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Friday,August 07,2020 03:40 AM

Naguru Remand Home gets support

By John Odyek

Added 22nd October 2018 12:38 PM

Shiela Koborungi, president of the group in a press conference on Saturday said their support will include creating awareness in society about creating hope for the children after serving their sentences and being rehabilitated.

Naguru Remand Home gets support

Shiela Koborungi, president of the group in a press conference on Saturday said their support will include creating awareness in society about creating hope for the children after serving their sentences and being rehabilitated.

The Institute for National Transformation Family Group has partnered with the Naguru Remand Home to provide support for the rehabilitation of children who have faced crime related problems.

Shiela Koborungi, president of the group in a press conference on Saturday said their support will include creating awareness in society about creating hope for the children after serving their sentences and being rehabilitated.

The function took place at the Home at Naguru, Kampala. "When the children come out of the remand home after committing offences, we want society to help raise them up and not label them as liars, thieves and criminals. Children should have hope after rehabilitation," Koborungi said.

Mary Kyomugisha, in charge Naguru Remand Home explained that the role of the home was custody, care of children and producing them in court. The children sent to the home are of criminally liable age of between 12 to 17 years.

They are looked after by the department of youth and children affairs under the Ministry of Labour, Gender and Social Development.

Kyomugisha said the numbers of children in homes was high, standing at 155, of which 149 are boys while nine are girls. The centre has 15 staff members with four more expected to be recruited.

The main cases the children are involved are of theft, robbery and aggravated defilement. When they are charged in court they serve a maximum sentence of three years under the child friendly justice system. The sentences are served at the National Rehabilitation Centre in Kampiringisa, Mpigi district.

The children also have access to free lawyers provided by the Uganda Law Society, Free Child Uganda and the Legal Aid Clinic from the Law Development Centre.

Kyomugisha noted that many of the children are led to crimes due to anger and lack of care arising from broken families. She added that some children are used by their parents to commit crimes such as theft for family survival.

She appealed for practical support from the public in form of medical support, vocational training, education, sports equipment and food.

She commended Pius Bigirimana, permanent secretary Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development for being very instrumental in the successful operation of the home.

Ivy Irene Nakalyango, a member of the group said many children make mistakes on their journey to adulthood but fortunately for some the elders and responsible adults or parents have been available to help.

"Unfortunately for many children at the Home, the case is a sad and a different one. Many have been forced into crime because of a number of reasons such as poverty, societal peer gangs, the presence of drugs and drug-related violence in their communities," Nakalyango said.

She said society needs to understand the root causes of juvenile crime, what needs to be done to avert this challenge and provide support for the young people at home.

During the press conference Dan Robert Bbaale, who once lived in the remand home said children can change if they are given care, love, believed in and supported.

Bbaale said good hearted people helped him out and he is graduating next year with a Bachelor's degree in ethics and human rights from Makerere University. "Change is possible. A child can come out of this bad life style. After reform the society does not reform their view of the children," Bbaale said.

Kakyo Doreen Mpuuga, a member of the group said broken families were leading to the rise of juvenile crimes. Mpuuga said in their group of 12 members they want to see how the children can be helped. "Many are repeat offenders and this can be stopped," Mpuuga said. She appealed to the public not to stigmatise the children at the Home after they were released.

Edith Tumwine, another member of the group said some parents send their children to hawk on the streets which is not good for the children. Tumwine said in their group they are seeking to be national transformers by making a positive contribution to society.

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