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Napak Former Street Children Lack Basic Necessities at School


Recently enrolled former street children in Napak district are appealing to the government and well-wishers for assistance with essential items. In February, a total of 308 children, aged 5-15 years, who had been begging on the streets of Kampala, were repatriated and enrolled in schools in Napak district. 

They were placed in Lokodiokodio and Lotome Girls primary schools for a one-year stay without returning home or contacting their parents. However, the pupils are facing hardships at school due to a lack of necessities such as clothes, shoes, and pants, among others. 

During a spot check, it was observed that the children only had one pair of clothes for the entire week and lacked bedsheets and mosquito nets for sleeping. Although partners like Cooperation and Development (CnD) donated mattresses, bedsheets were overlooked. 

Esther Nachap, a 14-year-old pupil at Lotome Girls Primary School, highlighted the frustration caused by the lack of basic needs, including sanitary pads for girls experiencing menstrual cycles. Nachap also appealed for permission for parents to visit, expressing uncertainty about their parents’ whereabouts and emphasizing the importance of parental involvement.

Martha Nabok, Headteacher of Lokodiokodio Primary School, mentioned that some learners requested to return home for basic items, but efforts were made to prevent such escapes. Special counseling sessions were established to address trauma.  

Margaret Abura, Headteacher of Lotome Girls Primary School, raised concerns about the teacher shortage and lack of blankets, which increases the children’s vulnerability to illnesses like malaria. 

Joyce Nakoya, Napak District Education Officer, highlighted efforts to engage learners in hygiene practices and advocated for support in providing school uniforms, pants, pads, and menstrual hygiene facilities.

Dennis Okori, Napak Resident District Commissioner, discussed plans to provide play materials, engage parents, and reunite families while preparing for mass education initiatives in Karamoja.  

The integration of former street children into schools represents a pilot program toward universal education in the region. Efforts are underway to address challenges and ensure the well-being and education of these vulnerable children.


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