The Slum Run is a unique event held both in Uganda and in the UK concurrently, where people run to support children growing up in the slums of Kampala. It was born out of the ideas of Butterfly Project member Francis Ssuuna, now 18, and the runners in Uganda are mainly from his athletics club, known as Project Circulate.
He called it “Circulate” because he believed it helped the blood circulate around the body, but also because the runners actually trained on a circular circuit, which Francis and another Butterfly Project member, Samuel Lubangakene devised. The slum circuit is 2km and on the day of the run, the young athletes will run five circuits or 10,000m.
We have devised a very similar road circuit in Small Heath, Birmingham, also of 2km and we also encourage others to set up a similar run in their area and invite people interested in the welfare of children living in Uganda to sponsor them to run (or walk) 1 – 5 circuits.
This year we are also partnering with Boys’ Brigade, Birmingham, to support their work amongst disadvantaged youth in Birmingham and their runners will be running not just for Uganda, but for equivalent youth in Britain.
In Uganda we have 25 runners, including four girls for the first time, who will be running the circuit. We need to find £25 to sponsor each runner, which will cover:
- A Slum Run T shirt
- Educational support (£15)
- Food and water before, during and after the run
- Running shoes
If you would like to support our runners, then click below for Paypal.
***THE FIRST £1000 IN SPONSORSHIP WILL BE MATCHED – SO FOR EVERY £1 YOU DONATE, WE WILL RECEIVE £2***
Over the forthcoming weeks, we will be introducing you to our runners and we encourage you to find one, which you would like to find out more about. Every child is a member of the Chrysalis Centre and we support them in a variety of ways:
1. Every member can come to the open clubs that we have on Sunday afternoons.
2. Every member can attend a weekly club, tailored to their specific talents
3. Full members can use the centre computers and many are registered on Funtyper, a wonderful programme that makes learning to type competitive and fun.
4. Some members take part in specialist ICT training or are invited to attend workshops in Kampala, tailored to thier individual abilities, whether it is dance, drama, ICT, sport, creativity and art or music, for example.
All the children live in or near the Acholi Quarter slum district, an area given to families fleeing from Joseph Kony, during the war in Northern Uganda. Most have seen incredible hardship and it is rare that our members are able to attend school, without some level of support. A recent survey showed that only 1 in our 40 runners had school shoes and most were missing books and pens, even if they were being sponsored for their school fees.
So, we hope you follow this project as it builds over the next few weeks. There will be many photographs and even films of the children as they prepare for the run.
Lastly, if you would like to contact us, then please write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Chrysalis Youth Empowerment Network is the charity managing the Slum Run, so donations will attract gift aid,
SPONSORSHIP FORMS AVAILABLE HERE OR EMAIL SOCENTAFRICA@GMAIL.COM WITH THE HEADING “SPONSORSHIP FORMS”.
Hello, My name is Joseph Otim and I am 14. My brother Samuel is a member of the Butterfly Project and we both live in the Acholi Quarters, where we live with our father. I have never written a blog before, so I thought I would just write about the place we live.
Acholi quarter is the slum that is in hilly area and it has very many people. This is not a good thing because it makes caring out proper sanitation difficult and as a result, there are high chances of getting diseases. The worst thing is that they don’t have enough hospitals and they are charged too much money of which they cannot afford. That is why Acholi quarters have very many people suffering from different illnesses.
Most people in Acholi quarter do work in the stone quarry which is not good because it is not a good source of income. A person goes in the morning and comes back in the evening and that person comes home with only two (50p) or five thousand (£1.25) not enough for a day. That is why people in Acholi quarters are not rich and it also means that they must work every day. The stone quarry is not good place o work in because it can damage people’s bodies causing death easily.
Apart from working in the stone quarry, some people in Acholi quarters do some work like making chapattis. This is not a bad job because is easy to set up., but the bad thing is that it does not generate enough income. Also, some people sell food. They cook food in the day and sell it in the evening.
Houses in Acholi quarters are not built well because they are poorly planned. People just build their houses any how and as a result most people have no toilets and they dispose their waste in the rubbish pits and unfinished houses. As a result disease can spread here. Also they don’t have good builders, which means the houses can fall down.
Some parents in Acholi quarters drink alcohol. Drinking alcohol is a bad thing to do because it takes a lot of income which can result in family break up. Some parents in Acholi quarters who take alcohol mostly don’t take care of their children and as a result their children end up picking scrap metals. Metal picking is not a good work for the children because it makes the children to become thieves and they end up stealing their parents and neighbours’ saucepans and other metallic materials. Metal picking can also lead to getting some diseases became some children pick metal from the rubbish pit where there are a lot of germs.
Most children in Acholi quarters don’t go to school because they want to pick metals and others don’t go to school because their parents have no money. Luckily some children are sponsored by an organisation.
Some parents in Acholi quarters do practice child abuse and one of them is child labour. Parents in Acholi quarters do practice child labour in the way that children are taken to stone quarry to work from the morning up to the evening without eating which is not good because it makes a child to end up in metal picking because he/she doesn’t work in the stone quarry.
Lastly Acholi quarters have no well constructed roads which is not good because it make transport difficult and road accidents can easily occur because of bad roads and as a result, there are few cars which pass from there.
I hope this helps you understand the place I live in.
My name is Charles Obuk and I have been a member of the Butterfly Project since January 2011 and have gained knowledge and skills to make me a changemaker. I live in a village in rural Agoro sub-county, which is in Lamwo District in Northern Uganda.
I am impressed to be a social entrepreneur and I am burning to be a changemaker as an international citizen. I am dreaming of mov
ing worldwide ro make sure that some changes are made for a better world. Besides that I want to be an agricultural extensionist in which I will apply the knowledge of creating change to develop my villages and other villages as well. More important that I would like to establish at least a relatively cheap schools for the village children in affordable condition.
And surely I believe I will create at least much more better changes in future, because so far I am struggling to create change through my Drama project, which I believe can do better. All in all I feel like this one is not enough and hence I would like to establish a big social project that will enahnce the development, thus changing our communities, country (Uganda) as well as the world, which lies on my dream to be an international citizen and changemaker.
That’s what I am working towards!
I want to be a social co-ordinative entrepreneur, who improves on the lives of people all over the world through encouraging agriculture and co-operative society business to fund children into school, which will overcome illiteracy and poverty (a changemaker).
I will also be the doctor and talks with the Ministry of Health to open up hospitals in undeveloped areas and the play a role in assisting to overcome the outbreak of unknown diseases and help to reduce the death rate of people in rural areas. Disease is the main thing in reducing on the level of African technology because skilled people are the ones dying.
A politician, an activist, a problem-solver in Uganda because I want to bring change to my country and also other worldwide countries, so as to see the ways to overcome corruption and use this to plan their development.
Before I also go further, I will also open up a business project to support the children who are not going to school and also the orphans who cannot support themselves, training them in the same way as I was trained. This means also training them how to start their own social project, as I was trained in the Butterfly Project, so they have deep-thinking capacity.
I am Nyeko Zisite and I have achieved social knowledge of how to overcome problems in the world . I will bring light where there is barbarism and darkness and want to spread light all over Africa, because good things are done in an open and light place.
I’m 15 and these are the plans I will be following dynamically.
My name is Lubangakene Samuel and I am one of the Butterfly Pioneer group members. I have a passion for and ability in art and athletics, especially swimming and running and I like to use this passion to create positive change in my community and the world at large and this led to me starting up a project which we have called the “Posho and Beans Campaign”.
The main objective for this project has been to try to encourage change in school meals and give children the chance to try different types of food, e.g. Chinese, Japanese and Indian food. And we also want to prevent diseases of malnutrition through children having a balanced diet.
The project has had some success and I was able to bring about changed meals in my current school. I was even able to help children from the slum try other types of food, especially Chinese food, cooked by me and another member of the project.
I have also been using art to support the project and the plan for the project is to produce calendars, which will be sold and will help publicise the need for food variety in schools. I plan to use the money from sales for a new project, which is about computer training and Play Station.
Most children in Uganda play fighting or sport games on the computer, but I am going to show them creative and puzzle games, which will help children to improve on their thinking and problem-solving skills. We have just started this in the last week.
In Uganda,village science is highly believed in mostly in most of the villages especially in the Ganda and in the northern part of the country.Village science includes the use of herbs and myths-magic to solve some of the problem affecting the people of the country.
Most people have use this system just because of the belief they have in it and because of the ancestral example shown to them.
Most of the people believe in this science to the extent of failing to go to hospitals for medication when they fall sick and instead they go and search for herbs in the bush and in some aspects,they even reach the extent of believing that the sicknesses result from witchcraft and hence they believe some diseases can be healed after going to witchdoctors.
Several examples of village science include;
1.People believe that dropping human urine in a sick ear can heal it!
2.People believe that if someone loses a beloved one and he fails to dig around the tomb atleast every month,then the soul of the deceased will soon return to punish him/her.
3.People believe that black jack juice(sere in Luganda) heals wounds!
4.Many people who have AIDs have failed to got the hospital for medication and instead they go to witch doctors to seek help and eventually,they die.
5.Did you know that when a baby is born here in the Ganda,after some months, he is taken to the witch or any elder to see whether it has big teeth(ebinnyo in Luganda) so that they are removed.Here they try to cut the gums of the young and they let some blood ooze from there and that there it will be done!!!!!!
6.Our elders in Kyamulama village-Lyantonde district don’t irrigate their crops that if they irrigate them, they won’t have a share of they i.e they will either be stolen or they will sell it of unknowingly!
7.They also believe that a certain plant roots called mululuuza in Luganda cures malaria. (See picture above)
8.What about concentrated acid curing toothache?Did you know that they also believe that?
Village science wouldn’t have been so bad since it worked for our ancestors and in some aspects it is still working but the extent at which it is believed in has become more dangerous resulting in death of people. However,this is not the way a hen is dressed,there are still options to take despite the fact that people don’t accept and they take everything to be ancestral.
Village science is still dominating in villages since people of the town have at least been to school and now know that diseases have causes and how to prevent them in order to be secure but in some instances, it is very hard to explain to a villager that there are germs that cause diseases yet since he/she was born, she had never heard of such a thing.This has become a problem resulting from illiteracy and arrogance where by many people never went to school to learn some science and so at their age, they must believe in what they saw when they were still young.
However,although some parents in these disadvantaged areas have tried to take their children to school,they still can’t believe in what their children tell them about what they learn and this is because culturally, it is not allow for the young to go against the elders’ knowledge.And some one who does so is said to be indisciplined.More so someone who tries to advise the elders is said to be ‘touching in their mouths’.So, to show a sign of respect, young ones must still listen to their elders and continue to believe in village science like their elders do. But all this taking the young ones to a false direction and in the wrong run,children and their future shall still die and from there, we pose a question;where shall we end with the impacts of village science arising from the ignorance and arrogance of our parents?
Getting back to the children themselves,they can’t stand to believe some circumstances that arise in their lives and so they still believe in magic and herbs despite the fact that they have gone to school.The whole of this does not stand on education but to fight village science,we can only begin from education and because there are a few educated people in the villages and the educated ones don’t believe in themselves,then the question shall stand still.
Observing the dependence rate of children on their parents, it is very clear that most of the children in Uganda are still depending on their parents especially financially and so it is very hard for them to ‘manipulate’ them behind the truth of advising.For example, many children get their school fees from their parents and in areas of UPE (Universal Primary Education) and USE (Universal Secondary Education), still the children’s scholastic materials are bought by the parents, many children are still fed daily by their parents,many children sleep in their parents’ houses and to the worst,some children depend on their parents in everything. Therefore,this create fear among the children and they lose the ability to talk to their parents about the dangers of village science and hence the issue shall still remain!
Surprisingly, the whole of the wrath is rotating on parents, who were also taught by their parents and they believe they are teaching future parents! The journey is still very long and we need to find a solution to the growing issue of village science.
However, there are many solutions to the problem only that we have not talked about them the truth is that better communication and internet will be the key
THE BLOG ON
The art for children rights project
Since I’m from the disadvantageous remote society where children rights are not well cared for and I am one of the children whose rights were not well cared for, I decided to start my own project THE ART FOR CHILDREN RIGHTS PROJECT. This project aims at helping the children from different part of the country not to go through the same problem I experienced. Actually the I went through the problems like child abuse in some circumstances like
1> Over beating and corporal punishments by the parents due to any little mistake in the home. This beating is sometimes caused due to the poverty of the family when the parents doesn’t want any annoying mistake and this makes them to harm the children by beating them
2> Over working the children for example doing the hard works like the quarry work. To be with the truth I myself was once the child working in the quarry site in Kalongo where I lived till my father passed away in 2009, so for this made me to start the project to improve on the right of the other children so that they don’t face the same forms of child abuse I went through.
To add on to that I also faced the problem of proper schooling. When my father passed away, in 2009 I sat for my PLE and in the other year 2010 I was supposed to go for senior school but I had no school fees so these problems made me to repeat the class in the village where Ben Parkinson found me and made me what I am today. For these I give him respect and honor together with thanks. I also thanking the sponsor of my project together with school sponsor for helping me and the project to advance, continue helping me and the project so that am able to make other children succeed in their lives and change the country
So, in this project I have managed to make the art pieces for children rights improvement and making the notice advocating about the children rights and also making the videos to sensitize people for better living of the children as the future of the country.
SOME OF THE FORMS OF CHILD ABUSES INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING
2>Defilement. This is the abusing of the child sexually by some older ones.
3>Child sacrifice. Is the process of offering the child to the witch doctors or the undersea gods in order to get riches. Some of the children are also beheaded by some of the sacrificers due to the demand of the witch doctors.
4>Raping. The issue of catching the child by force to have sex.
5> denial from schooling
6>denial from food
There are many rights each child possess in the country as follow:
Right to eat, schooling, right to good clothing, right to be close to the family members, right for proper medication,
SOME OF THE RESULTS OF CHILD ABUSE
Leads to the growth in the number of the street children because after being mistreated the child he or she will decide to leave the home
Child sacrifice leads to the death of the children before they reach their age of helping the parents and these denied the child life.
How the project is doing to advance the information over the communities to help sensitize the improvement of the children rights:
>>we always draw and paint the pictures concerning the child abuses in the communities and make some of the posters to teach the people on how to handle their children for their well being in the future, and also making some of the collages or kind of craft works to make our works easier as shown below.
So, in the above crafts we come up with different forms of child abuses to teach the people in the community examples.
This shows the drunkard father. Drunkardness always leads to very many home misunderstanding like
Divorce in the home between man and the woman (parents) and this makes the child to fear living in the home and also denial of the child. So for this makes no proper care to the child.
This shows the man seriously beating the child for the single mistake and the child is asking for forgiveness
This shows the child being given heavy load which is not good for the health of the child.
This show a man abusing the child sexually which is defilement case.
This shows the child being sacrificed by the parent having the knife in the hand to kill him in order to get wealth.
This shows the child herding the cattle in the bush instead of going to the school. This means he has been denied schooling.
This shows the child with the fingers being burnt because of stealing the 1000 shillings [25p/15c]. This practice are always done by the step parents of the child.
>>we also advanced to start making the videos with the kids of Acholi quarter to tell some of their life stories on how they are mistreated in any form of child abuse in the community he or she is living.
We are also looking forward to starting the writing of the articles and sending to the news paper to make the information from the project advance to the other parts of the country to make the people from different parts also understand about the project so as to make them support the children around them.
On top of that I as the manager of the project also started to make some sensitization in the village where I live and some understanding people are very happy for them. Some children in the village also became confident to talk over their rights in the communities they live.
IF YOU ARE THE ONE CONCERN IN THE COMMUNITY EXAMPLE LC 1 [local council chair person] WHAT WOULD YOU DO FOR THE IMPROVEMENT ON THE CHILDREN RIGHTS?
PLEASE LET’S JOINT HAND TOGETHER FOR THE CHILDREN
PLEASE SUPPORT THIS PROJECT TO MAKE CHILDREN RIGHT AND LIVES EASY FOR SUCCESS IN THE FUTURE
CHANGE IS ME,
IT’S YOU, IT’S US.