Needle in a haystack

Lost and Found

This is the story of Emma*, a boy who was met by the staff at S.A.L.V.E. International and his story told in his own words.

“My parents were teenagers when they had my brothers and I,  however they separated when we were still young and my father moved to Tanzania. I eventually went to live with my grandmother and my youngest brother.

Times grow harder

Unfortunately, my grandfather passed away two days before Christmas. It was hard because he provided for us in the absence of our father. The situation worsened when my grandmother also died after just 7 months so we had to begin renting by ourselves. 

My brother and I would play together, imitating sports people and would sometimes cut school to play a local gambling game known as ‘Goyo Kawic’. I was a very naughty child. I loved bullying and ordering my little brother around, yet he remained respectful of me as his elder brother. One day he accidentally tore my book and ran away as he was afraid of what I would do to him. I searched for him everywhere but failed to find him and became very worried.  My life became very difficult due to the guilt I felt. I continued to look for him but I didn’t know where to search, or where any relatives may be apart from our father in Tanzania.

Finding work

Three years after the disappearance of my brother, I decided to get a job cleaning the taxi rank. One day, one of the conductors was off sick so the driver asked whether I would like to help him instead. I was excited and saw it as a great opportunity to understand and learn new skills and I also felt it would give me the chance to look further for my brother.

Finding my brother

One day, while parked on a street in Jinja, I saw a person who resembled my brother and I suddenly realised it was him! I began following him and tried catching up but then I remembered that I should have been calling passengers to the taxi. I feared that I would lose my job, so I rushed back and thankfully my boss believed that I had gone for lunch.


That evening, I called my boss at the taxi rank and told him I was not feeling well. I returned to Jinja the next morning and went directly to the house I saw my brother enter the day before. I introduced myself and found that the people there were kind and helpful. They called for my brother and we were reunited, which made me so happy! I discovered the place was a Drop in Centre run by S.A.L.V.E International and the staff had been looking after my brother.

I thank S.A.L.V.E. for welcoming my brother and keeping him safe. I am looking forward to welcoming my brother home.

* Name changed in line with our Child Protection Policy

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