KAMPALA: Child rights activists have asked parents and community leaders to mitigate cases of abuse and violence in homes so as to reduce the number of street children across the country.
Under their umbrella, Uganda Women’s Efforts to Save Orphans—Uweso, the activists have asked parents to desist from subjecting their children to harsh punishments because they force them out of their homes.
UWESO Chief Executive Officer –CEO, Specioza Kiwanuka, says that there is a need for parents and community leaders to fight domestic violence because such cases also force children to run away from home.
She said this was hosting an official from the National Agricultural Advisory Services—Naads at Masuliita children’s home in Wakiso District. Established in 1986 under the leadership of First Lady Janet Museveni, Masuliita’s Children Village is a rehabilitation and skilling centre for former street children.
According to Kiwanuka, Masuliita Children’s home is a transit home meant to rehabilitate street children and equip them with skills before they are reintegrated with their respective families. She said that the support from Naads would enhance their capacity to support the children with food and nutrition and generate income for the organization.
Rosemary Tumusiime, the chairperson of the National Executive Committee of Uweso, said that the country is grappling with the challenge of street children yet the government abolished orphanages and children’s homes.
She stated that the issue of street children cannot be solved unless family and community issues are addressed before they approach the government.
Tumusiime called for counseling for families embroiled in problems, saying that many children are either from broken families or are total orphans. They have no relatives to take care of them. She appealed to local and religious leaders to intervene and help address the problem holistically.
According to Tumusiime, the organization partnered with Naads to improve their agriculture at the center to enable them to feed and train the children. Evaristo Mulumba, an agri-business development officer with Naads, says that they partnered with the children’s center and provided support comprising of animals, a maize mill, and other agricultural inputs to equip and skill the youth who were sourced from the streets.
He said that the support towards Uweso is unique in the sense that it seeks to equip the home to better train the children and feed them as they prepare to return them back to their respective families and engage in productive ventures.