Former street children graduate in vocational training skills

GULU – A total of 35 former street children picked from the streets of Gulu City have graduated in various vocational training skills.

The two-year course was sponsored by Favour of God Ministries, a faith-based organization working in the greater northern Uganda and South Sudan.

Mike Sabiiti, the Head of Department of GIFT, the project under which the former street youths were trained in the various vocational training skills says, most times the society castigates the street children for their behaviors and illegal practices. Sabiiti says, the youths did not choose to end up on the streets but because of life’s challenge and situations.

Sabiiti blames the society for the unending experiences of street children because most of them are reluctant to share the little they have.

According to Sabiiti, besides the vocational training skills which include; motor vehicle mechanics, tailoring and designing, hair dressing, fisheries, the youths were also taken through the Bible, daily fellowships, counselling among others to ensure a complete transformation.

Miriam Ogena, the Human Resource Manager, Favour of God Ministries urged the graduands to concentrate, practice and save money from the knowledge and skills they have attained. They should also focus on building their faith and not go into the temptation of the worldly joys.

Terry Goodman, the Deputy Director, Favour of God Ministries says, the graduands have the choice to chose evil or good. Love and discipline are transformational skills but its only God who transformed them.

Phillip Oketkeny, a Board Member and Ministry Counselor, Favour of God Ministries says, the graduands have been thoroughly healed and transformed, he says they will be key in social transformation and sustainability which is a mission of the Ministry.

Oketkeny says, the spiritual and physical transformation the graduands have attained should manifest in the entire community that they will go into.


Silindi Aber Ruth, a graduand says, she had lost hope in education and life in general.

She further says, before joining Favour of God Ministry, she was living in a home where orphans were not valued and supported which forced her to elope with a man at a young age. She was mistreated, beaten for asking even for food to eat.

She was abandoned and when she attempted to find solution by going to her uncle who instead asked for sex before helping her.

According to Aber, she at some point wanted to kill her two children so she can hustle for herself.

She was forced to the street, got employed in a bar where she was introduced to an old woman who introduced her to prostitution and conning money from rich men using charms.

She was taught forgiveness for her relatives and certain of a future in tailoring having learnt it for two years.

Kenneth Akena, a graduand in fisheries says he joined the street aged 12 years because his uncle and other relatives disowned him, asking him to look for his family. Currently he is 31 years old.

Akena recalls having eaten chicken intestines to live, collecting scraps before joining drug abusers and eventually becoming a thug.

“At some point, when we went to steal, all my colleagues ran away and I was arrested and beaten by mob. He only opted out of stealing and joined scrap collecting, but this time in Kampala because there are other older people on the streets in the city.”

Denis Odongpiny, the Resident City Commissioner (RCC) Gulu urged the graduands to be honest, hardworking and determined to succeed as they enter the job world.

Odongpiny says, most times after graduating, most graduands tend to relax and begin complaining of lack of work without looking for work they studied.

“The reason why the Acholi sub-region was recently ranked the poorest is because most of our youths are lazy yet they make unnecessary demands, less we change that, we will not be able to fight poverty,” Odongpiny says.

The training graduands underwent an examination by the Directorate of Industrial Training.

Already, 200 new street children have been enrolled for the same program under Favour of God Ministries.

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