Child Protection Officer Grace Orikiriza has urged Non government Organisations and members of the public to raise their efforts in helping vulnerable children.
Having grown up with a single mother, Orikiriza has always been drawn to helping vulnerable children because of the distressing experience she had while growing up. After her father’s death when she was two, her mother inherited a huge piece of land that was used for cultivation that would thereafter pay for her school fees.
However, the tables turned in her senior two where she dropped out of school because their land had been claimed by a civil servant who used all the resources at his disposal to claim the plot.
Without hope for the education she was passionate about, Orikiriza left home without the knowledge of her mother and started a journey to Kampala with no place to sleep until she got a job to work as a maid and became a born-again believer at the then Kampala Pentecostal Church.
At one of the church cell gatherings next to where she stayed, she found a good samaritan ,Suzan Nsibirwa, who helped her with money to buy study books that helped her pass her O-level and A-level exams. She was thereafter admitted to University where she graduated with a second class upper in Bachelors of Social Work and Social Administration.
Now, Orikiriza who has spent five years working withUganda Women’s Effort To Save Orphans (UWESO), has dedicated her life to helping vulnerable children like she once was.
She says that as the government does its part, NGOs too need to lay down practical solutions to give aid to these children.
“These children are born the same way you and I were born and they continue to be produced every other day but they found themselves in that category. Even at home, you have these young boys and girls. If you notice a skill in him/her, encourage them to take on these vocational skills being provided by government institutions so that they can add value to their life.”
“And also the NGOs working in the community, let us go down there in the slums and add value to these children. We can do workshops and reports but we also need to go to the ground to practically help these children. Yes we have done something but we can do more,” she pleaded.
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