Fort Portal

SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Uganda).

Fort Portal is located in western Uganda in Kabarole District and has a population of roughly 55,000. Most people live off subsistence agriculture, animal farming and commercial fishing. As many families produce their own food for consumption, when harvests are poor, children do not get enough food. Past conflict and the HIV/AIDS pandemic has led to many children growing up without parental care.

Since 2010, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Fort Portal.

Children in Fort Portal are without care

Children without parental care

Like other parts of Uganda, Kabarole District has been affected by violent conflict. The HIV/AIDS pandemic also continues to be a challenge here. Given these circumstances, many children in the area have lost their parents. In fact, it is estimated that around 50,000 children in the region are without parental care. Children who can no longer live with their parents generally live with their extended family in Uganda. However, often, families do not have the means to provide for additional children. Especially when they are female-headed households or older relatives, it can be incredibly difficult for them to meet the children’s needs in financial, social, psychological, educational and health terms.

Of people live in poor housing


Malnutrition is a problem for many people all over Uganda. However, the situation is particularly severe for children in rural areas, including in the areas surrounding Fort Portal. In this region, many families rely on agriculture and animal farming in order to make a living and to produce food for themselves. This makes them very vulnerable to changing weather conditions. Draught or flooding can destroy crops and leave families in the area without food. Children who do not get enough nutritious food are at risk of not growing healthily. With their proper physical and intellectual development at risk, these children are very likely to experience negative long-term consequences.

Your support makes a difference for children in Fort Portal

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Can stay together
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Children playing together and having fun. Children who grow up in our care often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Uganda).

How your support helps in Fort Portal

Strengthening vulnerable families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run training so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start their own businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.