Uganda: Kabale to Build Remand Home for Street Children

Uganda: Kabale to Build Remand Home for Street Children
The Monitor (Kampala)

16 June 2008
Posted to the web 16 June 2008

Robert Muhereza

The problem of street childern in Kabale District may soon come to an end after the completion of a multi-million vulnerable children’s home, a project being undertaken by Lift Jesus Global Ministries Church through its project of Hope Africa Children Ministry.

The church leader, Mr Aloysius Kiiza revealed this on Tuesday while addressing the press at the site in Nyakambu Kirigime ward in Kabale municipality.

About 100 former street and orphaned children are being housed and rehabilitated. He explained that the idea was hatched after a survey on the causes of the increasing numbers of street children in the district.

"We established that domestic violence, the HIV epidemic and early pregnancies are some of the causes of the rising number of street children, " Mr Kiiza said. "We have decided to construct a permanent home for these vulnerable children so that they can have hope for a better future."

He said well wishers from the United States, Compassion International and other friends of Lift up Jesus Global ministries church are some of the founders of the childrens rehabilitation programme.

Mr Kizza said about 60 former street children who were picked from the streets in 2004, have been rehabilitated and are currently undergoing primary and secondary school education.

"We thank God for this achievement and pray he helps us to raise the money to rehabilitate more children in south western Uganda," Apostle Kizza said.

He said most of the children have confessed to pick pocketing, drug use especially marijuana and sniffing of petrol as common practices.

"We are proud to have rehabilitated these street kids into God fearing persons," Mr Kiiza added saying several abandoned babies have also been rescued.

He said Kabale Referral Hospital has supported their project by supplying ARVs drugs to HIV infected street children. Mr Kizza said lack of enough facilities to cater for the children is the biggest challenge the centre is currently experiencing.


Address domestic violence to check street children

Address domestic violence to check street children
Thursday, 5th June, 2008     

By Robert Kashaija

I was moving on a busy street of Kampala when I saw the presidential convoy moving slowly. Street children tried to get close to the motorcade but security personnel kept them at bay. I had not imagined that street children could be so brave so as to get close to the President. This is an indication that the problem of street children in Uganda is grave.

Uganda is said to have the highest number of orphans in the world. A-quarter of all homesteads have an orphan who lost both parents to AIDS.

The US Bureau for Labour Affairs estimates that 5,000 children in Uganda beg, wash cars, scavenge, work as commercial sex and sell small items on the streets of Kampala. The number of street children has been rising steadily for the last five years. Almost 90% of these homeless children are from Karamoja.

Poverty is not the only factor behind the phenomenon of street children. For instance, many children from rich families have ended up as commercial sex workers or dancers and petty musicians in bars.

Street children need meaningful conversation with someone they trust so as to regain self esteem and a sense of belonging. In other words, they need to be associated with a home, whether rich or poor.

The Government has invested a lot of money in Karamoja. Why then this exodus of children to the city streets? It seems the money has not had substantial effect or trickled down to the ultimate beneficiaries.

The children and their mothers on the streets collect money from good Samaritans and send it back home. This means there are very few opportunities for them in Karamoja. This is where the Government must come in.

We need to address the factors that compel the street children to leave their homeland to beg on the streets of urban centres. These include insecurity, food shortage, lack of shelter, domestic violence and uncontrolled disease.

Many NGOs receive a lot of money from donors to help destitute people but it is possible that they divert the money to their own use or they are overwhelmed by the numbers. What about the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development? What has it done to curb this problem? Are they also overwhelmed?

We need to address issues like child abuse, torture, neglect and HIV/AIDS. These are some of the problems that force children to the streets. Another important factor is the violation of basic human rights such as the right to life, liberty and security.

The family, which is supposed to be the bedrock for a child’s welfare and protection, is no longer a comfortable place for the child to live in. Children are living their homes to escape domestic violence because of the breakdown of family structures. Schools which are supposed to nurture children have also become centres of violence and crime.

The public also contributes to the problem of street children. Those who give money to begging children encouraging them to stay on and others to come.

The Government has tried to institute a youth policy but it is not enough for dealing with every need of the youth. NGOs and civil society organisations should come in to supplement government efforts.

Street children are a target for witch doctors who take them as human sacrifices. The media has been awash with reports rape and killings of these children. All the stakeholders, including government and the community, need to put in place policies and strategies that address the plight of street children.

The writer is the Western Youth MP

Stolen childhood

Stolen childhood


FIRST, AIDS TOOK HER PARents. Then it took her childhood. At 15, Alice Nabulya can’t remember when she lost her father and his two wives to the pandemic. But she knows all too well the harsh reality of her current life: each day, instead of coming home from primary school to the security, guidance and love of adults, she must try to provide those things to a sister and five brothers, the youngest of whom is just four years old.

She does the best she can, cultivating a small garden beside the ramshackle mud house where they live in Kiterede, Rugasa sub-county, Masaka district. She is barely getting by. She is small for her age, and her siblings, who never wear shoes to school, look dirty and unhappy. A piglet and chicken dart in and out of the house. Its roof, the rusty remains of iron sheeting, is falling off the walls, but there’s nothing Nabulya can do about that. She doesn’t even know who owns the house. The children sleep on grass laid across the floor.

A growing number of African children share a plight as desperate as Alice’s and what remains of her family. Today, 2.3 million Ugandan children have been orphaned by HIV and Aids, one of the highest figures in the world. It is not just a Ugandan problem: By 2010 there will be 15.7 million children orphaned by HIV and Aids in sub-Saharan Africa. In Uganda, the problem has been aggravated by the 20-year old war in the north that has left over a million children orphaned.

The United Nations says the scourge has turned more than 11 million children worldwide into orphans; nine out of 10 of those are in Africa. The disease is also responsible for leaving over 18 million children around the world without one or both parents — eight out of 10 of those orphans in sub-Saharan Africa. With half of Uganda’s 32 million people aged below 18 years, the socio-economic impact of HIV and Aids orphans is frightening.

Nabulya and her family are not isolated cases. While Ugandans take pride in the strides they have made in the fight against HIV and Aids, and the country boasts a number of initiatives like the ABC (abstinence, being faithful and condom use) model, the number of orphans has continued to grow and now represents one of the country’s biggest problems. In part, the rising tide of orphans reflects the continuing effects of the Aids pandemic, which has left a generation of children in jeopardy. 

The director general of the Uganda Aids Commission, Dr Kihumuro Apuuli, says the problem of orphans is immense. The commission is the government body in charge of co-ordinating the national response to the epidemic.

ABOUT ONE IN FOUR UGANDAN households have two or more orphans. The responsibility of raising these children is not easy and even providing them with basic necessities does not come that cheap. With the development of anti-retroviral d
rugs (ARVs) people living with HIV have managed to stay healthy longer, but not everyone can afford the life-prolonging drugs. According to some estimates, less than half of the 300,000 Ugandans in need of ARVs have regular access to them. Without a source of income, children are particularly vulnerable.

Many of these children have turned up in the streets of Kampala, to try and eke out a living by begging, doing menial jobs or stealing. The lucky few have been taken in by charities and foster families. 

Yet these interventions are often just a drop in the ocean. The biggest and oldest orphanage, the Uganda Women’s Effort to Save Orphans, which was started by First Lady Janet Museveni in 1986, only looks after 71,575 orphans and 14,315 households in several districts in the country. 

A few church-based organisations are also getting involved. Esther Agwang, the spokeswoman for Watoto Childcare Ministries, which is affiliated to the Kampala Pentecostal Church, says they provide shelter, food and healthcare for 1,700 orphans. 

But those without assistance of any kind are a disturbing majority.

Isabirye Hassan, a councillor in Kampala City Council, says the capital’s streets have been taken over by street children who engage in crimes like pickpocketing and prostitution. Once in a while the city council rounds up street children and takes them to Kampiringisa rehabilitation centre where they receive training and counselling. However, with a high unemployment rate in the country, many of them return to the streets soon after they are discharged.

Andrew Serwanga of a child-rights NGO says the government needs to develop and implement policies on addressing the problem of orphans and vulnerable children. Although a desk has been created in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, anecdotal evidence from the streets shows little, if any, impact.

Universal Primary Education, which the Ugandan government started 11 years ago, is meant to get more children off the streets and into classrooms. According to the Ministry of Education spokesman Aggrey Kibenge, UPE has raised enrolment from 2.5 million pupils in 1997 to 7.4 million today.

HOWEVER, A RECENT World Bank report noted very high dropout and truancy rates in the programme and questions remain about the quality of education offered in bloated classrooms, some of them run under trees, with poorly paid and trained teachers.

Some children drop out to get married early, while families count on the children as extra sources of labour on their farms. Others drop out to look after ailing parents or to head their homesteads after the death — often HIV and Aids-related — of parents and guardians.

The government says it is implementing a five-year national strategic programme for orphans and other vulnerable children to run until 2009/10 to identify cost-effective ways of improving their welfare.

Unfortunately, time is running out for this generation of children orphaned and left vulnerable by HIV and Aids.

Mary Nakku, who lives in Katanga, a Kampala slum notorious for its crime and grime, is 13 years old. She lost both parents to HIV and Aids in 2000. She is HIV and Aids positive but has no time for self-pity: She has to look after her five siblings who all live in a tiny one-bedroom shack in the middle of the slum.

Mary earns a few thousand shillings each month by operating a neighbour’s public pay phone. She also occasionally receives handouts from charity organisations but worries, with tears welling in her eyes, what would happen if she were to fall sick. 

Heralded for reducing HIV prevalence from as high as 30 per cent in the early 1990s to about 6.5 per cent, the Ugandan government needs to do more fast for Nakku and the millions other orphans like her. With many turning to prostitution to survive, the epidemic just might come round full-circle.

Uganda: Busia Leaders Team Up to Address Sex Trade, Street Children

Uganda: Busia Leaders Team Up to Address Sex Trade, Street Children
New Vision (Kampala)

23 January 2008
Posted to the web 24 January 2008

Patrick Jaramogi

THE influx of Kenyan refugees following the election violence has fuelled sex trade among under age girls in the district.

The Ugandan girls aged between 11-18 years are a big attraction to many. "They charge as low sh500 for sex per hour," said a resident.

The looming sex trade coupled with the influx of street children has prompted the Government and Busia district leaders to seek solutions to avert what they described as "a looming crisis"

Busia district probation officer, Julius Ogalo said there are at least 400 street children in the municipality alone."Most of these street children are Karimojongs who come to engage in petty business and smuggling along the border," he said.

The district vice-chairperson, Sande Lwapande said; "We passed a by-law demanding that parents who don’t take their children to school are apprehended and prosecuted."

There was also another by-law banning the operation of video halls during daytime. "The law urged video halls to desist from allowing children from entering the halls but we need support from the district," said Michael Mungeni the Busia Town Council mayor .

He said the Police was not effectively enforcing the by-law, an act he called a very big challenge.

Kyateka Mondo, the assistant commissioner youth and children affairs in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development said: "These kids are so voilent, they can strike you at night. The girls work as maids in homes during day and resort to sex trade at night. "

"We need to address the problem from the root. Why is it that these children leave Karamoja?," he asked

Willie Otim, the commissioner for youth and children said "Street children are entitled to go to school, get adequate medical care and shelter. We need to handle these children before the situation gets out of hand. "

The deputy resident district commissioner, Emmily Akullu said her office would probe NGOs who thrive by pretending to look after the street kids.

The gender and labour minister Syda Bbumba, who met the district officials recently, urged the Police and local leaders to cooperate

"Why is it that the by-laws are not enforced? I know as politicians you fear to lose votes but remember once insecurity strikes, you will even lose more,"

The district Police chief, Amanya Isaac however said, all efforts to arrest criminals had been upset by sympathetic parents and community who defended the action of their children.

"How do people who rape, defile, rob, stab and even terrorise the Police, and be regarded as minors. We have reports that they even have guns and some are engaged in very serious crime," he said.

Amanya said although the community had jeopardised their efforts they were going to enforce the law."The law stipulates that any child above 12 years is liable for criminal prosecution."

Uganda: Street Children End Year With Full Bellies

Uganda: Street Children End Year With Full Bellies
The Weekly Observer (Kampala)

17 January 2008
Posted to the web 17 January 2008

Elizabeth Kameo

Some say the festive season right into the New Year is time for children. However, this normally excludes children that roam Kampala’s streets in search of food, water and money to buy glue and aviation oil to sniff.

While children in Kampala homes and orphanages choke on too much food during the festive season, street children’s hunger and thirst doesn’t abate.

But the last festive season was different. As petrol scarcity descended upon Kampala on New Year’s eve, food was in abundance for street children in Kisenyi, Owino and Entebbe road areas.

With sweat flowing down his dark face, a smiling 15-year-old Nangoli recounted how he came to Kampala from Mbale hoping for the best.

"My parents were farmers but did not have enough money to send me to school. After Primary 4, I did not go back. So I came to Kampala," he said.

The year 2007 could not have ended on a better note for Nangoli and another 400 street children. The promise of a well-cooked hot meal that day is what got them to generously share their stories.

The food was served at Nakivubo Blue Primary School playground.

Organised by Imagine A Smile Uganda, a charity project set up by a Ugandan living in England in partnership with others in Uganda, the idea was to make street children feel wanted and not forgotten.

"I am fortunate to be living in London, where there are many organisations providing assistance for people who, for one reason or another, are unable to support themselves or find themselves needing help like I once did," said Beatrice Akulia, one of the organisers.

"I have found myself in a situation like this and found help, so I thought since I am in a better position now I could help those who have little or no help."

According to Akulia, what started on New Year eve as a mobile food kitchen will with time expand into a fully fledged charity that will not only feed the unfortunate children but also provide guidance and counselling. The meal kitchen idea was borrowed from India.

The problem of street children in Uganda has over the years developed into a crisis. Most children on the street today have either run away from poor homes or hail from disturbed areas such as Karamoja, Teso and Acholi.

The children survive through either begging, robbing, or by collecting plastic bottles and steel scrap for sale.

In addition to provision of food, clothing, healthcare and other basic needs, Akulia and her friends plan to open permanent shelter for the homeless children.

Reacting to the view that feeding the children encourages more to come to the street, Akulia argued that the kids need to be given food without conditions first, and then talked into rehabilitation later. "This is what organisations in cities like London do," she said.

Besides Akulia and her associates, food donations came from Materials Technology, Tate and Lyle UK, Club Silk’s Elvis Ssekyanzi, AngeNoir’s Charlie Lubega, Salim Uhuru and the Rastafarian community in Kampala.

Uganda: Sights And Sounds of Kapchorwa

Uganda: Sights And Sounds of Kapchorwa
The Monitor (Kampala)

7 January 2008
Posted to the web 7 January 2008

Phoebe Mutetsi

It is such a beauty to behold, Kapchorwa is! It is all those rocky hills lining that single tarmac road snaking through, climbing higher and higher into the town.

It is also the steep slopes, the cliffs, those magnificent plain lands that seem to be beckoning, asking you to abandon the slow upward drive and walk down East into the Savannah. It is the fact that no one ever speaks of Kapchorwa or its people especially in the line of Uganda’s main tourist attraction sites.

Everything about Kapchorwa is an attraction, and not just the Sipi falls – which by the way, are worth all the hype. Every high rock in Kapchorwa, seemingly, has got a mass of water gushing out; it could pass for a district built in rock, with numerous waterfalls to accentuate its beauty.

The town is very small and mostly uneventful except for the street children running around excitedly, speaking Sabiny and some Swahili (with a Kenyan accent) and or broken English if you engage them.

Street children

There is barely a street in Kapchorwa town, yet these "street" children are overwhelming in number and can be scary; the minute I walked out of Noah’s Ark hotel gates, they were there, all of them, and made a semi-circle, caging me.

Then they started talking, all at once and fast, in Sabiny. I couldn’t walk on, there were not going to give way. And yet with the big grins on their faces and intimidating, sarcastic laughter, I couldn’t walk back into those safe gates. So I stayed.

But then it dawned me; they just kids, and all kids love one thing – "Who wants sweets? Who speaks English?" I asked. And just like that they were doing my bidding, pointing fingers at each other and telling on one another; "He said you are stupid."

"She said you a crazy woman". "No he said it". With only about five sweets to dish out, many were not impressed by this little trick and as result they switched back to mode A; calling me names and laughing at me.

It was then that I knew I had to meet with some adults and have adult conversation.

Later that night, during the concert for which I had gone, I met with a gentleman, Michael Musao. Musao had come from Mbale where he currently works and lives, to be with his extended family during the Christmas holiday. And he was at the concert, like everyone else, to be a part of the once-in-a-Kapchorwa-lifetime entertainment show.

It is during this show that one of the singers from the group Dream Girls joked, in the midst of their performance, that she was willing to abandon her life in Kampala and settle in Kapchorwa if there was a good man willing to for her marry. Together with about three other guys, Musao, naturally, commented; "No one would want to marry her, she is not circumcised." That was my cue.

Female circumcision

With a lot of coaxing, Micheal Musao (says he is an engineer) informed that the reasons for which Sabiny women are circumcised are mainly two; "One is to ensure a woman’s cleanliness and the second one is to reduce or curb her sexual urge."

However, he later begged that I do not publish that second reason. "It is not a good thing if you quoted me on that one, people will misunderstand. And, these are supposed to be cultural secrets," he pleaded, and then continued; "It is not like our women do not enjoy sex or don’t reach climax like very many people like to say. They do."

Musao went on to explain that with female circumcision, only the tip of the clitoris is cut off, not the whole of it; "So she still has sensitivities, she still has her clitoris, only it’s cut in half."

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a woman, a Sabiny woman, to contribute to this conversation, the most they gave was a shy smile and "Ask him (Micheal Musao), he will tell you everything."

And he did tell me his side of "everything"; from the fact that Sabiny women want to be circumcised and actually look forward to it (the younger ones) to the fact that he has been sexually involved with non circumcised women before and feels sorry for their men.

"When a woman is not circumcised she is treated like an outcast. They are not supposed to get food from the granary, they are not supposed to engage in a public discussion (like at a village meeting) and these women are supposed to walk from far behind the other women, and even at the well, the uncircumcised woman draws water after everyone else has," he explains matter-of-factly.

So what does he have to say to the people who demand that female circumcision is wrong and should be stopped? "I really think those people are entitled to their uninformed opinions," he states.

"Look, most of the people speaking against female circumcision have even been at the circumcising ceremony. They have no idea about what exactly is done or how it is done. They do not know the difference (sexually) between a circumcised woman and an uncircumcised one… So we really pay no attention to such people. It is our culture and the women have no problem with it," he states.

That – was Kapchorwa.

Charity fundraisers endure both heat and cold in mountain climb

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Dave Mann and Dee Hawke at the summit of Ras Dashen. ns

Fundraisers for a Warwick charity endured freezing temperatures and blistering heat in a charity trek in Ethiopia.
Dave Mann and Dee Hawke hiked through the Simien mountains to the 15,000ft summit of the country’s highest peak Ras Dashen in November in aid of Retrak, a charity which helps street children in East Africa.

The mountain is half the height of Everest and the pair, who raised more than £6,500, said the challenge was the toughest thing they had ever done, with lack of oxygen testing every walker’s endurance.

For Mrs Hawke, of Tachbrook Road, it was the second mountain she had ever climbed – the first being a trip up Snowdon in November.

She decided to go only seven weeks before the trek began and raised £5,000 before she left.

The usher, who works at courts in Warwick and Coventry, said: “I wasn’t too sure but it turned out to be the most amazing thing I have done in my life.

“It was 100 degrees during the day with no shade and minus ten during the night. The glass in one person’s watch popped out the conditions were so extreme. But it was amazing how we gelled together as a team.”

Mr Mann, of Charles Street, Warwick is the charity’s fundraising co-ordinator but had never walked at altitude. He said: “The terrain was breathtaking but rugged. None of us had trekked at that altitude before and some suffered from intense headaches. Breathing was difficult, so every step took great effort.”

The rewards for their effort included views across the mountain range and sightings of Gelada baboons as well as ibex and other exotic birds.

And on their return from the trek the party visited Retrak’s project in Addis Abbaba, where street children are given the chance to go to school, be reunited with their families or find homes with a foster family. The team spent time talking to some of the children who are benefiting from the charity’s work and ended the day with a football match against the youngsters.

Mrs Hawke added: “It was fantastic to see how the money raised from our efforts during the trek will be used to help street children in Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya to begin a new life away from the danger and horror of life on the streets.”

The trek was organised by Mrs Hawke’s daughter Karla Hawke. Its 14 members raised more than £60,000.

Karla was really proud of her mother’s achievement both in climbing the mountain, and raising such a large amount of money in less than seven weeks.

She said: “Retrak is really grateful to people like Dave and Dee who took part. Anyone interested in future challenges should visit our website for more information.”

Uganda: Jinja to Deal With Street Kids

Uganda: Jinja to Deal With Street Kids
New Vision (Kampala)

2 January 2008
Posted to the web 3 January 2008

Charles Kakamwa

AFTER grappling with the problem of increasing street children for a long time, Walukuba/Masese division in Jinja Municipality has launched a vigorous campaign to get them off the streets.

Councillors on recently approved a motion ‘Street kids is a problem in Walukuba/Masese division’ moved by Elias Kaggwa, a member of the social services committee, whose aim is to ‘force’ children off the streets and back to school.

The policy also seeks to create awareness amongst stakeholders about the problem, find solutions to it and strengthening respect of the rights of children to education, health, shelter and clothing among others.

"It will also enable the council to obtain data on these children, on which we shall base to plan and integrate them into school," Kaggwa said.

According to the policy to be implemented with effect from 2008, field exercises will be carried out by representatives of LCs I and II who, under the slogan ‘No street kids’ will sensitise masses on the dangers these children face and their effect on the community.

The council will liaise with stakeholders, including the municipal council, non governmental organisations, churches, the Government and the Karamojong Special Education Programme under which several Karamojong children are being educated at Masese Co education school so that those lured off streets can access free education.

"At the end of each year, LCs who will have excelled in ‘forcing’ the children back to school will be rewarded," Kaggwa said.

They passed a Sh3.9m budget to cater for the programme.

The policy also targets parents/guardians who send their children into child labour.

"Penalties will be sanctioned to the offenders ranging from fines to imprisonment. Some people bring these children here and send them to the streets instead of schools," Kaggwa said.

Kaggwa is optimistic that if efficiently implemented, the policy will completely rid Walukuba division of street children, reduce the crime rate and lead to improved health and sanitation.

We love our city in the garbage because it’s the way of the future

We love our city in the garbage because it’s the way of the future 


Barely two weeks after the Commonwealth summit in Kampala, the expected has happened – uncollected garbage has began to pile up in parts of the city. 

Typically, as happens in most cities that are cleaned up for big international events, very soon, the street children, pickpockets, potholes and broken traffic lights will be the order of the day again.

These reversals happen because the underlying causes of the problems are never solved by temporary clean-ups; the corrupt city official who eats the money instead of fixing roads will still be in his job, and the social breakdown that produces street children will not have been tackled.

THE STATE OF OUR CITIES USED TO infuriate me, until a few years ago when I sent a friend in South Africa an article by an American journalist. It decried the poor state of the roads and mountains of garbage in various African cities he had visited. My South African friend is a man who has seen the world, so I was unprepared for his reply.

Cities, or at least parts of them, by definition are supposed to be dirty, he said. He said he is never surprised in his travels when he ends up in filthy cities. What usually catches him off guard, he said, are meticulously clean ones.

In Africa, if you don’t want a dirty city, he suggested, you should go and live in the village.

If you think about it, he has a point. Some years ago, I travelled around Denmark. I passed through many small but rich towns and some neighbourhoods in the outskirts of Copenhagen, where the grass was growing high and wild in compounds with some very posh houses and flashy cars parked in the yard.

I was surprised, and inquired from my host about the unkempt state of these Danish compounds. In turn, she asked me why I thought that grass in compounds should be cut. It was more environmentally sound, she said, to let the grass grow high as long as you took steps to spray it so that snakes and rodents don’t hide in it.

So, one might ask, since it seems so difficult to get rid of garbage in African cities, what if we moved to a model where we live with the rubbish, as long as the piles are sprayed periodically to prevent diseases from incubating there?

You don’t find garbage in African villages, primarily because the compounds and gardens there are private property. The sidewalks and streets in the city, on the other hand, are not “ours” in the same sense.

The way garbage is “collected” in the villages
is very different from the way it’s done in the city. In the villages, you sweep the rubbish out of the house and the compound into the garden at the back of the house or into the banana plantations. 

There it becomes manure, and the free-range chicken forage through it for food.

Villagers, therefore, are constantly recycling. They don’t bag garbage and throw it a kilometre away in a forest.

SO WHAT WOULD THIS MODEL OF garbage cities look like? For one, cities would not spend money on what, for them, appears to be a logistic nightmare of collecting all the garbage and incinerating it.

Instead, they would only have to sweep it off the roads so that people can still walk and drive around.

There would, of course, still be pristine streets and suburbs. But these would be the equivalent of our villages, where everything from the roads to streetlights, would be the absolute private property of the residents who would be paying big money for it, not using city council subsidies that should go to the poor.

Make no mistake, though. For all this intellectualising, given a choice, I would rather live in the pristine suburb — as would we all.

Uganda: True Vine Ministries Gives Street Children Lifeline

Uganda: True Vine Ministries Gives Street Children Lifeline
The Monitor (Kampala)

27 October 2007
Posted to the web 26 October 2007

John A. Emojong

At least 400 million people in rural areas will not be able to survive on US$1 a day, a survey by Hope for Kids International, a US based charity and Christian organisation has revealed.

The President and founder of Hope For Kids International, Mr Tom Eggun told Daily Monitor that currently, nearly half of the African population – almost 300 million people – live in extreme poverty, barely surviving on US$1 a day(Shs 1700).

According to the World Bank, this number is expected to increase to 400m people by 2015, Mr Eggun said.

He said many of the poverty stricken communities in Africa and Latin American states such as Cuba, Peru and Mexico among others, lack the basics of life such as food, clean water, shelter, healthcare and education. Another 44 million primary school age going children in Africa are not in school while more than 12 million are orphaned by HIV/Aids.

These numbers are bound to double by 2015 if no poverty eradication and HIV/Aids preventive measures are taken by the respective governments. Hope for Kids International is committed to providing relief to the global Aids crisis by delivering medicine to communities affected by poverty and disease," Mr Eggun said.

To fulfill their promise as well as implement some of their objectives, Hope for Kids has initiated a number of development projects in Uganda that provides support to over 960 orphans country-wide through True Vine Ministries. Some of the beneficiary districts are Tororo, Busia, Bugiri, Pallisa and Mbale.

In Tororo, the organisation has constructed a 32- bed hospital, a primary school and church for True Vine Ministries near Tororo Cement Industries in Osukuru Sub-county.

The organisation has also initiated a project to provide clean water by digging wells, drilling boreholes and protecting the existing ones.

One of the recent projects undertaken by the organisation was the rehabilitation and return of street children to school under a programme managed by Smile Africa Ministries, a Tororo based Christian Organisation.

The Executive Director, Smile Africa Ministries, Pastor Ruth Kawa said at least 293 children had been picked from the streets and rehabilitated before being sent back to school.

Pastor Kawa said the majority of those in school were enrolled in the boarding section at Industrial View Primary School in Tororo Municipality. Others have been taken to rural schools in an effort to prevent them from escaping from school.

Hope for Kids is supporting the kids with food supplies, mattresses, blankets, clothes, footwear, scholastic materials, mosquito nets and other school necessities.

The organisation is also involved in an emergency health programme where on the spot treatment for various ailments is given to destitute children are treated .

Over 3000 children from in and around Tororo Municipality have benefited from the programme.

Ms Patcy Morgan, a missionary from Arizona in the US, physically carried out the treatment of the kids. Mr Eggun said they have a future programme to build orphan cottages, a boarding school for orphaned and destitute children and a life-skills centre which would enable the poverty stricken community of Tororo and the other beneficiary districts to become self-reliant.

"Our Mission is to bring hope and necessary care to kids through dignity, health, joy and love," he said.