Rehabilitation and Resettlement

Rehabilitation and Resettlement

UCC undertakes rehabilitation as one of the key components that targets children and young people faced with multiple psychological or behavioral challenges. These behaviors are either Internalizing or Externalizing. Internalizing behavioral problems are directed from internal and include anxiety, sadness, depression, complaining of somatic pains and some specific phobias. These are common among the girl children. Externalizing behavioral problems are externally expressed in actions like, being angry, violence, overactive, and attention problems among others. These are common among the boys.

Most of the children or young people referred to UCC fall in either one of the categories. UCC receives children who have issues to do with family such as losing one or both parents, being chased from land, defilement, incest, lack of fees and many others. While others come as child mothers with a lot of trauma, drug addicts with unbecoming characters, lack of financial support, maladjusted due to pressure in adolescence transition and of course physical ailments such as sicknesses and other disabilities.

UCC’s historical engagement with Street Involved children

UCC is one of the founders of Kampala Street Children NGOs Network started in 2007. This was a consortium of different organizations that addressed issues of street children in Kampala and adjacent areas. Their major aim was to generate strategies of reducing the influx of street children on Kampala streets and nearby slums, and to boost supplementary welfare services provided by NGOs at KNRC. Each organization provided services to the children at KNRC basing on their specialty, profession and experience. Organized monthly meetings motivated members to mobilize resources both locally and internationally to strengthen service delivery at KNRC. To realize this systematic approach, each organization was allocated a specific day to visit the facility and carry out activities with the children. This pattern of service reduced huge numbers of children from the streets, many encouraged to join organizations, while others returned home.

UCC ‘s historical background, experience and professionalism in working with street involved children are pillars used to address the problem of streetism in the country. Multitudes of street involved children from Kampala streets and adjacent slums have passed through UCC, they have been rehabilitated and resettled either with their families or independently. None of the children was resettled without a profession or socially and psychologically not ready for reintegration. We thank the line of chain that has been ready to cooperate with UCC in resettlement of these children. To mention but a few are Probation and Social Welfare officers, Local Council members, Cultural leaders, Police, women and youth groups and the NGO fraternity. Some children who could not be amicably resettled with their families but opted to continue with formal education, were allowed to continue staying in the hostel until they finish their studies. Some have completed their professional training while others are still in school and colleges.

Street Involved Children receive cocktail services at UCC

Uganda Children’s Centre rehabilitated and trained 61 street involved children referred to the Centre by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA). This was done in the period of six months from May to November 2020. When the government declared the country under lock down, everyone ran to stay at home with exception of street children who remained in the streets. KCCA combined efforts with other child related organizations to mobilize street involved children from every corner of the city to converge in one place. They were all housed at Nakivubo Primary School for a one-month period while undergoing counselling and assessment. After this phase to understand their needs and relations, KCCA started allocating them to various organizations to receive specialized services.

UCC received 61 children to undergo both rehabilitation and vocational training. They were housed at UCC Center for six months. UCC provided psychosocial support services, recreational activities, vocational skills training, health care training, urban agriculture training, counselling and guidance, health services, and family tracing. These efforts were supported by other organizations such Abaana Ministries, CRANE, KAYDA, RETRACK, Benjamin House Ministries, MYDEL, Islam Care and KCCA as the main coordinator. At the end of the six months, all children successfully completed their training apart from nine children who escaped. This was expected because these escapees were above 18 years and involved more in committing crimes of stealing, bullying, and non-compliant to organizational rule and regulations.

UCC organized a colourful graduation where all children were awarded certificates after being assessed by the Directorate of Industrial Training under the Ministry of Education and Sports. We thank parents, guardians and other care takers who turned up in big numbers to give morale to their children. The event was graced by the Commissioner for Youth and Children in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development. We indeed thank KCCA for funding this process and for mobilizing other partners to support the children achieve their dreams of becoming professionals.

The next phase was to resettle them with their parents and guardians. During the rehabilitation and training period, opportunities were provided to children to speak to their relatives and other caregivers with the purpose to start the resettlement process. This arrangement worked successfully because some parents came and visited their children at the Centre, others requested management to continue with the children even after Covid-19 had reduced and schools reopened officially. Some relatives took the children back to formal schooling either in primary or secondary.

Several partners were involved in the resettlement of children as this called for combined efforts due to high expenses characterizing the process. Furthermore, since children hailed from different parts across the country, it was logical to liaise with organizations which already had field offices in those areas. The process was successfully executed and children are involved in activities related to their trained professions. We thank KCCA, UCC staff, and all other partners who participated in the exercise to make it successful and efficient.

KNRC Juveniles trained at UCC

Kampiringisa National Rehabilitation Centre (KNRC) is a Government institution found in Mpigi District established in 1952 by ordinance Act as a Boys’ Approved School to cater for boys who needed care and protection, those beyond parental control, and delinquents. The Children Act Cap 59 subsection 96 transformed the school into a National Rehabilitation Centre with one wing declared for girl delinquents.

Objective of the Centre

The Centre is to detain, retrain, rehabilitate and integrate the children taken to the Centre back into the community. It caters for children between the age of 12 to 18 years. The period of stay at the Centre depends on the gravity of the offence, the maximum being three years.

Ongoing activities at the Centre

Casework, counseling, tracing and resettlement, life skills and vocational skills training for the children, hygiene and health management, recreation, farming; opened up 19 acres of land for crop farming, spiritual development in liaison with NGOs Screening, rehabilitation, and integration of street children.

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