Don’t forget street children for COVID assistance – KCCA, CSOs
Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) in collaboration with Children focused NGOs have asked government to budget support for street children under the proposed COVID relief that is targeting vulnerable persons.
KCCA, working with two children NGOs in Kampala says it has collected over 160 vulnerable children from the streets of Kampala in order to test them for COVID as part of the measures to enforce the presidential directives against movement to curb the spread of Covid19.
Eunice Tumwbaze, the Manager Gender, Youth and Children at KCCA, explains that whereas 160 children were registered, at Nakivubo Blue Primary for the testing exercise, an estimated 200 children remained stranded in Kawempe division and 140 others in Muzana base in Kisenyi.
The government, under the office of the prime minister is currently putting together a database of potential recipients of UGX100,000 per household as a token from government to help survive the current lockdown.
“We have tested the street connected children for covid19, those found positive are going to be taken to gazatted areas and those who are free from covid will be moved to Kazi,” Tumwebaze explains.
Maureen Muwonge, from Dwelling Places and Faith Kembabazi from Children at Risk Action Network add that through this program the focus will go beyond covid19 related challenges to equipping children in street situations with lifeskills.
“We have planned to have 2-3 phases of collecting children off the streets. The children registered will be taken to kazi, because currently Dwelling Places homes are full. We have children that were already undergoing rehabilitation but instead of folding our hands and say we can not take on any more, we have come together, pooled resources to rehabilitate this bigger team at Kazi camping site” Muwonge says.
Faith Kembabazi committed that the different NGOs under the network are all going to work together for the rehabilitation of these children to take place while at Kazi.
“And after a certain period, we will divide up the children, some will go to Rotrac , others will go to Dwelling places, among other homes while others will be integrated immediately so that we find different solutions for them,” Kembabazi.
Responding to the authority’s call for resources to support this program, One Nation a UK-based charity parterning with Islam cares donated relief items including food and other essential items. Hassan Wasswa the Director of Islam Cares pledged that on top of the relief items worth 7 million shillings meant for about 50 children is just the start to support the program for this vulnerable group in this difficult time.