Uganda has a population of 33.4 million, of which around 8% (2.7 million, Unicef 2009) are kids who don’t have parents. It is a major issue with serious repercussions that stretch far into the future.
Last week I traveled with a Watoto social worker as he assessed the risk faced by some orphans in the outskirts of Kampala.
Rachel, 8, lives with her grandparents. Watoto has been paying her school fees and trying to keep her living together with family as long as possible. But when the social worker was driving through her neighbourhood at night recently, he saw her at the side of the road, selling something. Simply put, this was not what he had hoped for.
He returned to speak with Rachel’s grandparents and assess their ability and willingness to care for her. Final decisions aren’t made on the spot, but the social worker indicated to me that Rachel will likely be formally adopted by Watoto and moved into a children’s village, where she can go to school and focus on being a kid again.
To find out more about the work Watoto does, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website.