Street children are casualties of economic growth, war, poverty, loss of traditional values, domestic violence, physical and mental abuse. Every street child has a reason for being on the streets. While some children are lured by promise of excitement and freedom, the majority are pushed onto the streets by desperation and a realization that they have nowhere else to go.
The neglect of orphans and other vulnerable children by family members and relatives is responsible for the increasing number of street children in Uganda in general. In the Soroti district, it is estimated that we have around 150 children living in the streets. This increasing number is leading to several problems for the community: for example, crimes like pick pocketing, house breaking and petty thefts, drug abuse, prostitution and general insecurity. This is causing fear and insecurity among town residents, who now see those children as a threat to their security.
With funding from Stichting Impulsis and other partners, Foundation MamaWatoto decided to initiate a project that would aim at helping all street children in Soroti Disctrict be fully rehabilitated and integrated into their respective communities through educational and vocational trainings that will results in poverty alleviation and self-reliance.
The project is divided in 3 phases from which the first one is already being successfully implemented.
The phase one intends to identify and mobilize the street children who will directly benefit from the project, but also the members of the community who might be relatives or guardians of those children in order to introduce the project to them. This phase is of extreme importance since it will allow the organization to build a trust relationship with the street children, and the community members. During that phase, primary needs of the children will have to be filled and taken care of. Those needs can be of different orders: Food, medical care or psychological counselling will be the most urgent ones.
The phase two will aim to put in place a transit and interim care centre, ‘the rehabilitation center’, for temporal care of street children. This center will be formed by several buildings; dorms and sanitaries, divided by gender, kitchen, clinic, training rooms and an administration building where the partners, RICODE, will be able to set their office and be available at all times to assist the children in anything they need.
The final phase of the project will aim to provide Street children with training and apprenticeship skills in different vocational courses. This phase aims to develop the children’ skills so they will have the tools to develop their economic independence and help the rest of the community to grow. Only once this phase is complete the children will be able to reintegrate into their communities and finally be perceived as the asset they are, instead of a liability.
WE NEED YOUR HELP – Your donations will allow us to keep feeding and caring for the children until they are able to receive their vocational training and become economically independant.