Paul Lwanga’s idea to set up SPAU was borne out of seeing the poverty in rural Uganda and the special needs of single parent families struggling to provide enough for their households. Paul saw much of the overseas aid going towards awareness projects and medicines for people suffering from AIDS, but very little going to their family dependents who had to keep their own lives going in spite of economic hardship. Paul shared this idea with his two colleagues, Anne Lubega and Alex Ssenyama, who were also single parents at the time facing the growing pressures and needs of raising children on their own. The trio eventually set up SPAU in December 1999. SPAU was set up to primarily provide a safety net for the poorest of the poor single parent families to develop a sufficient income to meet their basic needs.

SPAU assessments since 2004 have identified communities in Uganda where almost half of all families are headed by single parents, usually women. Of this number, at least 50% are widows whose husbands have died of AIDS-related illnesses. Statistics from the 2008 Uganda ‘Poverty Eradication Action Plan’ also showed that households headed by widows, or women married to absent husbands, were consistently poorer than others and that single parent families were among the most disadvantaged in Uganda.

Since its inception in December 1999, SPAU has brought hundreds of single parents into community-based support groups to offer each other mutual support. It is also through these groups that SPAU has developed various micro-business programmes for single parents, which provide empowerment to enable single parents meet their own basic needs and those of their households. SPAU implements HIV/AIDS support programmes alongside income generating projects. SPAU has also initiated and encouraged community-led responses to provide care and support for orphans and vulnerable children within local communities.

To find out more about SPAU check out their website here

grey back ground (47) 4.png

Africaid was founded as a UK-based charity by HIV Nurse Specialists Marcus McGilvray and Nicola Willis in 2002. After funding and building a Youth Sports Centre and HIV Clinic in northern Ghana, Marcus moved to South Africa where he developed one of the first ARV training manuals for Health Professionals in South Africa. It was here that Marcus identified the lack of adequate HIV prevention work in one of the most affected regions of the world. After much development work, the WhizzKids United programme was launched in Edendale (KwaZulu Natal, South Africa) in 2006 as a youth-focused life-skills HIV prevention programme. Since then over 20,000 children have graduated from the programme across five countries: South Africa, Ghana, Uganda, Australia and the UK.

The programme itself is designed to achieve four goals: engagement, celebration, reinforcement and long-term support. It begins with the deployment of ‘Life Skills Trainers’ within schools to deliver the Life Skills manual: a 16-hour, 8-course manual that uses football drills to teach life lessons (“engagement”).  Once the students have completed the programme, they are rewarded with an all-day, mixed gender football tournament (“celebration”). A peer education initiative is then implemented, where two students (a boy and a girl) are selected as
“captains” by our trainers to become peer leaders at their schools in the topic of health, education and gender equality (“reinforcement”). Lastly, it is ensured that not only the “captains” but also all of the participating students are educated on the location of their closest health clinic in the community (“long-term support”). By the end of the process, the youth will be well educated on how to sustain healthy behaviour and lifestyle choices, and be aware of how they can access help.

Some of the programmes achievements over the last few years include:

  • The first WhizzKids United Health Academy opened in Edendale, Pietermaritzburg, KZN. Over 5,000 youth registered there in the first six months of operations with more than 1,000 undergoing HIV Counselling and Treatment (2010).
  • WhizzKids United programme received the Best Project Award in the Sport for Health Category at Global Sports Forum, Barcelona (2010).
  • FIFA awarded Africaid a Football for Hope Centre as part of its ’20 Centres for 2010′ project.
  • Africaid participated in the Football for Hope Festival 2010 in Alexandra, South Africa as part of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
  • WhizzKids United formally endorsed by Mr. Wilfred Lemke, UN Special Adviser to the Secretary General on Sport for Development and Peace (2010).
  • WhizzKids United was piloted in the United Kingdom with Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa, Arsenal and Charlton Athletic (2009/2010)

To find out more about WhizzKids United check out their website here.


grey back ground (47) 4.png