Abuse and poverty are two of the reasons which are driving children to the streets of Uganda. Uganda has one of the largest populations of young people in the world, and children are also the single largest demographic group living in poverty in Uganda. Some of the kids living on the streets left home because of domestic abuse, neglect and poverty. But while on the streets, these children face violence and discrimination by older children, homeless adults, and the communities in general. The children living on the streets are said to increase in number, and they often lack access to clean water, shelter, food, medical care, and education.
Branches of Life International is a nonprofit organization based in Nansana. This is an organization that offers a drop in facility for children and youth from four to 18yrs old, with a focus on the ones who have been on the streets, who are orphaned and vulnerable. Branches of Life International (BoLI) is a program that offers to cover the basic needs of these children and youths, such as food, education, shelter, medical care, clothing, and most importantly: hope. Something they don’t get on the streets. Nansana is located on the highway between Kampala and Hoima, 12km by road north-west of Kampala. It is a high- density working class neighborhood.
Branches of Life International was founded in 2006 by Charles Kalunda and is registered under No. S.5941/786. He knows all too well the life as a street child, since he himself spent his childhood on the streets. But one day, he was able to stay over at a church, and while staying there he found a job as a barber. When he was able to, he moved out from the church and got a place close to the streets. One day he went to work only to come home and find 12 kids in his room. From there the idea of BoLI arose.
The kids that BoLI is reaching out to are kids that live in dire poverty, and these are kids who are dying daily because of malnutrition and vaccine- preventable diseases. BoLI exists to prevent this kind of fate by giving them a future instead. This is a program that monitors child rights and reports violations to the police, and offers family tracing services, financial assistance and training in income generating skills to reunite families. BoLI also raises awareness about the different issues that these kids face, by reaching out to the communities.
To establish a community based development project to foster and promote the welfare of people, with a focus on street kids, HIV/AIDS orphans, youth and the elderly by giving them with vocational training, nutrition and access to health care.
To initiate and establish a community development project that will foster and promote the welfare of people.
Branches of Life International is a Christian founded organization and therefore as a volunteer, you can involve yourself in the following activities;
- Bible study
- Art and crafts
- Counseling of the children as some of them have traumatizing situations that forced them to leave home, while others get to the streets and get involved in crime like theft, drug abuse, rape/defilement etc
- Teaching especially English
- Spending time with the children and showing them love
- Reading story books to the little ones
- Construction of their rehabilitation centre.
Street children have given up on life. They do not believe in love. Their definition of happiness is when they are under the influence of drugs. Come give them hope, show them love and define happiness. Show them a better life that they can lead even without their biological parents. Come fill the gap that they have at heart. Branches of Life international welcome you to come offer your services and share in the experience.
Come create a world of life and love!