This morning I received in my in-box the story of a boy who's supported by Retrak's partner project in Uganda, CRO. It was sent out by a colleague in the UK to remind us of why work hard to support children and young people in Africa. I thought I would share it with you:
“My name is Kavic (not real name). I am 16 years old. I used to stay in the suburb of Kasanvu in Mbale with my parents. In 2003 my mother separated with my father because my father was involved in another relationship. He abandoned us in the house and disappeared with his second wife to some unknown place. Life became very difficult and the only source of income we had was from the sale of alcohol my mother brewed. The money was not enough to pay house rent and buy food for the family. I went to the streets and started picking scrap for sale and in a day I could earn USH1000 [less than 40¢] and took this money to my mother so she could buy food.
In 2004 CRO Social Workers found me on the streets picking scrap. They invited me to the Centre to attend the rehabilitation programme. A few months later, my mother was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. She began on the treatment of ARVS. This helped her to continue with her business of brewing alcohol. In 2009 my mother became very weak and died. I was thrown out of the house because I could not afford to pay house rent. I went to sleep on the streets but CRO learnt of it and resettled me with a foster mother. I stayed with her for about one year and she later chased me out of the house. I resorted to sleeping in a video hall where I paid for a night while I went to school. This affected my concentration at school because I sometimes had to leave early so I could work to get this money.
I am very glad that I am one of the boys that was selected to sleep in a better room. My life has changed because I received a blanket and a mattress. I can do my evening studies and feel safe and secure in the night. I go to school in Mbale S.S in S.4. My interests are in sciences. When I grow up I want to become a Medical Surgeon. I want to thank all the people who have helped CRO to support me. Without this support I would be still in the streets leading a miserable life. Thank you very much.”
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US Country Director