The story of Bob, street child and drug addict in Kampala

Bob, a 13-year old child who was recruited at UYDEL centre in Masooli rehabilitation centre was residing in kisenyi but used to stay with the grandmother by the name Nabawanga who is a peasant farmer. His home town is Luweero district in Kimwanyi village. He comes from a polygamous family and he doesn’t know the name of his own mother.

He dropped out of school in p.3 at his primary school due to lack of education materials as he explained. His biological father is the one who used to pay for his school fees. He says that he has spent several years in Kisenyi, a suburb of Kampala city and also has a sister but unfortunately he does not know her full name. Bob says that they used to collect empty water bottles which they could in the end sell to people of Kisenyi earning them 400/ for a kilo. But he also adds that this money could not sustain him and that sometimes he would sleep hungry without getting anything to eat at all.

He has been involved in sniffing petrol in kisenyi. He says that he came to start sniffing petrol and marijuana due to peer pressure. Bob says they used to buy petrol at 200/ and also take marijuana which was introduced to him by his friends and influenced him to start taking it. When probed further on how he got into the city, he confessed that he moved by foot from Luweero up to kisenyi and also said that he had no genuine reason for leaving home but he just felt like leaving the home.

He was recommended by a social worker eventually to undergo rehabilitation so that he can come to know the dangers of drugs and substance abuse, acquire multiple craft skills like electronics and business skills so that he can become empowered rather than depending on drugs.

In UYDEL we help him now with constant follow up and put Bob back in touch with his parents who will help with better re-integration.

The story of Jockim, drug addict and small-time criminal in the slums of Kampala

Jockim, 19-year old young person was staying in bugembe in the area known as Budumbuli before he came to kisenyi. I came to know him through a beneficiary by the name of ssekilanda Fredrick. He spent 4 month in bugembe then he had to proceed to Kampala. When they reached the city, his friend got lost from him so that Jockim had to proceed up to kisenyi on his own.

He started sniffing petrol (benzim) which is also called “ amafuta genyonyi “ which means petrol for aero planes, by that time he had got new friends. Together they resorted to collecting scrap in the areas of Kasubi, Kawempe,Makerere,Namasuba  and Muyenga. He says that by then a kilo of scrap was sold at 250/ and the money earned was used to buy clothes, and petrol which he was sniffing regularly by then.

He also started engaging in activities of theft were by they were stealing peoples clothes, charcoal and also empty jerricans. During that time, Americans used to collect them from the streets of Kampala and they could take them for sports activities like playing football, give him soap to wash his clothes and individual counseling but unfortunately he never used that chance because he was diverted by his fellow peers and he ended up using alcohol and other drugs such as kuber and marijuana.

He says that they used to rent for him a house at 100,000/ and that he just left the house to go back to streets but he saw that there was no hope in the streets. Jockim says that if given a chance he wants to acquire skills in electronics or catering. He needs to undergo rehabilitation were by he needs to go through individual counseling, being engaged in sports and other activities at Masooli centre. He told me that if given a chance he is willing to settle and concentrate on studies.