Nakazibwe says according to the Principal Children’s Act, the parents are supposed to perform the primary role of caring for the children, not organisations
Nakazibwe (left) attending to some of the participants during the workshop. Photo by Noah Jagwe
Parents have been asked to stop expecting organisations and other entities to look after their children.
Wakiso district probation officer and welfare officer, Mary Nakazibwe said a number of parents have deliberately given up the responsibility of looking after their children when they realise organisations can offer help.
Nakazibwe says according to the Principal Children’s Act, the parents are supposed to perform the primary role of caring for the children, not the organisations, government or the probations officers.
“The primary role is with you the parents’. The Government only intervenes in the absence of the parent,” Nakazibwe said. Places other than families are not appropriate for raising children, she added.
Under the Constitution Article 31(4) the probations officers are given responsibility over any child only when parents or relatives have refused to fulfil their responsibility.
This was revealed during a family empowerment workshop of already resettled children to encourage parents understand their responsibilities and roles to their children held at Namirembe Church.
George Sekalala, the programme officer of African Hearts Organisation noted that they are challenged that after removing the children from streets and transitioning them, the parents don’t want to allow them back home.
Mistreatment, poverty, domestic violence and alcoholism were cited as major contributing factors for children who abandon their homes.
The organisation last year rescued close to 45 children and settled 39 and this year ending 28 out of the 43 children around streets of Kisenyi, Mengo and Kampala have been taken back to their respective homes and families.
Sekalala said they looked for the families of the former children and reunited them with their parents. This was after making bonding visits to the respective homes.
“We encourage and make parents know that it is their responsibility to take care of their children,” he said.
Kampala city probation officer Peter Mayanja Lwanga cautioned parents against giving birth yet they are not ready to look after the children.
“We should not bear children for organisations to take care of. Children do not belong to organizations and probation officers, let organizations just come in to help,” Mayanja said.