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					             Peace for Children Africa
                 Child Profile and story

                                             Name:
                                     Hamza Sserwadda


                                             Age:
                                        18 Years Old


                                       Place of Birth:
                           Namayumba village, Wakiso District


Family history           I lived with my parents who loved me very
                         much. They worked very hard. My mum passed
                         away when I was about 4 years old.

Circumstances that led   I was living with my father and he married
me to live on the        another woman. When my father was there
streets/experience of    she was nice to me but when he was away she
life on the streets      badly mistreated me. She would not feed me
                         and make me sleep outside. I told my father
                         but he did not believe me because he only saw
                         her loving me. My father worked away from
                         home a lot so I suffered badly with my step
                         mother.

                         One day she sent me to the markets to get
                         food. I was very hungry. I saw people playing
                         cards saying that I could double my money. I
                         wanted to double my money to get some food
                         for myself. I put all my money on the cards
                         but I lost it. I stayed at the markets all day
                         because I was too scared to go home. When I
                         got home my step mother was very angry and
                         she said she was going to kill me. When she
                         learned that I did not have what she sent me
                         for she got a big stick and chased me. I hid
                         from her until late at night. When I went
back home she was still waiting for me with
the stick. That was when I knew she meant
what she had said about killing me. I had to
leave. I was seven years old.

I walked and walked and walked in the
direction that all the cars were going. I did
not know what Kampala was like but I knew it
when I reached it. At first I was happy to be in
Kampala but then I started wondering what I
would do. I kept walking around. I saw a boy
like me and I asked him where I could get
something to eat. He gave me something and
then left me.

I slept on verandahs and woke up hungry. I
went with other street kids to collect
bottles and metal scraps. One boy ate food
from the rubbish but I did not want to eat it. I
went to local markets and a lady gave me
food. I knew that I was a street kid when I
started talking to other kids. I had to start
eating scraps from the rubbish. I lived a good
life but it was very hard.

I had some friends who loved me but some kids
harassed me when I had money or metal
scraps. Older kids would beat me and take my
money or scraps. I didn’t like sleeping on the
streets because it was always hard to find
somewhere to sleep. It was very cold and
police or security guards would beat you or
take you to jail. When it rained was when I
hated it most because there was no shelter.

There were a lot of drugs on the street.
Whenever I got money I would get fuel to
sniff so that I could feel good. I liked it at
first but after a while I didn’t like it anymore.
Those days were very miserable. If the police
found you doing drugs they would arrest
you. I was taken to remand homes so many
times I lost count. One time I stayed in prison
for two years. We only got fed once a day
and we would have to work from about 4.30
in the morning until late at night. I escaped
with some other boys and went back on to the
                            streets.

                            When I was back on the streets an older boy
                            told me to stay with him and his friends. They
                            were thieves who entered people’s houses.
                            They used me because I was very small and
                            could get into houses easily. One night one of
                            the boys was caught by the owner of a house
                            and was beaten to death. For some reason I
                            had known not to go into the house that
                            night so that is when I knew I had to stop. I
                            went back on to the streets and life was very
                            hard.

How I came to live at PCA   One day I was walking in the slums with my
                            scrap metal. I saw all the street kids going to
                            a place where these men were giving them
                            medical care, food and were talking with
                            them. I didn’t talk to them the first time but
                            they came back again. I spoke to one of the
                            men but he could not help me. Next time I
                            spoke to Uncle Paul. He asked me a lot of
                            questions. I asked him his story and he told
                            me. He had a similar story and he told me to
                            believe in myself.

                            Every time he came to the slums he would
                            talk to me and give me some money. One day he
                            told me he wanted to start an organisation. I
                            went with him but it was not established so I
                            left. Next time he saw me he convinced me to
                            go back. He constructed a small papyrus
                            structure and that is where I slept. Now I
                            could clean my clothes and look smart.

                            The organisation grew from nothing. I saw
                            how my life was changing and I decided then I
                            was never going back to the streets. Uncle
                            Paul and Uncle Martin started bringing in
                            other boys and we got bigger and bigger.

                            The uncles enrolled us in school but it was
                            hard for me because I had only gone to
                            Primary 3. I went into Primary 5 and did
                            poorly but I studied very hard and read my
                            books every day. By second term I was second
                            in my class and by third term I was first. I
                            always listened to Uncle Paul because he
                             always told me that I could achieve more
                             than I thought. He gave me courage to learn
                             to speak English, from then I always studied
                             hard so that I would come first.

                             Because of this I was included in a program
                             called ‘Connecting Classrooms’ which
                             operated in UK, Senegal and Uganda. I
                             worked hard in reading and Music, Dance and
                             Drama. Before the end of the year we had an
                             exchange with them and I was selected to go
                             to the UK. I told Uncle Paul I needed a
                             passport and he spoke to a sponsor so that I
                             could get one. I had a chance to go in a plane
                             something I never thought I would be able to
                             do when I was living on the streets. When I
                             was sitting on the plane I knew that if you
                             believed in something enough you could
                             succeed.



School details               School name: Mackay College.

                             Education level: Senior 2.

Favourite subjects           Chemistry, Physics, Maths and Biology
                             because ever since I was on the streets I
                             wanted to be a doctor or someone who could
                             help other people.

Hopes for the future (i.e.   In my future I have two things I would like to
resettlement with family,    be. First is a doctor and then in my spare time
further education,           I want to create art. I want to be a doctor to
career aspirations)          help people who are suffering.

                             I want to take my message of thanks to the
                             world. I want to thank Uncle Paul. He is my
                             best friend and my only parent I have known
                             to guide me along the way. I want to thank
                             PCA because it has given me so much. I don’t
                             have a lot of materialistic things but I have
                             so much.

                             I want to thank everyone who has left their
                             countries to come and help us at PCA. I want
                             to tell the people of the world that even
                             though kids on the street are described as,
                             and perceived as hopeless, they are not.
                     When they are given the opportunity they can
                     achieve anything. People and Governments
                     need to address this problem.

                     I hope in the future there are no street kids.

Hobbies, likes and   I like football, riding bikes, reading books
dislikes             and listening to music. I also like visiting new
                     places.

				
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posted:9/17/2011
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