My name is Angella Nagaddya 28 years old, single mother of 2, pursuing a Degree in Social work at Nsamizi Institute in Mpigi District. I work as a Manager of the Community Learning Centre at Kammengo Sub County, a Community Facilitator, and a teacher of Adult Education.
Before becoming a Community Volunteer, I was a Volunteer at a government development project, and also worked as a youth representative at Lunyerere LC1. With this background, I observed how children’s affairs were reported and handled and I wanted to be part of it.
There were very many cases of child abuse in my community and this increased vulnerability of children. In addition, parents and the community were not aware of the reporting structures. With this background, I wanted to change the way people treated children in my community.
Most children were abused by their parents, others were not in school. Besides, I love children and I wanted to make a difference in my community.
One of my biggest achievements is that I have sensitized parents about child abuse. I have involved authorities when parents fail to comply with the law, as a member of CDN we have mobilised support for parents who cannot afford scholastic materials.
My personal life motivates me; I’m a single parent and I had a challenging childhood. I don’t want to see other children experience what I experienced and this drives my zeal every day to work hard and have a favourable environment where children grow and learn as children.
Volunteership is more rewarding, many organisations have picked me up to support other projects. The trust they have in me makes me achieve personal and work goals. I have learnt a lot from different people and I will not stop.
The most interesting part of my work is associating with people from different levels. This has helped me learn from society and has improved my skills in counselling and guidance, the elderly have also guided me in life skills that have been implemented in my personal life.
The challenges we face are when we approach parents and they give wrong information about children. For instance, they tell us the wrong ages so that their children fit in the projects and this makes it hard to implement some activities because they are not age-appropriate.
People have high expectations from organisations and this increases poverty levels because they do not want to work. Most parents are selfish, they want to gain more than their children.
Police sabotaging the reporting structures and making follow-up and intervention hard. This is my appeal to law enforcers to do their job so that children have a safe environment to grow.
Fellow parents, love your children beyond anything else. Stand and be a decision-maker and be confident that you can provide everything your child needs.
In addition, do not take your children to institutions because you do not know what they are trained to adopt in institutions. Let a child adopt family values and culture to have a sense of belonging.
Parents of children living with disability should love and treat all children equally because disability is not an omen.
Looking forward, with support from Child’s i, I would love to address the harm of child labor and the importance of education for children. I appeal to all parents to work hard and have their children in school.
Children are a community’s responsibility, let’s all stand together and advocate for children’s rights. It is everyone’s responsibility in the community to control child abuse. It’s a collective effort. It may not be the ultimate solution but it is a step towards equal rights for children.
All children belong to the community.