This is a story of three pineapples and one bunch of bananas, 80 litres of clean drinking water, 35 children and more games of cards and ludo than you can begin to count. That’s right: last week saw the opening of SALVE’s brand new drop in centre for children living on the streets in Jinja, and in just three days the centre has been a massive success. The numbers above can’t begin to give the full picture, but hopefully they show a little of how many children this is allowing SALVE to work with.
The centre is right in the middle of Jinja’s market district – an area in which many children on the street spend their days looking for food and work – and provides children with a safe space for four days a week. Somewhere they can access clean, safe drinking water and healthy snacks, learn simple lessons or even just relax and play games – a welcome respite from the harsh realities of life on the streets. The centre complements the work being done by other organistaions in Jinja, such as CRO.
The centre also provides SALVE with the opportunity to build more meaningful relationships with children on the streets. The existing street clinic programme has been great and helped many children, but the fractious nature of their lives means that without a fixed location it’s an uphill struggle to keep in touch with the children. By opening the centre SALVE can follow their progress and help identify which children might benefit from being reunited with their families or being brought into the SALVE home. Already the centre has helped identify three older children who might benefit from the SALVE carpentry training programme, and we’re hoping to conduct home tracing with several of the younger children this week.
Last weekend also provided an opportunity to see how much children’s lives can be changed when they are given love and support. It was schools visitation day for Emma and Moreen – the two children from the SALVE family who are at secondary school. Visitation day provides an opportunity for parents and families to catch up with children at boarding schools, finding out how the children are doing, having a tour of the school, and maybe meeting the teachers. There are some great photos of all this excitement on the SALVE Facebook page (make sure you ‘like’ us!). For one school it also provided the opportunity to experience a parents association meeting Uganda style – all five hours of it! Moreen and Emma are both doing really well so a big thank you to their sponsors without whose support, they would never have had the opportunity to shine.
Do you want to come and join our team in Uganda?
We’re in the final week of applications to come and intern with S.A.L.V.E. in Uganda for 6 months from next February – It’s an amazing chance to join our dedicated team out in Uganda! Why not check it out and find out more?
SHOUT OUT against child sacrifice
We’d like to finish our blog this week by highlighting an extremely crucial issue in Uganda at the moment. Child sacrifice (where children are killed for some supposed benifit) is on the increase and not a lot is being done about it.
At S.A.L.V.E. we have already been part of a local coalition of NGOs to lobby the Ugandan government to take this issue as seriously as it deserves. Now we ask you to add your voice too and make sure this issue is getting global awareness and condemnation, so that there is more pressure for it to be acted upon.
No child should ever have to live in fear of being sacrificed – please spread the word so that we can help to put an end to this horrific inhumane practice.