Today my heart is breaking for the girls of Kampala’s slums. We have once again been reminded that girls aged 8, 9 and 10 are sexually active, often as a result of pressure from boys or not even knowing what they are doing. Children are exposed to so much; they see their mothers engaging in prostitution within their own homes, see their fathers raping their mothers, watch pornographic movies on the TV. Sexual abuse and rape is common place, as is child prostitution. Girls as young as 7 sell their virginity for just 1000 UGX (25p). Children are raped in their own homes, by family members and neighbours. Many girls get pregnant at a very young age. Girls are often harassed walking through the slums by drunk men. Girls who we are sponsoring to go to boarding school have even been raped as they return home for the holidays, meaning that they will have to drop out of their education.
These children come to kids club activities, attend our after school education projects, go to church, and some of them even go to school. We talk to them about their rights, support their basic needs, counsel them and talk to them about God, yet the reality is they are still sexually active and often abused and raped in their own homes. It is hard to know where even to begin to be able to help them.
This is a huge and overwhelming problem which seems almost impossible to tackle, but I am reminded of why we started Kids Club Kampala in the first place – to let kids be kids and give children a childhood, to let them have fun and forget about the worries and stresses of their everyday lives, to give them a safe place to go to if they feel alone or at risk, and to let them know that they are special, they are loved and that someone does care for them. This is why KCK is here and working in Kampala’s slums
These girls engaging in child prostitution, being abused are in terrible situations but we are bringing hope and love to these vulnerable children, through caring for their basic needs, educating them, loving them, being there for them, allowing them a safe space to express how they feel, and bringing them a message of hope and love through the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are also in the process of building our Ewafe Project Shelter – a home for abandoned children which will also house vulnerable and abused girls.
We would love to gain as much advice as possible from charities who work with sexually abused young women as well as any ideas and solutions to support them in their horrific situations. If you are interested in supporting us in this, then please get in touch.