The Uganda Reach the Aged Association (URAA) is a national voluntary not-for-profit, non-government organization whose vision is a dignified, self-fulfilled poverty free ageing Uganda and a mission is to champion the realization and preservation of a dignified quality of life for older persons in Uganda. URAA was founded in 1991 by a group of older persons (OP) themselves and is affiliated to HelpAge International. URAA is registered with NGO board No. S. 5914/797 and by Guarantee No. 63986. URAA has a membership of over 480,000 older persons in the 80 district associations (230,000 Male and 250,000 Female) were it operates.
URAA has grown rapidly to a national association with over 82 member organizations in all the regions of Uganda. URAA is mandated to promote quality wellbeing of OPs through its member organizations. The aim of URAA is to provide a platform for fellowship, mutual support, hope and a voice to Ops. Specifically, the organization focuses on advocacy to raise awareness on Op’s issues and fight stigma to Ops through the rights-based approach aimed at promoting dignified living by advocating and promoting equitable access economic empowerment, social welfare, treatment, care and support, and wellbeing of OPs.
URAA is a network member of Help Age International, a worldwide Network that helps older persons claim their rights, challenge discrimination and overcome poverty so that they can lead dignified, secure, active and healthy lives.Areas of work and targets Economic Empowerment for Older Persons including work with refugees: Targets
- Increase in the number of older persons accessing secure incomes.
- URAA member organizations establish micro projects for household income.
- URAA member Organizations start group-based savings and credit schemes
- Influence to financial and insurance institutions to incorporate OPs Associations.
- Health facilities equipped with medicine and personnel for old age care.
- A reduction in the prevalence and impact of HIV and AIDS on older persons.
- Reduction in the incidences of abuse and violation of the rights of older persons. URAA has trained Paralegal Advisors and Older Citizen Monitoring teams among the refugees and even locals, these are tasked to provide Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services as well as service monitoring for and with older persons
- Provision of medical support through Medical Camps
- URAA active in at least 8 relevant national, regional and international networks.
- A vibrant national and regional older persons’ network in place.
- Increased partnership with age care organizations to promote rights of OPs. Policy influence and Research:
- Data on issues concerning older persons is available and accessible.
- OPs issues are mainstreamed and integrated in at least 10 national based policies.
- An organized stakeholder movement in place to lobby and advocate for OPs. Strengthen URAA institutional capacity and effectiveness.
- Diversified financial resource base
- Structures, systems and policies that enable URAA to achieve its Mission in place.
- Strengthened capacity of URAA members to lead community action for their rights.
- URAA member organizations vibrant and sustainable.
To achieve the above targets the following strategies are used:-
Training: on Organizational Development, Saving and Credit (VSLA methodology) and linking groups to Financial Institutions Training on Financial Literacy, Business Skills Development and on Income Generating Activities (IGA), Food security; URAA has developed training curriculum that is specific to older persons for skills development in management of Income Generating Activities, group management with saving and credit component incorporated. Specific tools for monitoring and tracking loan performance have also been developed to ensure Older Persons’ Associations (OPAs) adequately follow up members and support loan repayments. Capacity support is also provided to OPAs to formalize their organizations through registration, to this end URAA has a guide for development of constitution for OPAs.
Grants Management: Source and provide grants to network partners to promote various activities; capacity building on savings and credit, Business skills development, live hood support, advocacy and community monitoring. URAA also provides Technical support on development of grant recipients budgets, finance management systems and work plans.
Advocacy and lobbying seminars and workshops are regularly undertaken for policy influence. Through establishment of advocacy groups, CSOs are mobilized at district and national level to provide voice for mainstreaming of older persons’ issues in development agenda; specifically, advocacy is in the area of Social Protection, Health and HIV and AIDS using right based approach.
Information dissemination through learning briefs production, sharing of success stories and documentaries with desired audiences; including through the use of social media platforms. URAA has developed a communication and advocacy strategy to guide information production and dissemination.
URAA works with member NGOs, CBOs, in developing and improving systems, to ensure that the members are empowered to develop explain strategies plans and approaches.
Networking with likeminded organizations on issues of general concern for vulnerable groups through participation in national platforms, formation of consortiums and participation in calendar events that create awareness and act as advocacy platforms.
Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL), URAA has in house capacity to support its member associations and organizations in the areas of organizational development, monitoring, evaluation accountability and learning through ensuring the members are able to account both in terms of results and value for money.
Networking and MembershipURAA is a member of the Uganda National NGO Forum (UNNGOF), Uganda Social Protection Platform (USPP), Uganda Network of AIDS Service Organizations (UNASO) and National Union of Researchers and Research Users (NURRU). It also has District level partner NGOs and CBO in 63 districts in Uganda, for purposes of effective identification of community needs, programme implementation and capacity building. The Board of Director (BoD)
URAA has a BoD of 10 members and one government representative from the Ministry Gender Labour and Social Development (MGLSD). The BoD has a responsibility of providing oversight and formulating policies to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.Management
URAA has eight staff and the Secretariat is headed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who is answerable to the BoD. The CEO is supported by two-line Managers, The Head of Programmes and Accounts and Administration Officer