Call for proposals: Protecting Children from Abuse including Children without Appropriate Care in Uganda

Important note: the deadline for submission of proposals has passed. Proposals are no longer accepted.

1. Introduction

About Terre des Hommes Netherlands

Terre des Hommes Netherlands (TdH-NL) is a development organisation dedicated to children; it is named after a book by the famous French writer and World War II pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – author of "The Little Prince". Even before this book was published, he wrote "Terre des Hommes" (Earth for Mankind) in which he called upon 'the people of the earth' to take their responsibilities seriously and to show solidarity. He said: "There is no third world. There is one world for which we are all responsible."

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is the cornerstone of all our programmes. This Convention represents the recognition by the international community that not only do children deserve to be protected, but that they have a right to be so. These rights have been enshrined in this almost universally accepted treaty and have subsequently been incorporated in national legislation in an overwhelming majority of the world's nations. 

The main theme of TdH-NL's work centers on the issue of child exploitation, the most serious violations of the rights of the child. TdH-NL's definition of child exploitation covers: (a) the Worst Forms of Child Labour; (b) Child Trafficking; (c) Sexual Exploitation of Children; (d) Child Abuse. Increasing numbers of children fall victim of human trafficking, sexual exploitation or hazardous forms of child labour as defined by the ILO's 1999 Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (ILO Convention 182). TdH-NL strives to prevent child exploitation, remove children from exploitative situations and ensure that they can develop in a secure, healthy and supportive environment. 

TdH-NL’s approach

TdH-NL's programmes are based on the Theory of Change (ToC), aiming to create a world free of child exploitation (please refer to Annex 1 - TdH NL Theory of Change). Because TdH-NL wants to stop child exploitation in a structural manner, the organisation does not only help victims but also tackles the problem at its roots. The main strategies in this ToC are the 5 P's: Prevention, Provision, Promotion, Prosecution and Partnership & Participation.


To prevent child exploitation, TdH-NL invests in education, but also in raising awareness among children and adults. And because poverty is the main reason for child exploitation, TdH-NL also offers parents the opportunity to increase their incomes via savings and credit groups.


Children who are victim of exploitation, need protection. TdH-NL provides shelter, health care, counselling and education and help them build a new future. The organisation also offers help to family members and involves the community in protecting children.


It is important that victims can stand up for themselves and perpetrators are not allowed to escape justice. TdH-NL thus helps children to report cases to the police. They can also count on legal assistance and help during the criminal prosecution. The organisation also trains local police and justice. 


TdH-NL stands up for children's rights. The organisation campaigns to raise awareness of children's rights and conducts research to identify and call attention to trends and developments in child exploitation. Furthermore, TdH-NL follows and influences decision-making of local and national governments, businesses and international organisations (like the UN) and advocates for the implementation of these decisions. To prevent children from being exploited and to ensure victims of exploitation receive adequate help.


TdH-NL strengthens civil society in the promotion of children's rights as a precondition to ensure children are protected. The organisation invests in the organisational and institutional development of southern civil society organisations.

TdH-NL always works through local project partners. These partners are familiar with the situation on the ground and know the best ways of reaching out and helping the children concerned.

Terre des Hommes Netherlands in Uganda 

Terre des Hommes Netherlands in Uganda has been supporting local NGOs and networks in the implementation of projects which prevent child exploitation, provide assistance to exploited children and influence relevant policy and practice at local and national level. In aligning the country level interventions to TdH-NL's global strategy (2016 - 2020), the Ugandan programme will focus on Stop Child Exploitation (SCE) projects addressing the four major thematic areas. The geographical scope covers Central, East and Northern regions. 

Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) / Child Abuse (CA) - Previously TdH-NL has focused on supporting implementation of the national Alternative Care framework in Uganda aimed at preventing unnecessary institutionalisation of children and developing appropriate care alternatives when separation is inevitable. In the new strategy it will equally address issues of SRHR for young people focusing on child marriage and early pregnancies.

Child Trafficking and Unsafe Migration: TdH-NL will work towards the elimination of child trafficking in and between our countries of operation. We aim to support well integrated and interlinked initiatives to ensure that legislation and policy initiatives are rooted in practical experience and action.

Worst Forms of Child Labour (WFCL): TdH-NL's focus is on the worst forms of child labour, with a particular emphasis on child domestic workers and those children working in or around areas of mineral or oil extraction.

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC): TdH-NL will support initiatives that aim to prevent and respond to the problem by strengthening child protection systems at all levels including laws, policies, regulations and the provision of comprehensive services to child victims.

2. Call for Proposals: Protecting Children from Abuse including Children without Appropriate Care in Central, East and Northern Regions of Uganda

Tackling child abuse is an important theme in TdH-NL's current strategic plan (2011­-2015). As part of its new strategic plan (2016­-2020), TdH-NL plans to increase its support to comprehensive projects addressing child abuse in Eastern Africa; for Uganda specifically promoting alternative care for children outside family care. Initial focus will be on three year projects (2016-2018).

Invitation for applications & eligibility criteria

TdH-NL is inviting non-governmental organisations (NGOs or CSOs) with the required framework to submit a full proposal.
This call is open to organisations to apply independently as well as in a consortium / in partnership (i.e. more than one applicant). If an application is made as a consortium, the applicant should as the consortium lead clearly state how the project will be managed and should indicate a clear role for each partner. The appointment of a consortium coordinator position is recommended, to be included in the management costs.
Funding is only granted to national organisations (non INGOs) fully registered in the country of implementation. Any sub granting partners must also be fully registered.

Outline of the requirements applicants need to meet in order to be considered for TdH-NL’s funding:

  • Applicant as well as (if applicable) co-applicants need to be fully registered in the country of implementation 
  • Applicant as well as (if applicable) co-applicants need to demonstrate a successful track record in promoting Alternative Care and addressing child abuse 
  • The proposal needs to show a coherent programmatic approach
  • The proposed project needs to be based on the Theory of Change with related outcomes

Proposals that do not meet any of the criteria in this call and that do not use the formats provided will automatically be disqualified.


Uganda is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child (CRC) and to the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, both of which state that every child shall be entitled to the enjoyment of parental care and protection and shall, whenever possible, have the right to reside with his or her parents.

Children need and have a right to be cared for by their parents and to grow up in a family environment. Unfortunately however, the use of institutions to replace family care of children remains a major response to poverty or family breakdown. In numerous countries, including in East Africa, there are limited mechanisms in place to ensure the most appropriate placements, encourage and support guardianship and adoption arrangements, and to provide support and monitoring for foster families. 

Defining alternative care can be challenging because the standards outlined under the CRC and the UN Guidelines differ. Despite such conceptual issues, TdH-NL's focus on Alternative Care (AC) targets children who fall somewhere in the continuum between parental care and state care. In this "definition", potentially all children who are not being cared for by at least one parent or legal guardian are potential targets for AC. Furthermore, despite the fact that the scope of alternative care is very wide and with multiple definitions, TdH-NL has divided the various types of care arrangements or placements into three categories that are not mutually exclusive: 

  • Residential or institutional care 
  • Family-centred care 
  • Community-based care

Family-centred care initiatives include programmes focused on preserving or strengthening the ability of extended or foster families to absorb and effectively care for children without compromising the economic viability of the household and the health and wellbeing of other resident family members.
Community-based care refers to a variety of community initiated 
and/or community led interventions, including family-strengthening, psychosocial support, empowerment, economic development, cash assistance; all provided within the child's own community and within a family or family-like setting. 

Chronic poverty and destitution, illness, stigma or discrimination, HIV and AIDS, and the increasing number of natural disasters, along with ongoing conflict in many countries, mean that more and more children and families need an increasing amount of support to be able to stay together in healthy, happy and safe environments. Many children remain in families unable to offer them adequate care because they are too poor and lack adequate support. Other children end up in poor quality alternative care or on the street.

Institutional care has been shown to cause a wide range of problems for children. Institutional care does not adequately provide the level of positive individual attention from consistent caregivers which is essential for the successful emotional, physical, mental and social development of children. Common issues for children in institutional care are a significantly increased risk of sexual and physical abuse, a lack of stimulation and harsh discipline. Children in institutions are less likely to attend school and are frequently isolated from their traditional communities. Long periods in an institution make it harder for a child to assimilate back into a family and community, and deny them access to the life-long attachments and community support systems that family relationships and communities can provide. For funders and implementing bodies, care in the community is a significantly more effective and sustainable use of resources since it avoids the high maintenance costs of institutions, and prevents many of the problems posed by institutional care.

The current child protection systems in the country are still developing and pose a challenge when there is need to access justice or legal redress. Legal follow up of child rights abuses especially in rural areas and child care institutions is still weak. Provision of appropriate alternative care for abused or neglected children remains a major gap given the inadequacies in Uganda's social welfare system. Despite internationally acknowledged harmful effects of residential care on children s development there are increasing numbers of children being placed in Child Care Institutions (CCIs). There has also been an increase in the number of CCIs, with current estimates standing at up to 800, with 50,000 children in care. Contributing factors include poverty, lack of community understanding of the risks of CCIs, and poor gatekeeping and child safeguarding policies; inadequate monitoring, supervision and regularisation by the government. An assessment of CCIs in 2010 indicated that over 60% of the children admitted were neither orphans nor vulnerable. 

In November 2009, the International Guidelines on Alternative Care were adopted by the UN. This has created a much more supportive international environment towards family-based care and a clearer consensus about the need to dramatically reduce the use of residential care. The guidelines give priority to the prevention of family separation and abandonment, and to the importance of local family-based care alternatives. There is also growing international, regional and country level action towards tackling both care and protection issues via strengthening national child protection systems and reforming the care system within the broader framework.

Concurrently, the domestic adoption in Uganda has seen dramatic increases in recent years (600 children in 2013), raising concerns for the protection of children and possibly child trafficking. Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development in Uganda developed an Alternative Care Framework to enhance the protection of children outside parental care with a strong emphasis on family preservation and reintegration of children back into families.

Expected outcomes

This Call for Proposals aims to promote the national Alternative Care framework and protect children from child abuse in Central, East and Northern Regions in Uganda. It specifically aims to address the following outcomes:

1. Children at risk of child abuse including in CCIs /and children who are victims of child abuse access appropriate support services

2. Families and communities protect children from child abuse including in CCIs and prevention of family separation 

3. Government protects children from child abuse including in CCIs and promotes family strengthening to prevent separation by making or reviewing and adequately implementing laws and policies 

4. Law enforcement agencies convict abusers of children and deinstitutionalise children

5. Civil society organisations protect the rights and best interest of children (specifically children vulnerable to child abuse)

6. Private sector contributes to the wellbeing of children vulnerable to child abuse

Intervention strategies - types of activities

Strategies to be considered by applicants should be in line with the 5 P's strategy of TdH-NL. A minimum of 2 of the 5 P's should be included in the proposed project. Examples of activities (important note: this list is for guidance purposes only and is not exhaustive):

1. Children vulnerable to child abuse including in CCIs and family separation and exploitation are safeguarded/protected and are provided with access to legal aid 

2. Safe child reintegration into the community (including local adoption and fostering), with children enrolled in education or having income generating activities

3. Child protection actors are trained to protect children, coordinate with other government departments, CSOs and the private sector to strengthen child protection referral systems

4. Technical and other support is provided for the effective operationalisation of the Alternative Care Unit (ACU) at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) and the district Probation and Social Welfare Departments for effective implementation of the national AC framework 

5. Awareness creation and dialogue with families and communities to prevent unnecessary placements of children in care institutions, participate in child protection and provision of social services

Applicants are invited to indicate innovative approaches that feed into the expected outcomes (i.e. beyond the examples listed above).

Geographical focus

The following areas in Uganda are eligible for funding: Central, East and Northern Regions.

Duration and budget

The initial planned duration of a project should be 33 months, starting on 1 April 2016. 

Contracts will be entered into on yearly basis; the first one to cover 9 months (1 April - 31 December 2016). 

Depending on the project design, the budget ranges from EUR 250,000 to EUR 350,000 for the full duration of 33 months. The budget should be presented as per the required format (please refer to Annex 4 - TdH NL EA Project Budget Format), entailing the budget for the first 9 months as well as for the subsequent 2 years. The budget for the first 9 months should not exceed EUR 150,000 for 2016.

The proposed project budget should be at least 85% programme cost and not exceed 15% management cost (inclusive of a maximum of EUR 2,600 for ICT*).

* TdH-NL's reporting and accounting system is Internet based; with a view to this, all project partners are required to have or acquire sufficient equipment and Internet access.


  • Publication of the Call for Proposals: Wednesday 21 October 2015.
  • A Q & A session about this specific Call for Proposals will be organised by TdH-NL Uganda office for which all interested parties are invited on Tuesday 3rd November 2015, 10am - 12noon at Land Mark Hotel Muyenga in Kampala.
    (note that prospective applicants should cover their own travel cost to this location)
  • Deadline of submission: Monday 16 November 2015 (12.00 EAT)
    Send your proposal to with subject heading: CA/Alternative Care Project Proposal [+ name of (lead) applicant]. Include all required attachments / annexes.
  • Review and shortlisting will be done by TdH-NL on or before 15 December 2015.
  • Shortlisted proposals will be subject to a more detailed review including clarifying questions, validation of information and capacity assessment of project applicants.
    Deadline for shortlisted applicants to answer questions raised: 15 January 2016.
  • Final selection will be done by TdH-NL on or before 7 February 2016, after which the selected projects will be submitted to TdH-NL’s Head Office for final review and approval.
  • Partner contracts for the first 9 months of the project will be signed latest by 1 March 2016.
  • Projects will start on 1 April 2016. If so required, a mobilisation period of 2 months can be built into the project design, resulting in an effective project (activities) start date of 1 June 2016.

List of annexes

Share this: