Bounded by the Congo, South Sudan, Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya, Uganda is a poor country in a rough neighborhood. Three members of BEB’s team, including myself, spent last week there and wouldn’t trade it for a vacation on the French Riviera. But if we needed any reminders of our environment, just after we arrived came the sad announcement of 2 deaths from Ebola in western Uganda.

    Against this backdrop, we had one of our best weeks ever. The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) affirmed their commitment to accelerate the expansion of BEB’s Children First Software throughout the country.

    On the heels of a successful pilot of CFS at 5 children’s homes, the Ministry decided to extend CFS to the remaining 101 licensed facilities.

    They believe there are about 300 unlicensed facilities. Usage of CFS will be a requirement for licensure and will support the Ministry in its effort to elevate overall standards of care. This reflects BEB’s approach of empowering our partners to help ensure the sustainability of the work.

    One of the highlights of our visit was witnessing the Director of one of the children’s homes use CFS to register a new child, giving that child an identity and a path to a family.

    On our second day in Kampala, BEB co-hosted a half-day session with MGLSD where we highlighted our progress and our plans to a larger group of external stakeholders, reinforcing our mission of Transforming Global Child Welfare through Technology and Collaboration.

    Before we departed, BEB and MGLSD signed a Statement of Intent solidifying our partnership and outlining the roadmap to reduce Uganda’s orphan population by placing these children into families.

    We visited 2 facilities. As is usually the case, the caregivers were wonderful – working hard and with compassion against all odds. The children smile and laugh, but I always wonder what they do when we leave. When they sleep at night, I bet they dream of a mom and dad. We at BEB are helping that dream become a reality.