Adroa* is 16 years old and comes from a large family. His father is married to four wives and has 20 children and they are all staying in the same house. Adroa is the eldest child at home.
Adroa was in school up to primary six but this was a struggle, since his father couldn’t meet his school fees in time due to his poor financial status. This caused the delay in his education level. This was made worse by the COVID-19 outbreak which meant that students in school had to go back home and couldn’t attend.
While at home, since there were many people at home there were many misunderstandings causing fights among themselves and getting food to eat was a problem. Some of the children in Adroa’s family had started stealing people’s things in the community because they didn’t have enough to eat.
Adroa’s father decided that as there was no sight of the COVID-19 restrictions ending soon, Adroa should start working to get some money to buy food for the rest of the people at home. He was taken to do pottery work in Kampala and he worked for 5 months but did not get paid once. His boss kept on telling him that he should work and he would pay him once the work was done.
Facing tough times
There was a time at work when Adroa fell sick but because he wasn’t being paid properly, didn’t have money to go hospital or buy some medicine. When he told his boss, the boss just chased him away. So Adroa felt his only resort was to go on the street to start begging to see if he can get any support from people.
But when he got to the streets he found that lots of people were also begging to get food to eat, so there was lots of competition. Passersby ignored him and walked past the children on the street. This made Adroa feel vulnerable and uncared for. He started collecting scrap and boxes to sell so he could get food to eat.
As the pandemic continued, the Kampala City Council Authority took action and encouraged children who were on the streets to find safe places to stay. Adroa was taken to a rehabilitation centre in Kampala and then was later referred to S.A.L.V.E. International to complete the rehabilitation process. It was from here that we traced his family so we could resettle him home.
Thankfully Adroa was reintegrated with his family and he is now happily settled at home. His family was empowered with farming skills and tools so that they can engage in farming and be able to care for the family, providing good meals at home.