Congestion In Children Homes As Abandoned Children Increase in Fort Portal

1896 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
Most of the children were found abandoned in the bus and taxis parks, market and some on the roadsides.

Children care homes in Fort Portal are struggling to cope with the high number of abandoned children. Statistics at the district probation department and the police’s child and family protection unit indicate that 50 children have been abandoned in the past two months. Some of the children abandoned are aged 5-12 years. Most of the children were found abandoned in the bus and taxis parks, market and some on the roadsides. Hadija Namyalo, the in-charge of the child protection unit says that some of the abandoned children who are in poor health, malnourished and in need of medical treatment, are taken to the police station by people who pick them. She says that most of abandoned children are victims of domestic violence and poverty. Namyalo says that unit doesn’t have a budget to care for the abandoned children, other than refer them to child care homes, or request for assistance from non-governmental organizations.

Some of the child care homes visited by Uganda Radio Network are congested because of the high number of abandoned children.  There are 25 registered child care homes in Kabarole owned by non- governmental organizations and individuals. At Divine Mercy home in Burungu, the home is supposed to have 20 children, but it currently looks after 50 children. Some of the children sleep on the floor while three children share a bed. Elizabeth Mujungu, the matron says that they are over stretched by the high number of abandoned children and lack space to take in more children.  Mujungu says that 20 children have been turned away because it lacks funds to look after them. Mujungu says that some of the NGOs, who have been providing assistance to the home stopped, leaving the home cash strapped. She says that the home relies on projects like tailoring and poultry.

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Gertrude Baguma, the matron of Nyabukara Children home says that the home is supposed to accommodate thirty children, but there are 60 children. Baguma says that they have stopped accepting children brought to the home by the police because it  is increasingly becoming difficult to look after them, since there are no people interested in adopting the children. Baguma says that if the children are adopted, it would help reduce on the number of children at the home. He says that they called for applications for adoption of children, but the response is low, which she attributes to the bureaucracy involved. Shamim Kakunguru, the Kabarole district probation officer says that the district plans to request for more funding for the community development department to help fund the registered child care homes to enable them look after more abandoned children


About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.