Street Involved Children Awarded Certificates After Intensive Vocational Skills Training

Street Involved Children Awarded Certificates After Intensive Vocational Skills Training

Uganda Children’s Centre awarded certificates to 52 street-involved children after completing a 6 months training in various vocational skills. This took place on 13th November 2020 at UCC Playground. The Guest of Honour was Mr. Ngabirano Fred, Commissioner for Youth and Children, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MoGLSD).

In May 2020, UCC received 61 street involved children mainly boys from Kampala City streets through Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA). This was organized as an emergency response to the outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent national lockdown declared by the government. As the whole country remained silent and people locked themselves up in their homes, street children remained uncatered for and highly susceptible to contracting COVID-19. However, with the support of KCCA, MoGLSD, and other Child focused organizations, these children received a helping hand that placed them in approved homes and registered training institutions.

UCC being an active member in child protection services particularly in management of antisocial behaviors among unruly children and trade skills training, the Ministry recommended it to receive the 61 children. The children stayed at UCC facility for six months while undertaking training in various vocational skills. These included; motor vehicle mechanics, welding and metal fabrication, tailoring and cutting garments, and basic agricultural practices. This was coupled with rehabilitation which focused on the following among others; psychosocial support, sports and recreation, counseling, reconciliation engagements with parents/guardians, and other child centred activities. This was reinforced uccenter@hotmail.com | Plot 392 Salaama – Munyonyo Road |P .O. Box 24127, Kampala – Uganda Covid-19 Delays Full Re-opening Of Schools In Uganda by advocacy and awareness creation approaches.

By the time children completed training, many had shown visible changes in their behaviors. They had become more stable and requesting to be reunited with their parents/guardians. In the course of training, five youngsters escaped, however, it was found out that their age bracket was above 18 years the maximum age for the trainees. However, we notified the authorities and continued to work with the team of street uncles who were tasked to follow up the youngsters so that they do not cause havoc in the city.

We thank KCCA and other child support organizations for partnering with UCC in extending a helping hand to provide both food and non-food items to the centre. We also extend our appreciation to government hospitals that provided critical care services to the children during the lockdown. UCC staff did incredible work to engage in center activities despite total lockdown that prevailed.
In a special way, we thank parents and guardians whom we contacted during this period and responded positively. They were extremely happy to see their children involved in skills training and other programs aiming to change their anti-social and negative behaviors.

We further thank the organizations that helped in the resettlement of the children with their parents/guardians. This adopted model of addressing the street involved children’s plight is a good concept that guides well all actors in their rehabilitation and training. The model provides a multi-sectoral approach which involves different partners at various levels of service with high level of expertise. Participants include street uncles, police, counselors, sports and games instructors, KCCA as resource mobilizers, MoGLSD as policymakers, and UCC as providers of rehabilitation and vocational skills training. This program was indeed successful and many lessons were learnt and experiences gained

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