Voices of the Children

Street children deserve to be protected ,respected and accepted just like other children.

kokoi aliceAlice is a karamojong girl aged 9 years and a second born out of 5 children. Of these one is a boy and four are girls. She lives in Namatala slum in a rented grass thatched structure. Both her parents are alive though Alice’s father abandoned the family and does not provide any support.

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My mother left Gulu and came to settle in Namatala slum with my grandmother.  After some time, my mother abondoned us there. Upto now she has never returned to check on us. Everyday, our grandmother used to go to the industrial area to work in the rice mills. 

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Vicky is a total orphan. She recently became an orphan due to a natural disaster that took place in Nametsi her home area where both parents were buried by a landslide in 2009. Many other people were also buried alive and very few people survived.

Vicky and her brother survived because they were in school which was far from the incident.

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My father died of AIDS. My mother was also weakened by the same disease and she could not maintain the family. I and my other siblings went to the streets and started to fend for ourselves through begging and picking leftover food stuffs from garbage heaps.

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My parents left their original home because of land problems in which they nearly lost their lives. They settled in Namatala slum in Mbale. After a short while, my father left us and we have never seen him again. We did not have anyone to buy food for us, so I escorted my mother to the town to beg.

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After my father was arrested,  the rest of the family got scattered. I was sent to live with  my maternal grandmother in Namatala slum.  My grandmother was not able to pay my school fees. She was suffering from breast cancer and sick most of the time. The money she could get from doing some odd jobs was spent on  treatment leaving her with little or no money to cater for our basic necessities.

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I was very traumatized, because being the first girl in the family, I nursed my parents and watched them die one by one, including my little brother. Left with only grandmother, life was also not easy because  she was aged and sickly. I once again took over responsibility to care for her.

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