Children usually face challenging situations at home and are blamed by their parents and punished for this, in the worse cases children are asked to leave their home. It is a shame for children or any other person to lose connection with their families, as this is one of the reasons why children decide to run away from their homes and end up living on the streets. Former street-connected children and children still living on the streets acted in a film titled “Living a Life of Resilience”. This film shows different challenges children face at their homes, which involve parents taking quick judgement after realizing any misconduct or bad behavior in their children.
Living a Life of Resilience
Children usually face challenging situations at home and are blamed by their parents and punished for this, in the worse cases children are asked to leave their home. It is a shame for children or any other person to lose connection with their families, as this is one of the reasons why children decide to run away from their homes and end up living on the streets.
One of the cases showed in the film involves Dan who was accused of theft by his sister, who was instead the one who picked the money from their dad’s pocket. Dan was away from home playing and when he came back home his dad started blaming him for taking his money, the situation worsened to the extent that Dan was sent away from home.
He went to stay with his aunt in another village, however his aunt forced him into child labour, Dan didn’t like this and went to stay with his uncle, but the uncle was taking care of his own children and didn’t accept Dan to stay with him. Life became harder and harder for Dan and he decided to go to the streets. The films shows him on the streets after 5 weeks from the time he left home, he was bullied on the street and survived being arrested by the police several times. He worked really hard on the streets, the market traders would send him to fetch water for them and in return he was given money and food. Dan met a friend at a football stadium and his new friend sympathized with him especially after Dan told him how he was chased from home and his challenges while living on the street.
His friend took him to S.A.L.V.E International to access the services that S.A.L.V.E offers to the street-connected children, the social workers at S.A.L.V.E counseled him and he participated in a number of activities like sports, art, online debate and many other activities, after a month of intense counseling, Dan, accepted to be taken home to meet the parents, he was accepted back home. He was enrolled to a vocational school and became a professional builder.
After a 5-year period, we see Dan in a car answering a phone call from a friend, he tells them that he is no longer living on the streets and that he is currently working and building his own house. Everyone at certain point in life face disappointments, sad news, and discouragement, however it’s important to figure out the immediate solution to our problems just like Dan tried to go to other relatives though things didn’t work out.
We need the support of loyal friends throughout life, it is usually said that ‘a friend in need is a friend indeed’. Making use of the outer support networks in the towns or villages where we live is also really important. Have a dream in life and work hard to achieve your dream, never give up because of a slight disappointment. Dan wanted to become a builder and even when he was on the street, we see him reflecting and focusing on this, in the film we see him saying “I have suffered in life, but I have hope that I will become somebody important in life, it’s a matter time and I will overcome the hardship am going through at the moment”.
I performed as a police officer in the Living a Life of Resilience film, you can see me and other two police men arresting a street-connected child on the street. This film has already been produced and transmitted on some TV stations in Jinja. I believe this film has a powerful message on resilience and it has been translated to a local language to bring out the local understanding of resilience, which is “Obuvuumu”.
Children’s participation is key in the building with bamboo project – we have an interview planned on Television about the film and we will be going with the street-connected and former street-connected children who acted in the film!