KAMPALA – Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Dr. Samuel Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu has decried the violence against children which has left a reasonable number of them suffering in different ways.
Speaking at the launch of the Church of Uganda Focus Mass of Children at Sanyu Babies Home on Wednesday, the Most Reverend said, “In Uganda, violence against children is another pandemic that has followed them in schools, homes, and places of worship. These are places where children are expected to be safe.”
“Children living in both development and emergency response areas have not been spared by devastating effects of child violence, neglect, and child labor,” he said.
Dr. Kaziimba says children have been exposed to physical, psychological, and sexual abuse. “Every day, children face violations of defilement, child marriages, child sacrifice, and other forms of violence.”
Archbishop says it’s high time they put faith in action and take a leading role in supporting, encouraging and promoting actions amongst Christians and the general public to become ambassadors of ending violence against children.
“Children are a reward from God and we are called upon to treasure them as God’s gifts. God loves them regardless of the reasons why they came here [Sanyu Babies Home], they’re God’s children.”
At the same event, the Archbishop baptized the little ones and commended Sanyu Babies Home for taking care of them. He also urged all parents to never abandon their children no matter the situation.
“…at least beg for aid but when you have your child.”
He also called upon the public to render support to these “innocent souls” because their needs are endless and Sanyu Babies Home cannot afford without help.
As the church, Dr. Kaziimba says they are integrating violence prevention education in all church programs to education institutions, early childhood education centers, youths’ groups, mother’s unions, and father’s unions, among others.
“With this year’s Children Month, the church of Uganda looks forward to; increasing the participation of the church leaders in prayer, support, care, and advocacy for ending any forms of violence against children in Uganda, but also, participating in compassion programs not only to vulnerable children but also within shelters for orphans who require foster care and other social protection services, among others.”
Ms. Barbra Nankya Mutagubya, Sanyu Babies Home head revealed that “taking care of over 50 young babies below the age of 4 isn’t an easy job. Many come when they are sick, treatment is so expensive, feeding is so expensive, maintenance of home, power, water and everything all are expensive.”
She noted, however, that they are looking forward to being sustainable as a Home.
“We have a big project of solar which we hope will aid us in lighting our home, cooking, washing, meaning we shan’t buy power, charcoal or firewood and our works will be eased.” She called on good Samaritans to aid them in this multi-million-shilling project.
She also decried the challenge of babies born with HIV, and those with special needs. Just like the Archbishop, Nankya urged the public not to abandon their children “because most of them don’t get a chance to be brought here, they die from wherever you throw them.”
Ms. Muwonge Moureen, Dwelling Places, country director underscored the significance of joining hands with the church of Uganda to advocate for the children of Uganda.
“We have seen so many children on the streets. We are calling upon all Ugandans, all churches, and organizations together to advocate for the rights of the children. So many children are abandoned, and many are recruited as housemaids, trafficked, and working in bars. We need to stand for our children.”