This is the story of Annet* an 8 year old girl being supported by S.A.L.V.E. International who had never attended school and had given up hope for a better future due to the trauma and anxiety she experienced at home.
Annet had been living at home with her parents, where she sadly witnessed episodes of domestic violence. One day her parents had a serious fight which resulted in their separation and them both leaving Annet at home by herself. She waited for them to return but unfortunately has never seen or heard from them since that day a year ago.
Fending for herself
Therefore, at the age of eight, Annet was left to manage her own life under the care of her grandma who was also vulnerable and unable to care for Annet or help her.
In order to help her to survive, her grandma sent Annet to work as a maid far from their home. But her employer was heartless and cruel to her, so Annet ran away to the streets of Jinja. She was afraid and cried daily, but realised that no one was going to help her and she had to accept her situation and just try to exist from day to day. At her young age, Annet had to learn to look after herself and she felt lost, lonely and abandoned. She started collecting scrap metal to sell to buy food and life seemed so difficult.
Fortunately, during one of the numerous street walks carried out by the S.A.L.V.E. team, they met Annet and she was encouraged to come to the Drop in Centre for care and counselling. When we realised what her situation was and had gained her trust, we quickly referred her to our Halfway Homes for her safety and well-being.
During her counselling sessions, Annet remembered having another grandmother and through research by S.A.L.V.E. staff she was found and was happy for Annet to come and live with her. She has space in the house and her heart to care for her. So Annet is now waiting for resettlement with her grandmother and for the first time in her young life feels happy and hopeful for the future.
*Name changed in line with our Child Protection Policy.