Uganda Children’s Centre received 61 vulnerable children from Kampala City streets who had been quarantined at one of the City schools called Nakivubo Blue Primary School. Kampala Capital City Authority with support from child focused Non-governmental organizations picked up children from different locations within the City Centre and dropped them at the school on 11th April 2020. This was a rescue measure in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown of the country.
During this period, children underwent psychosocial support services from a team of social workers in preparation for resettlement with their parents/guardians or further rehabilitation. On the 20th day of their quarantine, all children and staff were tested for Coronavirus and the results were negative. Their printed certificates are still being awaited from the Ministry of Health and are followed up by the Director of Public Health at Kampala Capital City Authority.
After staying for one month in the quarantine facility, the process of transitioning the children for further rehabilitation and reunification with their families started. Majority of the children expressed interest in attaining vocational skills training and Uganda Children’s Centre was identified as a credible organization to offer the required skills. 61 children were therefore relocated to UCC for skills training and other rehabilitation programmes.
All the children who came to UCC are boys between the ages of 12 to 18 years. During the interviews conducted by social workers on their first day of arrival, a substantial number expressed happiness about the place and also made commitments about attaining professional skills from the facility.
This is not the first time UCC has been working with street involved children to undergo rehabilitation and attainment of vocational skills. UCC opened its magnificent Centre in 2008 specifically to provide rehabilitation and vocational skills training services to these kinds of children so that they become professional before resettled of reunited with their parents of families. More than 2000 children have been supported in this arrangement this enabled them to be accepted by their families due to the enormous changes in behaviors and additional acquisition of marketable skills.
This group that came to UCC had some noticeable changes in their behaviors which is attributed to the team at Nakivubo Blue Primary School that did a great job in providing psychosocial support. Thanks to KCCA and the cooperating NGOs. However, a lot is still desired in their behaviors to become more stable. UCC is drastically observing the guidelines put in place by the Ministry of Health and all programs have been designed incognizant of the same. Thanks goes to KCCA for sharing part of the donations given to children with UCC especially in terms of foodstuffs. However, our target is to have these children receive training for a period of six months before receiving their certificates. Such a long period requires well guided preparations that will see all children completing without any dropout.
Thanks to UCC team that is working 24/7 to ensure that children are in good conditions, well fed, good medical provisions, updated training modules and recreational activities, good personal effects and other services engaging them to full rehabilitation. Thank you and continue keeping the spirit.