Mutubazi receives the 2015 Fergus Moran Award
The Fergus Moran Award is the honor given by Retrak to a former street child. It was created to remember 12-year-old Fergus, an avid supporter of our charity, who died after contracting a lung infection in November 2008. Fergus came to know Retrak following a TV documentary on street children, and since his tragic death, Fergus’ family has continued fundraising for our organization in his name.
Recently seven senior staff members met to consider the 2015 recipient. After much discussion about the positive attributes upheld by the children currently attending the three Kampala drop-in centers, staff finally agreed it had to be 12-year-old Mutubazi.
Mutubazi was living with his father and stepmother at the time he left home. This was after the separation of the parents when he was young due to domestic violence. Sadly, though his father remarried, the torture and mistreatment from the current stepmother made him feel insecure and afraid and not able to do his schooling, so he felt forced to run away from home. He struggled and suffered on the street in Jinja and, influenced by other street children, decided to walk to Kampala.
While on the street, Mutubazi engaged in difficult behaviors including fighting, sniffing aviation fuel and pick-pocketing. He survived by scavenging and feeding from the bins of busy restaurants in Kampala. His street life was made even tougher after he engaged in a fight with a peer that left his eye damaged. It was at this time that he was brought to Retrak’s Clubhouse for medical support.
A new start:
Since he joined the Retrak program three months ago, Mutubazi has stood out as a smart, kind-hearted, hard-working and an open-minded child. He is also very social with other children and the staff. At little shy at first, Mutubazi now fully participates in catch-up classes since he is so interested in learning.
He says at first he struggled with facing up to his challenges at home. The social workers are counseling his father and stepmother to ensure a safe environment and confirm that Mutubazi can really return to school in his village. Now he's preparing himself to go back home and take on his educational dream. Mutubazi sits on the Children's Council leadership team and also was elected a class monitor in the catch-up class.
Drop-in Center manager Prossie said: “It is not surprising that Mutubazi was chosen for this award. He is a great role model for the other children.”
Mutubazi is a shining example of what a street child can achieve when he or she is given caring support. Thanks to donors like you, Retrak can continue supporting children like Mutubazi and offer them a brighter future.