Sometimes we keep distance from our friends, family and relatives who would be the best persons to help us be the best of ourselves in life and they lose interest towards us due to the kind of life we have been living. Thomas*, one of our children whom we are supporting through our Drug Rehabilitation Programme, shares how he has struggled to overcome the challenges of addiction and how his friends at S.A.L.V.E. and family have helped him feel he can be a better version of himself.
Thomas is 17 years of age and comes from a rural district in Uganda. He has been away from home for a period of 3 years to date due to the fact that his parents separated and relocated to others parts of the country where the child could not find them, and they left him at home alone. He decided to try to follow up where his mother had gone but failed and ended up living on the streets.
Under these circumstances, he came to take drugs because of the environment he was coping with and his friends that he was associating with on the streets. This exposed him to a lot of psychological, social, physical and emotional discomfort. All these issues made him hate his parents and he felt alone in the world. However, after being introduced to the S.A.L.V.E. Drug Rehabilitation Programme, efforts have been made so that Thomas regains his hope for life both psychologically and mentally.
After meeting S.A.L.V.E.
Thomas has been in our Drug Rehabilitation Centre for several months now and is doing well. With the support of S.A.L.V.E. staff and self-determination, Thomas has overcome his addiction and is looking forward to taking back his life and laying the foundations for a brighter future. Whilst staying in our Drug Rehabilitation Centre, Thomas has been keen to learn permaculture skills including learning how to work the land, best crops to plant and which tools to use for which task.
Recently, after reaching a great positive transformation in our rehabilitation program, we decided to take Thomas for a family home visit to one of his uncles, whom he had developed interest and love of staying with. Fortunately, his uncle was also welcoming and loving to see Thomas back again, since he had also thought that the child was kidnapped because it’s been a long period since he saw him. This made Thomas feel good after discovering that he is still loved despite the situation he has gone through.
We are hopeful that once Thomas has completed his rehabilitation, we will resettle him with his uncle who will look after Thomas and provide the support and love he needs. Thomas has missed valuable years of his childhood but now, with the support of S.A.L.V.E. and his uncle and family, Thomas can be a child again and re-enter education; looking to the future with a smile and being a better version of himself.
*Thomas’s name has been changed in line with our child protection policy.