They are the most hated children in Uganda--the Karimojong beggar children of Kampala. Some were brought to the city by adults in search of a better life. Many were trafficked and put on the streets to beg for the benefit of a master. From proud families, experts from time immemorial in all things relating to cattle, they have ended up homeless, hungry, abused, outcast, and hated. Unschooled, unskilled, and with no future. If they don't beg, they will starve. If they don't bring in enough cash, they will be beaten. If they do beg they may be rounded up by police and sent away from their families. Caught in the middle of forces beyond their understanding, it's hard for them to win no matter what they do. No wonder the Lord has laid the Karimojong beggar children on our hearts at ECM!
In the Katwe & Kisenyi slums of Kampala, through partnership with child sponsors, ECM has taken Karimojong beggar children off the streets and enrolled them in boarding school, where they are all making excellent progress, despite the fact that they had no previous schooling to prepare them for their entry into school. A weekly club continues with their mothers and other mothers of the communities to teach basic hygiene, family living skills, and to give spiritual counsel. After determining that it was not safe for the Karimojong children to return home during holidays, ECM began to provide the means for them to remain in boarding school during that time.
Our plan is to continue taking beggar children off the streets through child sponsorship while we also develop programs in Karamoja, Northern Uganda (see Karamoja Homeland). While the situation of the children in Kampala is very difficult, at least at boarding school they will be safe, be learning, and be able to receive visits from family.
View the Project Pictures here