Mugisa* is a 15 year old boy who lived with his mum and brother after she separated from their dad. She struggled to cope as the boys were difficult at times so she decided to send them to their grandparents. They were sent to school but only had their very basic needs met.
Riding to the city
After a while Mugisa’s dad returned to the family and Mugisa hoped that things would improve at home. They started living with their dad during the school holidays, and he put them to work farming his land and selling produce. The brothers hoped this work would mean they had money to return to school. However, their dad brought home a new wife and started mistreating his sons as if they weren’t his children. Mugisa wasn’t ready to stand such humiliation so he ran away from home with a bike he stole from his dad and rode to Jinja city. Needing food and drink he sold the bike and this money kept him going for a while on the streets. He then joined other street connected children and slowly started blending in by becoming involved in activities he felt necessary for survival such as theft and drug use.
Holding on to hope
One day Mugisa was caught thieving and beaten up by some of the community members and badly injured. Fellow street connected children helped him to the hospital for treatment and collected money for his fees. They continuously checked on him until he was almost recovered, showing care and solidarity. He left hospital with the help of his friends who told him about S.A.L.V.E International’s Drop In Centre where he could access food, clothing and shelter. While he was at the Centre, the S.A.L.V.E. social workers talked to him and he agreed to go to the main residential site where he got further medical attention and advice. Whilst there Mugisa learnt briquette making and was later resettled home. He now has his own briquette business and describes his journey as one of hope and is so thankful for all S.A.L.V.E.’s help.
*Name changed in line with our Child Protection Policy.