"Our target as well is to lobby government to boost education in Karamoja as a means of reducing the numbers of Karamojong children living on the streets."
MP Cecilia Ogwal arrives at Parliament on Monday for the flagging off ceremony. (Credit: Kennedy Oryema)
JOURNEY OF HOPE
Walkers taking part in the 'Journey of Hope' campaign, an initiative that amongst other things involves a 17-day 467km walk from Kampala to Napak district in Karamoja, were flagged off at Parliament on Monday.
The walkers moved for about 20km and had a rest in Mukono.
The walkers set off at Parliament on Monday July 31, 2017.
The walkers preparing to set off
Dokolo MP Cecilia Ogwal flagged off the walk at Parliament
The walkers, led by Rita Nkemba, the poster-child of the campaign that seeks to reverse the flow of child trafficking and unsafe migration from Karamoja, were flagged off by Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Ogwal.
The group will arrive in Lomaratoit village, Napak district on August 16.
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony, Ogwal commended Dwelling Places, the Christian NGO behind the campaign, for working hard to bring new leases of life to Karamoja street children.
"The people at Dwelling Places have through their initiatives been a beacon of hope for many Karimojong street children. They have set an example that many should emulate," she said.
With the Journey of Hope campaign, Nkemba is hoping to raise sh500m -- funds that will amongst other things go into financing initiatives aimed at keeping Karamojong children off the streets and enrolling them into school.
"The purpose of this year's Journey of Hope is to bring to the fore the plight of children living on the streets. We want the public to know that they can contribute to keeping children off the streets by supporting them in school," said Nkemba.
"Our target as well is to lobby government to boost education in Karamoja as a means of reducing the numbers of Karimojong children living on the streets and KCCA to provide space within the KCCA schools for education for children living on the streets of Kampala from other parts of Uganda in a bid to reduce the trauma and improve the current KCCA rescue methods."
Nkemba reveals that sh300m of the targetted sh500m will cater for the construction and equipping works at Lomaratoit Primary School in Napak, a school set up by the government ahead of the 2007 CHOGM summit.
Lomaratoit village was set up by the government in that year to resettle Karamojong street children and adults.
Nkemba says the focus is on Napak because 90% of Kampala's Karimojong street children (often the victims of child trafficking and unsafe migration) emanate from there.