Although adoption is slowly becoming more common in Uganda, there is still a great need for new foster and adoptive parents, especially for older children and boys.
The aim of 2012 media campaign was to increase our number of potential adoptive parents, as well as introducing the concept of short and long term foster care to Ugandans with the hope that we would be able to recruit 2 long term foster carers for children who have outgrown Malaika Babies Home.
I came out from the UK for 6 weeks to produce this campaign, and started negotiating with companies as soon as I landed, trying to ensure that we could agree advertising deals as soon as possible.
We were lucky enough to have the amazing Limehouse Creative team on board for this campaign. They designed both of our billboards free of charge, and did a great job. We organised a photo shoot with Kampala based photographer Anne Ackermann, and spent a stressful few hours on the roof of a local shopping centre trying to capture images that would work for our campaign.
For the first time we decided to advertise on digital billboard screens – one at the large Oasis shopping mall, and one in one of Kampala’s busiest taxi parks.
We also produced a television advert to run on NTV, featuring family support worker Lydia and her family. Lydia has adopted her two youngest children, and the whole family got involved in the filming of our advert, with the youngest two boys fascinated by our camera equipment!
Although most of the content for our media campaign was produced in English, we decided to run a series of adverts in the local Luganda language on Radio Simba. We’re grateful to Rogers Mugerwa and his team for their continued support of the work that we’re doing.
We produced a Talk Show to run on national tv station NTV, and our amazing panel of guests, James Kaboggoza the Assistant Commissioner for Children, social worker Barbra and adoptive parent Christina Sempebwa debated issues connected to foster care and adoption as well as taking viewers calls. Presenter Ben Mwine did a great job, and the whole team felt extremely proud once the programme came off air.
Early in this trip I was asked to produce a documentary for the Ugandan government exploring Alternative Care. Myself and media volunteer Emma Hegarty spent a week working flat out on this projec
t and the finished documentary aired immediately after the Talk Show.
The first media campaign that we ran in 2011 resulted in over 150 potential adoptive parents contacting us, and to date 30 of our children have now been adopted. They are enjoying the chance to grow up in loving supportive families and we very much hope that this year’s campaign will result in similar outcomes for more of the children currently resident at Malaika Babies Home.