7 Reasons Why There Are So Many Orphans in Uganda

‍Orphans are a common sight in many parts of the world. There are over 113 million orphans in the world today and this number keeps growing by the day. The majority of these orphans live in Africa, home to more than 80 percent of all orphaned children worldwide. Most African countries suffer from high rates of child and maternal mortality; coupled with poor access to education, medical care, economic opportunities, family support, and guardianship laws, this results in large numbers of abandoned children. The causes for so many orphaned children in Uganda include a combination of local factors such as weak family support networks, conflict and corruption as well as international factors that include an increase in humanitarian crises around the continent and also limited adoption options. Here are seven reasons why there are so many orphans in Uganda:

Weak Family Support Networks

In many African countries, a family’s economic security relies on the health and wellbeing of the head of the household. In response to the high rates of maternal and child mortality in Uganda, the government passed the Maternal Mortality and Disability Reduction Act (MMDRA) in 2012. The law aims to provide better care for mothers and newborns by promoting skilled birth attendants and improving maternal health facilities. And yet, despite MMDRA and other efforts by the government to address the high mortality rates, poor health outcomes still persist. The result is that many women face a high risk of childbirth without access to proper care or family support. This adds to the number of orphans in Uganda. The weak family support networks have contributed to the large number of orphans in Uganda by leaving many children without any family to support them.

Conflict and Corruption

The escalation of conflict and corruption in many African countries has left many orphans in Uganda. The country has been experiencing civil unrest since 1986 when the National Resistance Movement (NRM) used the Anti-Governmental Force Act of 1986 to topple the government of President Milton Obote. The NRMs’ stated goal was to create a “pure and united” nation without ethnic or regional divisions. However, this has proven impossible over the years as civil unrest has led to ethnic violence, the rise of rebel groups, terrorism, and significant human rights violations. Following the NRM’s defeat in 2008, the country has experienced conflicts in the north and east between the government, the rebel groups, and the Acholi tribesmen. These conflicts have resulted in large numbers of orphaned children in Uganda.

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Limited Adoption Options

Compared to other countries in the world, there is a very limited number of people from Uganda who want to adopt foreign orphans. This is because people from other countries look to adopt more than one child from Uganda to increase the chances of a successful adoption. This limits the number of foreign orphans who can be adopted from Uganda. Additionally, people from other countries may find it difficult to adopt an ethnic minority child from Uganda. This has resulted in limited adoption options for orphans in Uganda.

High Maternal Mortality Rates

Maternal mortality rates are high in Uganda and are likely a contributing factor to the large number of orphans in the country. These rates are estimated to be between 5,000 and 12,000 deaths per 100,000 births. Many of these deaths are due to preventable causes such as infection, hemorrhage, and oxidative stress. The high maternal mortality rates in Uganda are likely a contributing factor to the large number of orphans in the country.

Lack of Access to Education and Poor Quality of Education

Access to education and high-quality education is critical for children in Uganda. However, many children in the country lack the education or opportunity to receive the education they need to succeed. Many children in Uganda have few or no opportunities to receive quality education due to poverty. Another factor that contributes to the large number of orphans in Uganda is the high dropout rate. This dropout rate is particularly high among girls, who make up approximately 80 percent of all dropouts. These high dropout rates have left many children in Uganda without the opportunity to receive high-quality education.

Too Many Children are Employed and Forced Into Child Labor

Another factor that contributes to the large number of orphans in Uganda is the high number of children who are forced into work. More than 20 percent of children ages 5-17 are reported to be working. Most of these children work in dangerous and unhealthy jobs. The high number of child laborers also contributes to the large number of orphans in Uganda. Most child laborers are forced to work as a means of survival, which makes them unlikely to attend school and miss out on opportunities to receive an education.


In conclusion, the factors that lead to so many orphans in Uganda include weak family support networks, conflict and corruption, limited adoption options, high maternal mortality rates, a lack of access to education and poor quality of education, too many children are employed and forced into child labor, and finally, there are limited opportunities for children to receive an education. These factors have contributed to the large number of orphans in Uganda.

Where Do Orphans Go When They Are Rescued From Poverty in Uganda?

Orphans in Uganda are often placed in foster families. Foster families help a child who has been orphaned in Uganda get back on their feet. Foster families are often close by and provide support throughout the child’s life, from their first few years to senior citizenship.

What Can You Do to Help?

There are many ways that people in the US can help orphans in Uganda. Here are a few suggestions:

Support adoption programs that help bring orphans to the US:
Seeking to adopt an orphan in Uganda reduces the waiting time for adoptive families, which is a critical part of the process.

Donate to a orphanage in Uganda:
Help orphans in their motherland by providing them food, education and much more with a small donation.
Click here to donate to our small orphanage in Uganda.

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