All Kampala's street children lack everyday needs - they have no safe shelter, access to education and healthcare, or adequate nutrition – but girls are especially vulnerable. 77% of girls who live on Kampala’s streets have been forced into modern slavery, 73% have experienced some form of sexual abuse or unwanted pregnancy and all lack access to necessary sanitary pads.
However Retrak’s Bulamu Transition Centre is giving these girls hope. The centre provides them with a safe and hygienic space to sleep, access to education, medical care and counselling sessions, and most importantly offers services and tools to equip them for a healthy and happy future life away from the streets. In 2015 Bulamu helped to refer 61 girls for specialist medical care and reintegrated 71 girls to safe and secure family settings away from the dangers of Kampala’s streets.
Yet from November, when current funding ends, Bulamu’s services are under threat. Retrak no longer has an adequate source of funding to cover the £5500 per month operational costs to run the centre.
There are limited choices for young girls living on the street in Kampala and it is vital that Retrak, through the Bulamu Transition Centre, can continue to provide support to these vulnerable children. Many of the girls who stay at Bulamu are referred to us by the police and without the centre their best alternative would be to stay in cells at the police compound, however these remain inappropriate locations for young children. For girls unwilling or unable to stay with the police they have no option but to remain on Kampala’s streets, risking being forced into modern slavery or smuggled into prostitution where sexual abuse, unwanted pregnancies and HIV/AIDS is widespread.
To maintain the centre we are looking to raise £16,500 in eight weeks. This money would cover three months’ worth of costs for running the centre and allow us time to find a more sustainable income solution.
For us it’s simple: no girl should be forced to live on the streets. Please help us continue to drastically change the lives of these vulnerable girls and keep Bulamu Girls Transition Centre running.