Universal Child Sponsorship Fund

Mildmay Uganda’s Universal Fund brings healthcare, education, food security and economic empowerment to children, young people and families living with HIV.

It is only because of your support that 10-year-old Nantume can attend school. Thank you!

Mildmay Uganda first opened in 1998 to provide comprehensive HIV care to the public, with over 3,000 children waiting for the life-saving drugs through the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS relief (PEPFAR). Today, Mildmay Uganda (MMUg) supports over 100,000 clients (13% of all people on antiretroviral therapy – ART – in Uganda. 7,000 of whom are children.

Since its introduction in 2002, the Fund has supported 1,827 children and adolescents (833 boys and 994 girls) with psychosocial support services including economic empowerment of vulnerable households.

In 2017, Mildmay Uganda replaced individually-allocated support for children with the Universal Fund to bring the same healthcare, education and food security benefits more equitably to more children and young people.

Mildmay Uganda continues to make significant contributions toward the United Nations’ five-point plan for ending HIV by 2030

2021 /2022 report

In 2020-2021, the Universal Child Sponsorship Fund supported 127 orphans and vulnerable children/youth (OVCY) with formal education, while 23 were empowered by receiving apprenticeship skills training

The government of Uganda closed all learning institutions in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, reopening for candidate classes in October 2020. Based on the lessons learned about school closures in response to the July 2012 Ebola outbreak, we know that the longer children stay away from school, the less likely they are to ever return, so children were quickly provided with additional support, thanks to funding from the UK.


MMUg helped to keep children and their communities safe by providing additional support for children’s mental health, access to education materials and guidance and information on handwashing and good hygiene practices.


Education support

Thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, the country’s education calendar was disrupted in 2020 and 2021 and during 2021, not all categories of children were able to attend classes. In total, we were able to fund the school fees of 65 candidates, ‘semi-candidates’ and vocational students.

20 candidates were supported to sit their final exams. One child passed at grade 1, 13 at grade 2 and two at grade three. One student failed to pass. Vocational results have not yet been published. All the supported children received career guidance and will receive livelihood skills* to gain employment.

Universal Fund support was interrupted by the Coronavirus pandemic and so few OVCY managed to complete their final levels. Sadly, all new recruits for 2021 apprenticeship skills training were affected.


Despite the COVID-19 lockdown, Mildmay Uganda kept in touch with all its clients' thanks to support from the UK. There were 20 children we could not continue to support, either because they moved away, or their family’s income improved enough to no longer require additional support.

Economic Strengthening

Economic wellbeing and the ability to provide for one’s household is the foundation for behavioural change; a significant contributor to ending the HIV pandemic.

Poverty limits the uptake and impact of HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment services; HIV and AIDS are known to further exacerbate pre-existing economic vulnerabilities by interrupting income streams, depleting assets and introducing labour constraints. Mildmay Uganda rolled out an economic strengthening model to mitigate economic shock for the most vulnerable households that could potentially affect uptake or retention of HIV services.

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A tailoring class (vocational training).

*MMUg’s apprenticeship programme is aimed at supporting livelihood skills for adolescents and young people with hands-on training in skills such as tailoring. The programme also supports vocational skills such as fashion and textile design, catering and plumbing. A total of 21 OVCYs were trained in this period.


We have also helped 823 individuals (90% of whom are caregivers) to enrol in Village Savings and Loan Schemes in various communities to help strengthen and stabilise family-centred care.

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Case study: Catherine Nassanga

“My name is Nassanga Catherine, am 21 years old and live in Konge, Makindye, Kampala District with my impaired grandmother. I have been an orphan since 2007 as I lost my parents due to HIV/AIDS.

In 2008, I discovered that I was HIV positive and enrolled for care and treatment at Mildmay Uganda Hospital. Since then, I have been taking my drugs well with good adherence and my viral load is undetectable, but after I completed my Primary Leaving Examination Level in 2014 with 14 Aggregates; my aunt stigmatised me due to my HIV status and stopped her support.

In 2009 I joined Mildmay Uganda Choir which is a club that offers peer support services in music, dance and drama skills. I was regularly active and in 2014 I was recommended for education support from the Mildmay Uganda OVC program. In 2014 I joined Ordinary level and completed in 2018 with 50 Aggregates. Due to my performance, I was supported to acquire a certificate in guidance and counselling from the Mildmay Institute of Health sciences, which I completed in 2021 and also successfully competed for a YAPS (Young People and Adolescent Peer Supporters) position.

I am now providing others with support in mobilising and linking peers for HIV testing services; index case testing; conducting pre-test peer counselling and information giving; tracking and following up all identified HIV positive adolescents and young people and linking them to care and treatment.

I am also supporting health workers to run adolescent clinics that are conducting health education; pre- ART counselling; physically escorting Adolescent and Young People through service points; appointment tracking and monitoring; following up of lost clients; adherence support to adolescents and supporting peers to disclose to significant others.

With my earnings, I have enrolled for the Diploma in Guidance and Counselling to be a professional counsellor.

I am very grateful for the gift of life and career opportunities facilitated by my friends at Mildmay Uganda. I am happy that I will be able to support my siblings hereafter.

Thank you so much to the Mildmay family. I will forever be grateful to you for upholding my future.”

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Catherine at graduation

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Working as a Young People and Adolescent Peer Supporter

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Catherine training her peers

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Financial report 2020-2022

Funds carried over from the previous period

Budget - current period (January 2020 to December 2021)

Total funding available in the current period

Amount expended in the current period

Amount carried forward to the next period