After a workshop that was held at Busiga Resort in Kampala followed by lobbying by the Uganda Platform for Social Protection, the Uganda government now appreciates Social Protection as an essential measure to battle poverty, offer plenty of hope to the vulnerable and elderly in the society and when carried out effectively it contributes to the growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Although the Uganda government had approved the Expanding Social Protection Program (ESP[r1] ) in June 2010 to embed a national social protection[r2]  including social assistance for the poor and most vulnerable in the society as a core element of their national planning and budgeting processes it wasn’t working.

In this regard the Uganda[r3]  government released shs[r4] .3.8 billion for over 30,000beneficiaries under the Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE).  The SAGE program was formed in June 2011 to December 2014 to advocate for the plights[r5]  of the elderly and vulnerable in the society. Before the SAGE program,  statistics showed that 1.6 million  elderly persons in Uganda were abandoned, poor, helpless and discriminated because of their age bracket at work place. At that time the Uganda government had no policy to cater for their well being. This led to the formation of the department for the elderly along with the disability under the ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development to help in the implementation of the SAGE program in the 14 piloted districts. They include Apac, Kaberamaido, Katakwi, kiboga, Nebbi, Kyenjojo, Moroto, Nakapiripirit, Amudat, Kyegegwa, Kyankwanzi, Zombo, Napak and Kole. The program is funded by DFID, Irish Aid and UNICEF.

The SAGE program’s main object is to provide a direct monthly income of shs[r6] .24,000 to 95,000 households in the above mentioned districts. The five year program targets to reach 60,000 people by December 2012 and 600,000 at the end of the program. So far the program has benefitted 31,000 people.

According to the survey, the SAGE program is transforming the lives of elderly and vulnerable in the  context of protection, empowerment, labour market and economic stabilization[r7]       . The survey shows that 415 beneficiaries from 16 sub-counties who were interviewed, 56% have saved[r8]  their grant for investments like stocking of livestock, buying of seeds and hiring of labour. It also shows that people are able to have a decent meal, sending their children to school and local producers are able to meet the demand for local products. The report indicates that 6% of the grant is misused[r9]  on alcohol.

SAGE is essential since it cushions the elderly and vulnerable from the shocks of life and also a key opportunity of achieving millennium development goals  (MDGs)that is goal number one; eradication of poverty. The program should be embraced by other governments since it improves the social welfare of the elderly and vulnerable in the society[r10] .


 [r1]Is this a government programme of Civil Society Programme?

 [r2]To embed a programme or …?

What evidence do we have to suggest that it is because of the lobbying and efforts of the platform that government has instituted Social Protection measures? Does this mean the  government was doing nothing before the Platforms’ efforts?

 [r3]The Ugandan Government

 [r4]Uganda shillings

 [r5]The plight without an “s”

 [r6]Ugandan Shillings sometimes it’s good to give a dollar equivalent. Not always

 [r7]Shorten the sentence

 [r8]Rephrase to not give the impression of excess

 [r9]That is a personal point of view.

 [r10]Give a more powerful ending.

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