All HOPE partners in Africa have a strong vision for children who live on the streets, feed on garbage, and live in fear and disease. Without intervention, these children become drug addicts, criminals, child soldiers, sex workers or beggars.
Photos on this page are from partner's project in Mbarara Uganda. Children are befriended, accepted, orientated and rehabilitated by Willy Tumwine, Director of our partner, RWC - Children's Trust. Willy himself was a street kid, and his experience turns to compassionate and skilful care for scores of children and youth who were found in terrible condition. Some were child soldiers, others became prostitutes and thieves, but all respond to persistent love and acceptance.
With all our partners, street children are targeted for rescue, rehabilitation and education in HOPE Schools. Some youth who were taken into the projects as small children are now studying well with distinctions at secondary schools and university.
Activities that build positive life styles and opportunities have included cultural dance groups, welding, carpentry, mud oven building, rabbit breeding, chicken projects, small business starters, soccer teams, music and brass band, and more.
Generally, the girls are placed with sympathetic families or widows in the community, while boys live in churches, a younger boys home or older boys home, or boarding schools.
Most of the children find themselves on the street due to abject poverty, are often orphaned by war, AIDS and disease, or they are abandoned out of parental despair and hardship. Our partners find the children living in empty buildings, trees, rubbish tips and verandahs. Some girls have been enticed to towns in the hope of a better life but find themselves ensnared in sex work as slaves with no escape. All the children are abused, beaten, chased by police and live in fear.
Programs for ex-street children vary depending upon availability of leaders and teachers, funds, facilities and equipment.
Sponsoring a street child is a rewarding experience that creates a relationship that is deeply meaningful for them.