Mukisa* is one of the children who we have just recently reunited with father. Mukisa spent most of his childhood with both his parents and his brother, Emma, in a happy and humble family in the suburbs of Iganga. He was lucky to be raised and cared for by a number of his relatives because some of them lived in proximity to his father’s home as his mother sadly passed on and his father often worked away from home.
Unfortunately, as he grew older, Mukisa fell into a bad crowd of friends, some of whom used to earn money by collecting scrap metal and plastics. Mukisa began joining them and soon his love for money grew to the point where he started joining his friends stealing from others in the community, bringing a lot of embarrassment to his family. Since Mukisa’s father was never at home and his mother had passed on, Mukisa was left in the hands of his uncle who tried a lot to help him settle and behave himself. Mukisa soon got tired of his strictness and decided to go to the streets.
Life on the Streets
In Jinja, Mukisa joined several other groups of street connected children and he soon became a full time street connected child. His life entirely depended on the street and, like most street connected children, Mukisa began to take drugs to the level of addiction. He was resettled home, but couldn’t settle and he kept running back to the streets. Drugs were his food and the large intake made him lose his stamina while walking, he slowly began to lose his sight and he reached a level where he could not even talk properly.
Never Giving Up
However, we did not give up on Mukisa, we continued to work with him on the streets and always welcomed him to our Drop in Centre for the services we offer. Whenever he came through, we encouraged him to wash his clothes and bathe. We held counselling sessions with him just to try and show him that home is the best place he could be. We even took him to the hospital whenever he fell sick. In recent times, he became prone to sicknesses and S.A.L.V.E always came to his rescue.
One fateful night, Mukisa was badly beaten by unknown people and he sustained wounds at the back of his head, his legs and his hand. He slept and spent the whole day there, weak and helpless, until some good Samaritans approached him. He shared with them Uncle Alfred’s from S.A.L.V.E.’s contact details and they reached out to him. We then went and found Mukisa and took him to hospital for treatment. He was given treatment and all his wounds were dressed. Some of them were very serious and it was feared he might die.
The following day when he was stable, we made emergency arrangements to have him resettled back to his family so they could help to care for him from a local hospital. Before taking him home, we took him to our Drop In Centre, had him bathed, dressed him in new clothes and readied him for eventual resettlement later that day. His father and Uncle were happy to have him home again. We have made several follow ups on Mukisa and reports show that he is getting better slowly, but he is still very weak in his limbs. Our hope is that he gets back to good health as soon as possible and that this time he is able to stay home with his family. The key thing is that we will never give up on a child and we will always want to help them to get their happy ending.
*names of children are changed in line with our Child Protection Policy