Rehabilitation Center for Destitute Street Youth set in Lira Diocese
Lira Diocese in Northern Uganda with the help and support from well-wishers has established a rehabilitation home to render basic care to the destitute street children from Lango sub-region in a move to transform lives.
The center known as the Duty of Truth (DOT) rehabilitation home for desperate children mainly the victims of domestic violence was established in 2023 under the guidance of the Rt Rev Sanctus Lino Wanok, the bishop of Lira diocese.
The center is a shelter for children who were picked mainly from the streets of Lira City and the neighboring towns to ensure that their lives are shaped.Since then, the center has been under the care and management of Rev Sr Doreen Oyela a member of the Missionary congregation of the Sacred Heart Sisters of Moyo, and other personnel who jointly work to give spiritual guidance to the children.
In an interview with AMECEA correspondent, Tony Amai a catechist at the center said children are picked from the streets in close collaboration with local authorities and they entice them to come and undergo rehabilitation at the centre.He noted that the center is not only home to victims of domestic violence but also to children who are the victims of drug abuse and other harmful substances which are dangerous and setback to human health.
While at the center the children are being given spiritual guidance to enable them to realize the love of God upon them, including counseling, psychosocial support, home tracing, and reintegration program respectively.He further informed the AMECEA correspondent that other activities that take place at the rehabilitation center are catechesis, teaching in classes to enable them learn how to read and write, and general rehabilitation activities among others.
In addition to giving spiritual guidance, they are also being trained to gain skills in making rosaries and other domestic cores, some lucrative sectors like hairdressing, and others to help and prepare them to be productive in their future endeavors.
As a result of the care and guidance being given to children, many are now becoming friendly to community members whenever they meet, a great sign of success registered and transformation that has shaped their lives.Before the establishment of rehabilitation homes in the Lira diocese, many victims of drug abuse were causing insecurity to the general population in Lira city and the neighboring towns since many were involved in theft and other criminal activities.
During the interview, the catechist disclosed that so far, five children who passed through the center have been reintegrated to their families and relatives which is part of home tracing program through the help of the civil authorities and the cultural institutions in their respective villages.
Members of the public say that the center is making a significant impact in the lives of the children, an initiative being appreciated by the local authorities because it is helping to curb the rate of crimes in the community.When asked to comment about this year’s plans, the catechist mentioned moving to villages to sensitize the community through basic information mainly on the dangers of domestic violence and child neglect in society.
He said while in the communities, they will include holding family dialogue in homes that are undergoing violence and conflicts to ensure that a proper and amicable solution is reached and be able to restrain children from coming to the streets.
As a solution, the personnel went on to say in their outreach programs, they will be informing parents to provide basic facilities to the children to help them concentrate and settle in their homes so that they are made productive.