During a night patrol in Kampala aidworker Stanley Opus discovers a young girl. After the ice has broken, the girl, who appeared to be called Remmy, opens up and begins to tell her story. How she was stolen from her aunts house at night, put on the bus to the capital where she was forced to beg on the street and that she wants nothing more than to go back home. Stanley decides to look after her. Read about the special bond between the aidworker and Remmy.
"I am very happy to be back in Karamoja, my birthplace. Together with my five year old brother and three year old sister, I live with my aunt. When our parents died, I was still very young. Our older sister took care of us. Until she died too. After the loss of my sister I was taken from our home at night and sent to Kampala. Day by day, I had to go out on the streets to beg. I was beaten, yelled at, and threatened if I didn’t get enough money. I am so glad I’ve been saved from the streets, and that I can finally go to school. I feel like someone loves me again and that my parents watch over me. Later, I want to be a doctor. I don’t want people to just lie in the hospital and that nobody is able anything until they die, like it happened with my parents and sister.”
"Remmy is presented with a big burden to carry when, after her parents, her older sister dies of HIV/aids too. A young child herself and suddenly responsible for her much younger brother and sister, makes her an easy prey for child exploiters.”
"We discover Remmy during our night patrol in Kampala. She is hidden away on the street and looks miserable, hungry and exhausted, with wounds all over her feet. We speak to her in Karamoja, her own language, and she responds delighted. Ice is broken and she starts to tell. How she was stolen during the night from her aunts house, put on the bus towards the capital to be forced to beg on the streets here. How she is beaten by her caretaker and hardly gets any food. That she wants nothing more than to go home.”
"Remmy lives for three months in our temporary shelter, where she is being prepared for her return to her home. She receives food, clothing and medical care. But most importantly, we give her guidance and therapy, so that she learns to cope with the traumas from her young past. She also receives (informal) education to get used to school life. Meanwhile, her aunt has been tracked down in the Karamoja district. As a part of the re-integration process, the aunt comes to visit Remmy in the shelter.”
"Remmy has been back in Karamoja for several months now. The new school year will begin this month. The girl will go to school for the first time in her life, starting in Year One. We have provided the required uniform and the necessary school materials. Her daily struggle to survive is over. Remmy can be a child again."
Children who are victim of exploitation need protection. Together with partner organisations and our donors we provide shelter, care and education. Remmy could be saved. But there are many other children like her. Would you like to help children like Remmy?