Pat the Child

Aid organisation in southern Uganda
Foto: Pat the Child drama group
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By Fred Kaggwa, Programme Director.
Although Pat the Child was registered as a non-profit organization only in 1995, the initiative was started in 1992 by Livingstone Zziwa who resecured one Pasikali Serwada after he was badly beaten by his aunt, who accused him of stealing her cabbage. Pasikali was still a young boy at 8 years of age. Livingstone brought Pesikali at our parents' home which was a children loving family. Our mother counseled him but he refused to go back to his aunt's home fearing further punishment. He stayed at our parents' home for three years, when unfortunately our mother died. After those years, he could not go to school anymore because our mother was paying his school fees.

We discovered that Pesikali was far from the only one unable to go to school. As a result of HIV/ Aids, many children have been orphaned with nobody to take care of them, forcing older children to stay home and look after the young ones. Thus there were many drops out due to school fees. I started a carpentry work shop at my home, and started collecting children who had dropped out of school due to school fees and started to teach them carpentry and joinery. Children with the most horrifying backgrounds joined our group. One, Ssenyonjo Davis, was brought to my home after having been thrown in a toilet by her mother, which had left his eyes severely damaged.

In order to systematically fight the spreading HIV epidemic and common problems like child abuse, we started the organization Pat the Child. Since 1995, Pat the Child has greatly contributed to the positive, social and spiritual transformation of thousands of poor people. This has been mainly pursued through promotion of poverty eradication programs, fighting of HIV/Aids and its impacts among the most vulnerable groups, humanitarian support, community development, health interventions as well as advocacy and lobbying for social- economic rights among the poor.

T To improve our capacity, Pat the Child continues to work with SYPO and Counterpart Travels, based in Holland.

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