Retrak are delighted to have reached a huge milestone for our organisation. We have returned over 1000 children back to safe and loving families and away from street life! We couldn't have done this wihtout your support - Thank You!
If you want to help us return our next 1000 children home then please keep supporting our work. Don't forget March 14th - Match Funding Day!! Starting at 12:00 am EDT on March 14th, GlobalGiving will be matching all donations made through www.globalgiving.org up to $1,000 per donor at 30%. We have $50,000 available in matching funds. Matching will last until funds run out or until 11:59 pm EDT.
In Uganda on the 31st January 2012, Bwazi became the 1000th child that Retrak helped to return to his family home. But like every street child, his journey to this point was not an easy one.
Bwazi used to get teased a lot at home; the other children in his village picked on him and always tried to get him into trouble. Bwazi admits that he wasn’t always an angel, and one time he stole some money from his father who he didn’t get on with and who didn’t really care for him.
One day it all got too much and Bwazi took a neighbour’s bicycle and left. He was 13. He eventually found himself in Kampala a long way from home. There he met some boys who lived in the streets. They advised him to sell the bicycle for scrap in the local market so that they could all enjoy a good meal together. After that, the boys hung out on the streets. Every day became a struggle for survival, begging for food and searching for shelter. He had become another forgotten street child.
That is until one of the children, who had met Retrak’s street outreach workers, suggested that they go along to Retrak’s drop-in centre.
At the drop-in centre Bwazi found a listening ear. The Retrak staff had time to listen to his story and help him work through his past experiences. Bwazi was sure he didn’t want to stay on the streets, but he also didn’t think he could go home to his father. Through several counseling sessions, as well as through his catch-up education, sports and life-skills classes, Bwazi gained the confidence to visit his family again.
In December 2011 Bwazi, accompanied by Retrak’s social workers, went to visit his home. Everyone was amazed to see him. There were floods of tears. They met with his uncles and aunts to start with and, with support from Retrak’s staff, Bwazi was able to explain what had happened and to seek forgiveness for the bicycle that he stole. The Retrak social workers were able to assess the family situation and to discuss the way forward, including the possibility of Bwazi returning to live with his uncle since he was still not happy to return to his father.
After a further period of support and preparation Bwazi was accompanied back to his family home and placed in the care of his uncle and aunt. Bwazi will be one of approximately 200 children who Retrak will follow-up with during 2012 to ensure they have settled and are able to continue without support.
Thank you so much for supporting Retrak and helping us reach this huge milestone. We couldn't have done it without you!
The Retrak Team
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US Country Director