KYDA. Kawempe Youth Development Association

KYDA is an ongovernmental organization founded in 1989 that promotes several projects in support of the weakest members of the community of Kawempe, a district in the suburbs of North Kampala. Since 2013, the Association carry out the project KCCP (Kiganda Children for Change Project), to help street children ensuring them a safe place to feel at home and grow, where to eat and be treated, where to be able to play and study.

The project currently supports 47 former street children aged between 4 and 17 years and proposes two main objectives: the reintegration of children into their families and in their own cycle of studies.

Reintegration into the family. To facilitate this process, KYDA staff regularly visits the parents of the children, offers them psychological support and puts them in contact with other associations that support families according to their specific needs. KYDA make use of a network of local organizations that ensures effective and sustainable intervention.

Educational project. After a period of up to 6 months in the counseling class, the children are reintegrated into their studies. The school that welcomes them is in partnership with the association and teachers are trained to provide children with psychological and emotional support throughout the school process.

Il fenomeno dei ragazzi di strada

Street children is a segment of population that includes children and teenagers between the age of 6 and 15 that live in the streets during the day and sleep either in the street or in rented and shared rooms during the night. The reasons that cause children to live in the street are several; many of them are orphans as AIDS is one of the main causes of adults’ death; others live in families that are unable to provide for them; many come from far away villages, sent to the city by their families to find a job or study. Others run away from home simply because they are orphans or come from areas affected by drought and internal conflicts or victims of domestic violence.
On top of it, there are other factors that cause children to voluntarily abandon their homes, such as striving for independence or the opportunity of earning money. Some children are expelled from school because they don’t attend lessons and therefore hang around the city in search of casual jobs. The situation is quite complex for this segment of the population as more than often they fall into poverty. The level of education is generally very low. Also nutrition and health is bad, as they are exposed to endemic diseases due to accumulation of trash in the streets and poor sewage systems. Moreover, promiscuity and unprotected intercourse with multiple partners from an early age are the main causes of the spread of AIDS.
Whereas girls live in slums or in homes where they work as maids. The majority of them are exploited, abused or victims of sexual harassment, sometimes they are prays to  prostitution circles either for the need of money or because they are forced to join them. They are of course exposed to AIDS and unwanted pregnancies and their children will inevitably enter this vicious circle of street life. In this way poverty is passed down from generation to generation and difficult to eliminate.