“When my daughter passed on, I sadly had to send my granddaughter to the babies’ home because I did not have the means to care for her. Seeing her return to us today, I feel like a piece of my daughter is back!” Joy’s grandmother told us, with tears in her eyes.
Three-year-old Joy was referred to Smile Africa Ministries (SAM) in April 2014. After her mother passed away, Joy’s relatives felt she could receive better education, food, and medical care in an orphanage. Joy was referred to our partner Smile Africa Ministries where she stayed for close to three years.
When Child’s i Foundation approached Smile Africa Ministries with the proposal for family based care alternatives for the children in their care, Joy was one of the first children to be identified as eligible for reunification. Our Social Work Team in Tororo carried out a child and family assessment to identify family that could care for her. Luckily, an aunt was found and arrangements were made for Joy’s reunification with her family. The aunt, who is also taking care of Joy’s three older siblings, pledged her commitment to giving the little girl the best possible care and support.
One month later, Joy is excited to be home, and her bond with her siblings is growing stronger each day. She is making new friends in the neighbourhood too, and meeting more extended family. It is good to know that Joy will not spend the rest of her childhood days in an orphanage, but rather in a loving and safe community with people and a culture that will shape her as she grows up. She will have an identity, mentorship and the support system she needs to grow into productive adult life. The SAM social work department will maintain a close relationship with Joy’s family, offering them all the necessary support to ensure that she is thriving.
We are so thankful to Smile Africa Ministries for working alongside us to ensure a bright future for Uganda’s children.