Uganda continues to share the toll of HIV/AIDS pandemic and its effects. Since the down of AIDS in 1982 many children and women have been denied the right to exercise their freedom.
It is noted that as the productive age perishes, the number of orphaned and other vulnerable children increases many folds.
Leaving a noticeable gap of regress in productivity, which gives room to poverty and underdevelopment exposed to the community.
In striving for survival, youth, women and children migrate to urban areas in search of profitable ventures leaving too young children and disabled aged people in the rural. Very few succeed and the rest fail, so as a last resort they engage in bars as maids, sex commercial workers and street children.
SAVO commenced in 2009 as an emergency program responding to destitute children’s needs. It is located in Masaka District 125km south of Kampala the capital city of Uganda.
The common languages spoken are Luganda, Lunyankole and English that is used by the learned ones. Most of the inhabitants are Baganda Banyankole, Bakiga and Banyarwanda
In about 2001 children started to be regular visitors of the market places of Nyendo and Masaka, juvenile delinquency, Pick pocket and mischievousness, alcohol and drug use| abuse was born. It worsened and dramatically continues too during the months of April to June and November to January, for; it’s during these months of the year that people in the area get involved in seasonal activities of grasshopper tapping, maize and green vegetables harvests of which demand intensive hawking for big sales of their merchandise.
In doing so children are more involved than adults for they provide cheap labor. This is detrimental to children’s health as it cumbers children with heavy loads, sleepless nights, missing meals and hinders them from going to school.
On Streets of Nyendo at day times and at late nights commonly you find children in rags, picking through piles of waste for something to eat. Some sleeping under old plastic sacks others in some abandoned buildings or under storefront verandas when it rains. Majority of these children are being forced to steal some thing to eat, subject to violence either from the police, hostile town people, and older kids or from either party.
Majority of the street children are in such an unhealthy environment because either they have nowhere else to go, some come to live on the streets after the loss of their close relatives like parents or elder siblings who were house hold heads. , subjected to all sorts of human abuse or domestic violence, however, they are our children and are on our streets hence the real number of these street children is still unknown. The only solution is to provide them opportunity and space for resilience.
Through interaction with these children SAVO learnt more of them and the cause of their situation was known as a result of loss of or separation from close attachment figures.
So SAVO was to be established as a result of the founders’ reflection of his personal childhood experience of vulnerability that triggered their wounds of trauma when they eye witnessed the destitute children on the streets of Nyendo. SAVO staff made strategy for interaction with these children.
Therefore Ssuubi ly’Abato Voluntary Organization (SAVO) is a Community Based organization (CBO) registered by Masaka Local Government Council for community development.
SAVO provides voluntary services to the children, youth, elderly, poor female headed households, disabled children and other vulnerable community groups and encourages community to get involved by volunteering as community resource persons.