Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Up to 205 street children in Gulu have been resettled to safeguard them against coronavirus. It is estimated that at 600 street kids are scattered in the district.
The children were either orphaned by HIV/AIDS or forced to abandon their homes due to poverty and domestic violence.
The Archbishop of Gulu Diocese Dr John Baptist Odama has dedicated St. Monica Vocational Training Center and Daniel Comboni Vocational Training Institute for sheltering and rehabilitation of the children.
While at the designated centres, the children will undergo spiritual growth, medical tests and treatment for ailments such as malaria, typhoid. There will also undergo psycho social counselling and guidance among others.
Alex Odongo Okoya, the LC II of Twegan Parish in Pece division who headed vulnerable groups committee that identified the children says that some of the kids were a source of insecurity breaking into people’s homes to steal, robbing and waylay pedestrians at night.
Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson Patrick Jimmy Okema hailed the intervention saying it is a sigh of relief to the district since the children were a threat to peace and security of people and their property.
Margaret Ejang, of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) observed that nationwide, children are increasingly facing a gross violation of their rights and attempts to resettle them are commendable towards upholding their rights.
Martine Ojara Mapenduzi, the district LCV chairperson also Chairperson Resource Mobilization for the task force, development partners including Favor of God Ministries and Dream Center among others operating in Gulu have backed the rehabilitation program.
A section of the children aged 10 to 17 years say that life has become much for them in their new homes and appealed for mainstream education or vocational training programmes to live a transformed life. Others, however want to be reunited with their families after lockdown.