Kintu* began living on the streets of Jinja when he was 14 years old. His parents were living in poverty in his village and couldn’t afford to pay for his school fees or give him money for lunch or books, so Kintu went to the city in search of a better life.
Whilst on the streets, his new friends tried to influence him into using drugs like marijuana, mafuta (aeroplane fuel used as inhalant) and heroin but he resisted. Eventually, however, these friends beat him and forced him to start sniffing mafuta and he became addicted.
Rehabilitation at S.A.L.V.E.
After a while staff from S.A.L.V.E. International met Kintu on one of their Street Outreach walks and brought him to the S.A.L.V.E. residential site. There he received counselling on the dangers of staying on the streets, drug abuse and the benefits of education. S.A.L.V.E staff later resettled him to his parent’s home and he immediately resumed going to school at a primary level.
Sadly, he stopped going because he was being bullied by fellow pupils about being too old to be still in primary school. Instead, he requested and was enrolled on a vocational course in mechanics arranged with his case manager at S.A.L.V.E.
After two years of training, he got a certificate and start up package from S.A.L.V.E. on completion of the course. With this, he purchased tools in order to start his career as a mechanic.
A brighter future
Currently, Kintu works as a professional mechanic at a petrol station in his home village. He has a girlfriend and a healthy baby son and is able to support the whole family including his mother. He also talks to and advocates for the children in his village, warning them of the dangers and hardships of life on the streets and drug taking.
Kintu says he cannot thank S.A.L.V.E. International and its supporters enough for his education, caring for him and his family and guiding him and others into a bright future path where there is ‘No Street Called Home’.
*Name changed in line with our Child Protection Policy