The idea of SPAU was born on 17th October 1999. Paul Lwanga’s idea to set up SPAU was borne out of seeing the poverty in rural Uganda and the special needs of single parent families struggling to provide enough for their households. This situation reminded Paul of his own experience in a single parent household where his mother struggled to raise him and his siblings in a chaotic Ugandan history between the 60′s and 70′s. In addition to this, many single parent families continued to lose loved ones to HIV/AIDS and malaria.
Paul LwangaPaul saw much of the overseas aid going towards awareness projects and medicines for people suffering from AIDS, but very little going to their family dependents who had to keep their own lives going in spite of economic hardship. Paul shared this idea with his two colleagues, Anne Lubega (RIP) and Alex Ssenyama, who were also single parents at the time facing the growing pressures and needs of raising children on their own. The trio eventually set up SPAU in December 1999, registering it with the government of Uganda as a non governmental organisation under charity number S.5914/29
SPAU maintains a large network of volunteers who are all community-based and usually also single parents and/or members of local SPAU groups. SPAU volunteers also include single parent group leaders and other executive-office bearers of their group committees. A typical SPAU group committee consists of at least 5 people who include: the chairperson, vice chairperson, treasurer, general secretary and information secretary/mobiliser. The SPAU group committees are responsible for the day-to-day operations of their respective groups. SPAU members in each group agree on the roles and responsibiliti