On the 12th April each year we have been involved in the International Day for the Street Connected Child ‘celebrations’ in the centre of Kampala where we meet with other NGO’s (non-government organisations) – marching through the streets to make people aware of the plight of these children; then providing lunches, medical help, (blood tests), haircuts, t-shirts, etc. for the ‘street’ boys. There are sometimes 1,000 boys at these events. At the ‘2017 International Day,’ we were asked to take three more boys into our care – they were Derrick, Tony and Emma.
Derrick who comes from a very rural area of Uganda near Mbale had run away from his father on numerous occasions – he had been taken back home several times by other organisations but had never stayed. I remember when first meeting his father in May that year, being told ‘if you leave him here he will be back on the streets after a week’! We didn’t leave him, he came and stayed at George’s Place and settled in well.
We enrolled Derrick in Maranatha Christian primary school that year but in January 2018 he asked if he could go for a two-year vocational training course in welding and metalwork with Patrick and Emma at Meeting Point. As this college is in Kampala we were able to keep regular checks on the three of them. After finishing his course in January this year Derrick asked if he could go back home to stay with his father and look for work. We found a local business near Mbale which would take Derrick on as an apprentice and he has worked there all through the pandemic staying with his father.
Derrick is an extremely neat, clean and tidy young man. His shoes are always immaculate and he takes good care of his clothes. I am not sure how well suited he is to welding but his father felt it was a useful skill to have. Derrick is artistic, likes fashion, music and plays badminton.
We give thanks to the Lord for the way he has settled back into village life and been reconciled with his father.
With love and prayers.