Granny could come back home drunk and beat us every evening, we could starve and our feet were infested with jiggers and no one came to our salvage, Ayubu recollects.
Ayubu was born in 2009 and he is the last born in a family of 3 girls and 2 boys with ancestral roots in Nanyunza village, Bufumbo, Mbale district. Unfortunately, both parents succumbed to the HIV/AIDS scourge leaving them with their elderly grandmother staying in a rented room in Bulago cell, Namakwekwe ward in the suburbs of Mbale.
Disaster struck in 2015 when Ayubu’s father – the only son to the granny passed on leaving her completely devastated and frustrated, hence turning to alcohol as a stress suppressor. Sadly, this just worsened the situation as she became so weak and ill that she could not look after the family.
“Granny could come back home drunk and beat us every evening, we could starve and our feet were infested with jiggers and no one came to our salvage”, Ayubu recollects.
Ayubu became so thin day by day with a swollen stomach as a result of malnutrition. In this condition, he was persuaded by his peers to join the group of other children already on the streets scavenging for left overs [makombo] from garbage heaps. He jumped on to the wagon and slowly adopted used to bad street habits.
In a span of three (3) months, Ayubu was already picking scrap in order to earn a living. He could sometimes sleep on the streets as well as at home. “Surely, I was not happy with that kind of life and work because it hindered me from going to school”, he narrates.
CRO social workers found him picking scrap around Naboa road in Mbale town where he was assessed and enrolled in the rehabilitation class for psychosocial care support, learning and nutritional support.
While in the rehabilitation class, Ayubu’s has had great improvement in health, academics and social interaction. He is now a big man who can read and write the entire alphabet with a number of friends.
CRO social workers often visit their home and his granny has also been counseled to the extent that she has given up on alcohol. She does casual labor by washing serving dishes for people who operate local bars and kiosks and she is paid a wage that she uses to buy food and pay house rent.
“I am forever grateful to CRO for every support given. At least I am assured of a meal and my education” says Ayubu. His aspires to be a driver.