Street children in Uganda

Albino child

Street children in Uganda

We have now built an orphanage for 28 street kids in Iganga by partnering with the local aid organization «Feed the Streets.»

The new orphanage opened its doors for street children on August 26, 2018. For the first time, the children could spend the night in their own bed under warm sheets. Until then the 28 children and two care providers had slept in a rambling shed that was only 100 square feet. Just 11 days later the hut collapsed.

«Feed The Streets» is an aid organization that was founded by the Ugandian celebrity singer, Grace Nakimera. The Dine Foundation wants to support the new initiative, and the new partnership has had extensive media coverage in Uganda.

See photos and read what the local press writes.

Albino children live in constant fear

Several of the children who get help are born albinos. This is a genetic disposition where the body is not able to, or can only produce very little melanin, the substance that is responsible for the colors in skin, hair, and eyes.

The myths about albinos in East-Africa are numerous and vary between the countries, but the general perception about this condition is the same. It is believed that an albino person has great power in their bodies, and if you give a body part to a witch doctor, he will make you rich. They are also perceived as ghosts, and not real people.

Numerous albino people have been attacked or brutally murdered. Limbs are often missing when their bodies are recovered. These body parts are sold to witch doctors who use them in their rituals. The body parts are thought to bring happiness and wealth. This is also the case with family members who are accused of murdering their siblings for this purpose.

Some parents keep their children inside all the time, afraid of what the neighbors might say, or because they lack knowledge on how to care for an albino child. Albino children er often bullied at school and classmates may refuse to sit next to them. Albino children may also have poor eyesight, which causes great challenges in the classroom.

Photos of the project:

Click on the images for larger photos and description:

  • On August 26, 2018, 28 children and 2 caregivers moved to the new orphanage. Photo: Rune Edvardsen.
  • One of the smallest children who get help from the center Photo: Rune Edvardsen.
  • 
The new center for poor and orphaned street children, and children who have albinism. Photo: Rune Edvardsen.
  • Two men assemble solar panels on the roof of the orphanage. Photo: Rune Edvardsen.
  • The children proudly show off their new beds. Photo: Rune Edvardsen.