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Credit: SALVE International

‘No Street Called Home’: Work of a Manchester-based charity in Jinja, Uganda

Support and Love via Education (SALVE) is an organisation based in Manchester that supports children in Uganda by providing education, housing and valuable life skills to help vulnerable children escape a dangerous cycle of poverty.

In 2008, a group of teachers and a counsellor working in Jinja noticed children were missing out on their education and were living on the streets trying to make money to support themselves or families. There are currently more than 600 children living on the streets of Jinja. SALVE’s main aim is to support these children through resettlement processes, including halfway homes, reuniting families, funding education and inspiring hope for the future.

SALVE’s resettlement process involves three steps. First, they build positive relationships and trust with children on the streets through their outreach programmes. Once the children are ready to move away from the streets, SALVE accommodates them in a halfway home, one for girls and one for boys, where they provide counselling and therapy through play, as well as brief education in basic skills like farming techniques.

They also work with the children to identify how they came to be separated from their families and what the most appropriate solution is, before beginning to work on reuniting the children with their families, by tracing where they families are. SALVE also run a Family Skills, Business Empowerment and Permaculture programme to help families set up their own businesses and reduce risks of them returning to the streets due to poverty. The Business Empowerment schemes work to educate individuals on how they can use assets such as land for farming to then sell their produce onwards, making the process sustainable and economical.

SALVE also involve the children in their care in understanding moral and ethical issues such as bullying and discrimination; but also, more complex concepts such as ‘whether uniforms create solidarity or divide communities’ and, ‘how can we ensure leaders have good values and are against corruption?’ all debated on inequalityquestion.com. The site allows the children to interact with people across the globe and see different perspectives. If you’d like to get involved, debates take place on the last Thursday of every month, between 12 pm and 2 pm GMT.

SALVE is always looking for passionate volunteers in both Manchester and Uganda to offer their time and skills as part of UoM’s Team Uganda Programme, giving more opportunities for children to leave the street. SALVE is a small organisation with big ambitions to make a brighter future for the next generation. Alternatively, SALVE runs fundraising events on campus and in the local area – details of these can be found on their website and social media, which can be found under @SALVEinternational on all social networks.

Tags: charity, poverty, salve, Uganda, Volunteering

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