Our mission is twofold: Maama Africa works primarily to rescue, rehabilitate, empower and reconcile street children with their families. Additionally, we speak out for children at risk - informing, motivating and equipping local families and communities to promote positive change in the Ugandan society.
We stick on the word from the bible from Isaiah 58:12:
“Your sons shall build what has long been in ruins, you shall rise up the foundation of many generations and you shall be called the repairers of broken walls, the restorers of streets with dwellings.”
During these outreaches, we interact with children who choose the streets either as a way of life, or as a way to earn a living.
Resident street children: These children permanently live on the street, earning their livelihood, sleeping in corners. This dangerous daily routine of survival is the only life they know. With no one to care for and no place to go to, these children are hard to reach across to and build trust with.
Recurrent street children: These children have a partial stable family life, but seek life on the streets either as a way to augment their family income or as a response to negative stimuli like an alcoholic father or a broken family. These children usually drop out of school and come out during the day to beg, pick scrap or resort to juvenile crime. They usually return home at night. Once a better life is available, it is easier for the child to be rehabilitated, though building trust still takes a long time if they have encountered abusive adults.
On average, we meet with 100 children on every outreach. The main activities carried out include, but not limited to, health, spiritual welfare, counseling, data collection, referrals, music and games.
Some of the reasons why children run away from their homes or migrate to the streets include poverty, unstable families, child abuse, irresponsible parents and relatives, epidemics like HIV/AIDS. Sometimes, however, the children are rebellious and stubbornly choose to run away from home.
Since 2008, Maama Africa has been working closely with National Rehabilitation Centers where most of the street children are taken after round-ups by police and the city authorities. Children also come to us through referrals from network partners, hospitals, the community and the police.