about child development;
Livelihood support helps families build economic security that frees parents to make decisions consistently in their children’s best interests.

We promote children’s and families’ access to health care and nutrition from before birth, and educate parents and caregivers about their role in preserving maternal and child health.
Initiatives in safe water and sanitation go hand in hand with our health and nutrition efforts. Through trainings of Trainers of Trainees/VHTs, conduct community dialogue meetings, sensitizations.

MACDEF has supported the health sector by working with partners in ensuring that there is access to primary health care services in Kiryandongo and Masindi district these include;

  • Infrastructure development and community engagement through dialogues,
  • Sensitization meeting and integrated outreaches.
The key partnering health units include;
  • Kiryandongo Referral Hospital,
  • Mutunda Health Centre in Kiryandongo District,
  • Diima Health Centre in Kiryandongo District,
  • Yabwengi Health Centre in Kiryandongo District,
  • Karuma Health Centre in Kiryandongo District,
  • Katulikire Health Centre in Kiryandongo District,
  • St. Benedict Karungu Health Centre in Kiryandongo District,
  • Nyakadote Health Centre in Kiryandongo District,
  • Diika Health Centre in Kiryandongo District,
  • Tecwaa Health Centre in Kiryandongo District,
  • Kapundo Health Centre in Kiryandongo District,
  • Kiroko Health Centre in Kiryandongo District,
  • Masindi Main Hospital.
What we do in Health
  • Community sensitization on maternal health and childhood illnesses,
  • Conducting annual medical examination camps for all the enrolled children to ensure that their health status is monitored and improved through referrals management to health units.
  • Support immunization outreaches for children under 5 years in the communities of Yelekeni, Tecwaa, Bedmot and Masindi. Ensuring that they start and complete immunization schedules.
  • Facilitate Health Workers and VHTs to conduct community integrated health outreaches that include; sensitization, management of childhood illnesses, health service delivery, HIV Counselling &Testing, immunization, Ante Natal Care, Family Planning in hard to reach areas.
  • Support Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health services in Health units in Mutunda and Kiryandongo sub counties with 250 plastic chairs,10 outdoor Tents, 915 Mama kits, 5 Motorcycle ambulances, 10 TV & DVD sets, boreholes, aimed at increasing the number of adolescents, girls and boys, that receive information where upon they will take judicious decisions and make wise choices regarding child health with emphasis on behaviour change communication, safe motherhood, responsible planned parenthood and prevention of sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS. With specific attention on girls.
  • Support health centers with infrastructure; MACDEF constructed and equipped one Out Patient Department (OPD) in Tecwaa community, Kitwara parish Kiryandongo sub county Kiryandongo district serving over 2500 people both adults and children.

The WASH program works on long-term prevention and control measures for;

  • Improving health
  • Reducing poverty
  • Improving socio-economic development
  • Responding to community emergencies and outbreaks of life-threatening illnesses

WASH is the collective term for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.


Due to their interdependent nature, these three core issues are grouped together to represent a single program.
While each a separate field of work, is dependent on the presence of the other. For example, without toilets, water sources become contaminated; without clean water, basic hygiene practices are not possible.

Our Approach
MACDEF’s work in water focuses on the ability for children to access safe water for drinking and use, the quality of the water they can access and the journey they must take to collect it.
Providing water infrastructure in the communities reduces health related illnesses, child abuse and domestic violence cases

For sanitation, MACDEF works to ensure access and use of basic toilets and ways to separate human waste from contact with people in schools and communities.
One important area of work for sanitation is to end the practice of “open defecation,” and facilitate community-led Total sanitation initiatives to build, maintain and use basic toilets.

MACDEF’s work in hygiene is aimed at nurturing good hygiene practices, especially hand washing with in schools and communities. Although it sounds simple, this act is essential to prevent disease and the health of children and community members. All three areas in WASH support and strengthen one another. If one is missing, the others cannot progress.

MACDEF has been supporting education sector in Kiryandongo and Masindi districts since 2009.
Three primary school were constructed furnished and handed over to the government. Thse include

  • Yelekeni primary school in Bweyale Town council,
  • Tecwaa Primary school in Kiryandongo sub-county and
  • Comboni primary school in Karuma Town council,

8 ECD centres were also constructed and the capacity of the community built to manage them.

The Organisation also supports schools with education supplies, infrastructure development and capacity building for teachers.

Schools in Kiryandongo District are;

  • Diika Primary School
  • Siriba Primary School
  • Kitogozi Primary School
  • Kitwara Primary School

Schools in Masindi District are;

  • Kihande Moslem Primary School
  • Kinogozi Primary School

However, the quality of education has not kept pace with this development, and the number of students having to repeat a year or dropping out of school early remains high. Only around a third of children enrolled at school get as far as Year Eight within the designated time, and only around half of all primary school students go on to obtain a school-leaving certificate. National and regional learning effectiveness studies carried out in the last 10 years also reveal that the level of learning is extremely low. There are not enough qualified teachers, and basic teacher training requires significant improvement.

Our Approach
MACDEF designs interventions aimed at improving the general environment for teachers and Learners in the primary school through
  • capacity building for teachers
  • construction of new classroom blocks
  • construction of ECD centres
  • equipping school libraries
  • provision of WASH facilities and
  • construction of VIP latrines in schools

We strengthen the capacity of school management and encourage the communities to get involved in participatory school governance through training of the

  • School Management Committees (SMCs) in schools
  • Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs) in schools
  • Centr Management Committees (CMCs) in ECDs
  • Prefects
The above groups are trained on their roles and responsibilities and enlighten parents to demand for accountability from management of the schools.

Livelihood and Youth empowerment is an empowerment strategy based on the three pillars of

  • Skills development
  • Livelihood support
  • Institutional support

The programme targets the out of school youth to ensure they live a self-sustenance life.

Our Approach

Livelihoods and community Empowerment: Focuses on improving livelihood assets (both at infrastructure and human capability level) in order to strengthen the self-reliance of communities.
It includes support for environmentally sustainable natural resources management through livelihood diversification and improved social cohesion.
Such as,

  • Income Generating Activities supports like cash transfers for small enterprise businesses, agricultural value addition and post-harvest management, VSLAs.
  • Financial literacy and Business Development Services.This Focuses on improving access to finance and business development services in the community by improving the capacity of non-formal finance service providers such as VSLA groups. This has also improve the awareness and demand for micro-finance products and services and ultimately improve their access to finances for investment and asset base.
  • Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training. This Focuses on supporting the enhancement of employability and entrepreneurial potentials of the young school dropouts, giving them opportunity to either be employed or to start their own businesses using dual-customer approach, skills development and entrepreneurship support.
  • Positive Adolescent Development: This focuses on life skills development is on the Five Core Competencies of Critical thinking, Emotional management, Communication, Relationship building and Social responsibility.