S.A.L.V.E. is a small, registered UK and Ugandan Charity working to reduce the number of children living on the streets of Jinja, Uganda through education. In Jinja, there are an estimated 200–300 young people living and working on the street facing a number of human rights abuses on a daily basis. S.A.L.V.E. believe that no child should have to call the street their home.

They work to develop a trusting relationship with children living on the streets through spending time with them on the streets, playing sports and inviting them to attend classes at their Drop in Centre. When the child is ready they then invite them to come and stay at their Halfway Home.

The Halfway Home is a vital part of the programme. It is used as a stopping point for a child as they make their journey off the streets and back home to their families. When S.A.L.V.E. meet new, very young or vulnerable children (i.e. girls) during their work on the street, it is important that there is somewhere they can take them immediately to remove them from the dangers of the streets. They also need a place for children who have been on the street for a long time and have made the decision that they are ready to change their life. They need somewhere that they can go before going home, to help them transition back to normal home life, away from the streets, as this can be a very difficult change for them to make.

During their time at the S.A.L.V.E. Halfway Home, the child receives love and care from their home carers, nutritious food and medical treatment to help them get healthy after their time on the street and a safe place where they can get a good night’s sleep. They also receive lessons and counselling from home carers and social workers who help them prepare for their journey home to their families and give them the chance to talk through the challenges they have faced on the street. From the Rehabilitation Home, one of the S.A.L.V.E. street social workers carries out a home tracing visit with the child to try to resettle them with a family member.

A child who has recently used the Halfway Home is Joseph, aged 12. He ran away to the streets after discovering he had HIV, and had done since he was a baby. He was afraid of the stigma from his friends in the community, and angry with his parents for giving him an inherited disease. When S.A.L.V.E. met Joseph on the streets he had been sleeping rough for 4 months in another Ugandan town and was very ill. He wasn’t accessing HIV medication and had also caught malaria from sleeping outside and not under a mosquito net. Straight away the S.A.L.V.E. team knew they had to refer him to the Halfway Home and for medical treatment. According to the doctors it was this care and getting him medicine that saved his life. He is now much healthier again and they have linked up with his father and his aunty and are offering them family counselling and have referred them to a local HIV specialist organisation. Joseph is coming to terms with his condition and rebuilding his relationship with his family again. S.A.L.V.E. aim to resettle him with his father soon. The Halfway Home helped to save his life and give him the time and space to plan for his future and to decide he wants to go back to school.

The Barbara Ward Children’s Foundation is providing support for the Halfway Home which will enable S.A.L.V.E. to increase staff support and have a bigger budget for food and clothes, thus be able to help more children to leave the streets at any one time.

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The Barbara Ward Children's Foundation

c/o Weightmans LLP, 100 Old Hall Street, Liverpool, L3 9QJ

Tel: 0345 073 9900

Email: [email protected]

Registered Charity No: 1089783 Registered in England No: 4213963