Naggayi is a teacher by profession. She was left to care for her niece Mercy, following a life changing accident in 2020, which left Naggayi’s sister unable to care or provide for her children.
During the 2nd wave of Covid-19 in 2021, Naggayi and her family had to go into lockdown with the rest of the country. Like many other families, hers was also overwhelmed with the situation, forcing her to make the difficult decision of giving up her niece to an orphanage, which she felt was the best decision at the time.
Our Social Worker, Hildah Nabbosa, was supporting the orphanage where Naggayi’s niece was living to transition her back into the family home.
She approached Naggayi to discuss the possibility of returning her niece back to their family. At first, this did not settle well with Naggayi. She was very worried, she would not cope, let alone provide for her niece.
A big part of Hildah’s role as a Social Worker is to support the parents through awareness and education on the impact of child separation. The Social Work team also emphasised the importance and longterm benefits children have when they are raised in a stable and loving family.
As part of the transition process, the Social Work team also engaged the management through training and mentorship to explain the importance of children growing up with their families. An added benefit was the support from the orphanage, as they agreed to support this awareness for the community.
Our ACTIVE Family support model enables us to use a strength-based approach as we work alongside families by addressing 5 key wellbeing domains:
- Living conditions
- Family and social relationships
- Physical and mental health
- Household economy.
For Naggayi, household economy or economic strengthening, following the impact of the lockdown measures, were a priority.
She continued to share her reflections with us: “I advise parents to raise their children so that they are able to nurture and teach good behaviour…so that they meet and know their relatives and learn good social skills, because these are things an institution doesn’t teach. Children are confined in an institution and this does not give a chance for learning, growth, and development,” shared Naggayi.
At Child’s i, we believe that all children should and can grow up in a family.
We work to prevent the unnecessary separation of children from their families, whilst addressing root causes of family separation, such as violence in the home, parental illness and death, access to social services, and poverty.
We support orphanages to safely transition children into families and communities, and where we can, transform their services for children, families and the wider community, to prevent separation in the first place.
We demonstrate how families can be strengthened, how to develop alternative families for those children who are unable to return to their parents and how to support young people to live independently.