Street Children No More
Street Children No More
The life of street children is filled with hopelessness, loneliness and abandonment. Destructive behaviors like drugs, fighting, stealing, and acts of sexual violence against their little bodies are daily occurrences for many. No one is there to care for these children. They have been abandoned. They beg for money to buy food or they eat leftovers found in trash bins.
In Uganda, mainly two types of children live a destitute life on the streets. One type is named ‘Makosa’ meaning ‘errant’ in Swahili. These are the problem kids who in most cases have runaway from home or are juvenile delinquents. They are the ‘hard core street kids’ who have acquired deeply imbedded bad habits and attitudes plus are self-destructive and resistant to change.
The other type is ‘Shida’ which means troubled. These children are on the streets because of hardships and lack of a home due to being orphaned or abandoned. This group is more eager to learn and are normally appreciative of all the good done for them. These children’s desire is not to live on the streets, but to have a normal loving family experience. They are ready for a change.
They are ready for us.
Street Children Ministry (SCM) in Uganda focuses on helping this ‘Shida’ group. They help the disadvantaged youths through formal education or vocational training. They teach practical life skills to become self-sustaining productive members of society. Their main focus is on providing a better way of living, a sense of direction with values and a disposition of loving God and neighbors.
SCM creates homes where compassionate adults live with the children and share their day-to-day experiences with them, serving as a role model. The children are taught in a classroom setting by their mentor and they see their mentor embody these principles in home life and through community service projects. Although the children are victims of AIDS, poverty or other problems, part of each day is given to community service, so they can transcend the feeling of being victims themselves.
The homes are simple and basic - clean, dry and secure. $1200 will start a new home with the essential items like cooking utensils, furniture, mattresses, and mats.
The life of a street child can be changed for only $30/month.
To care for a child at the primary school level is $30/month; the secondary level is $45/month. This includes food, clothing, medical care, bedding, school fees and other living expenses.