By Cecilia Okoth
A New Vision child rights reporter has featured on a CNN documentary dubbed 'African Voice.' The documentary about Gladys Kalibbala who writes a weekly column 'Lost Children' in the Saturday Vision newspaper has been showing since Friday and ends today.
In the documentary, Kalibbala shows how her column has helped many children in Uganda reunite with their families.
"I get the children from the Central Police Station (CPS) where they have been abandoned by their care takers. Some of the children simply run away from home to escape the harsh conditions they face," she says.
She says over the last six years, she has supported families that are unable to educate their children and partnered with some schools to offer to educate the abandoned children.
"I have grown to be attached to these children. Some of them call me mother while others call me grandmother and this alone brings joy to my heart,"she says. She narrates that she joined journalism after losing her job as a civil servant and has since not looked back.
Kalibbala has received both national and international awards for candidly and empathically addressing issues helpless children who are always stranded at police stations, streets and babies homes.
According to United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Uganda has an estimated 10,000 street children.
Kalibbala who writes a weekly column 'Lost Children' in the Saturday Vision
In the documentary, Kalibbala highlights her best experience during her journey towards helping children to rescuing a set of quadruplets whose mother was helpless and father ran away from the family. With the help of other good Samaritans, we were able to construct them a better house and took the children to school. The children have since grown up and are in perfect health," she narrates.
Another incident she recalls is of a boy who was abandoned by his father for having a big swelling that deformed his face. "Everyone said he had cancer and that he would not make it but surprisingly, after an operation that lasted several hours, the deformity had since gone," Kalibbala explains.
Kalibbala said she wants to start up a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) called Touch my neighbor, that will look after lost children in the country.
More statistics reveal that the rate at which children are abandoned in the city is alarming and Child care facilities in the city are over stretched by the high number of abandoned children.
CNN identified Kalibbala during Jessica Yu's documentary feature "Misconception," in New York in which she featured. Misconception details not only the growing world population that threatens the Earth's resources, but also the underappreciated impact it will have on humanity.
Mishael Teriyeitu, the in charge Child and Family Protection Unit Lugazi Police station describes Kalibbala as a very helpful woman who has helped counsel children who are sexually abused and endeavors to get new homes for homeless children.
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