This is a story of Joseph*, a child who was on the streets of Jinja, telling his story of being reunited with his family in his own words.
“I had been separated from the people I love for too long. I was starting to forget the smells, the tastes and the feeling of being home with my family.
But it didn’t take long for all those familiar senses to wash over me like wave. I was surprised by how emotional I was when I arrived and saw the people I had been longing to see, especially my mother. I was intensely happy and excited to go back home after a long period of time living on the streets.
My return home
When the S.A.L.V.E. staff took me back home I was unaware of the life-changing impact this would have on me.
When we arrived at my house my mother was out, looking for food to feed the family. Sat at home was my little brother, looking after my younger sister. This touched me, and I started to well up thinking about how my mother suffers and my little brother was looking after those younger than him while on his own.
As we continued spending time with my little brother, we heard the painful cries of other small children in the house. One of the staff members rushed to them to see what was wrong. He soon realized that hunger had overtaken them. On this particular day, there was no food anywhere and this made me even more emotional, seeing how my family was struggling.
One of the staff members called Uncle Solo did everything he could to comfort me, and he fed my siblings water and biscuits. My younger brother and I fell silent, just thinking about the difficult situation, but Uncle Solo broke the silence by reminding us that this situation wasn’t permanent and that we are loved and supported. We started to weep and fell apart in Uncle Solo’s arms.
Later that day I saw my mother come back home carrying some food. She saw me and she said “Joseph where have you been my son”, telling me how much she loved me and had missed me. As I sat listening to my mother talking to Uncle Solo, I felt my heart filling with joy – I cannot even begin to express the happiness I felt in that moment.
I was flooded with memories of my childhood and the time we had spent together. As they were speaking, I thought to myself, “could this be so? Is this really happening? Has S.A.L.V.E. really helped me out?” From this moment I realised how much love S.A.L.V.E. showed me, and how happy my mother was to have me home.”
I feel happy to be back home and grateful to S.A.L.V.E. for all the support they provided, my life has changed for the better and I owe it to them.
*names are changed in line with our Child Protection Policy