UG 07- COSBEL’S CHILDREN: PRIMARY AND CRAFT SCHOOL
The project takes place in the Diocese of Lira, Uganda. Children are helped to attend schools near their home, while young people attend craft schools within the city of Lira or in the nearby District.
This project was born about 11 years ago, in the difficult conditions that HIV-positive children and orphans lived in. Being orphans of both their parents, they were sent to the families of the relatives who reluctantly had to keep them. Consider that many times the families of relatives were themselves affected by the same disease and with HIV-positive children. Even now it is normal for an HIV positive child to be put aside in the host family. First the children of that house are served then the guest, even if close relatives.I do not go into detail about what happens morally and physically to these sick and orphans, you can imagine. For this we come to meet them by paying the school fees, otherwise they would be obliged to stay at home without the hope of a serene and independent future. In these years we have become closer to the host families, and we have noticed that life is difficult for them too. We help the orphan child and some of that family, so everyone gets a little help and the benefit goes to the weakest. With regard to deaf and mute children and young people, the situation is not better, indeed the family considers the deaf and mute child almost as a disgrace. They are called idiots or fools and they are victims of beatings to make them understand something. The possibility of these children to attend school has revived them, made them capable of understanding and communicating. Parents themselves are surprised, admired and happy to have earned a child. Many of these young people are people whom we have accompanied since elementary school. They are orphans of both parents, they are HIV positive but with stabilized health.
Some of them have finished primary school and now we give them the opportunity to learn a trade to make themselves self-sufficient and useful in the society in which they live. This gratifies them and makes them feel comfortable among their people. They feel they can take responsibility and form a good family. The possibility of giving a deaf-mute child the ability to learn an opportunity has many positive and rewarding aspects in these children. It does not make them feel a burden for family and society. They feels appreciated and esteemed because they learned a job and can earn, support and form a family. These people appreciates what they can do and also results as a strengthened in self-esteem. They feel wanted, sought and loved.
- Ensuring basic education for all HIV-positive orphans and deaf-mutes
- To give young orphans and deaf-mutes the opportunity to learn a trade and to become self-sufficient and useful for themselves and for society.
Direct: 450 children and 20 youth
Indirect: the families
Referent sister for the project : Sr Maria Marrone