Arise was alerted to a serious issue affecting a number of children in our community. Children were being abandoned by their parents.
In each case we examined, the father had left the family and the mother was struggling to make enough to provide food and shelter for the children. The rent was behind and the landlords were getting very close to evicting the families. Out of desperation, these mothers abandon their children in the hopes that a neighbour will have pity and take them in.
Unfortunately, this scenario plays out across Uganda too often. And while it is tempting to assume the mother has committed an atrocity, that is often a harsh assessment. These mothers have likely struggled without any social safety nets and with no family support, eventually becoming overwhelmed and without hope.
At Arise, we have had to come face to face with these heart-breaking situations and stepped in to help abandoned children create a more secure future.
We partner with local community leaders to identify children in need of help and work together to find custom solutions in each individual case.
Community leaders identify families or children who are struggling. The specific situation is assessed and Arise considers its capacity to help. In cases where Arise is able to assist, they partner with local leaders to define short and long-term solutions and begin work as a team.
Often, children are in very desperate situations. They may not have eaten in many days or may be living in risky locations with poor security. In this case, a short term plan must be devised to address their immediate needs and safety.
Arise staff and local leaders consider their available resources. Families often need to be traced which leads to discussion about how a parent might sustain themselves. Through a process, plans are developed to help the family succeed.
These four boys had been on their own for 4 months. From left to right they are Nelly (15), Nigel (7), Neasta (9) and Nicholas (11). The boys were evicted from their home after their parents abandoned them. They salvaged what they could carry and started life on the street. Street life in an African slum is not safe and the boys were hungry every day!
In the very-short-term, the boys were able to stay where they were. A young lady running a nearby food stand called “The Food Hub” had been helping the boys with scraps so Arise was able to negotiate 2 daily meals at her restaurant. This allowed Arise to work with local leaders to trace the family and consider options for these boys.
In this case, the parents were found. The mother had a new partner and was unable to take the boys in. The father was willing to take on the boys, but the boys were not willing to live with their father.
The long-term solution found was for the 2 older boys to be trained in motorbike mechanics and provide for their little brothers. A local garage was willing to take the brothers on and teach them as well as provide them work. This solution would allow them to make money to pay their food and rent while at the same time gaining a useful skill and future employment.
Unfortunately, the boys struggled to focus and learn. While the oldest boy remains employed and learning to be a mechanic, one brother has left the area and the 2 younger brothers have now moved to their fathers home.
This story underscores the reality of working with difficult situations. Not every story is a success story. Arise staff are hopeful however that these boys will regroup and succeed given time.
These four small children were left in their rented room when the father abandoned them. The landlord explained that 6 months rent was owed and she would be forced to evict the children soon. From left to right the kids names are Collins (4), Tendo (6), Nicole (7) and Smamyiya (9).
Arise was able to negotiate one months rent in this location while they worked with locals to find a longer term solution. A community leader living close to the children agreed to provide food each day if supplies were provided. The landlord and the local leader were also willing to watch over the children and keep them safe. With the kids situation stabilized, the Arise team began tracing family and looking for a long-term solution.
After tracing the kids mother to a village in the south, Arise made contact with her and she agreed to return and care for the children. The mother was honest about her situation, sharing that she didn’t know how she would earn a living to support the family.
Through further discussion, Arise learned that this lady (Stellah) had skills selling items door-to-door. She also shared a desire to learn to sew. This provided a starting point for Arise to finance a small business.
Today, Stella is supporting her family by hocking children clothes in the local community. She has also begun sewing class and will be receiving a sewing machine. Stellah has a vision to increase her family income by selling and repairing clothes.
Children Arise Ministries
6021 West Saanich RD,