Uganda is one of the Africa’s most rapidly urbanizing countries, with a population of 37 million. Uganda has the world’s second youngest population after Niger. Kampala, the capital of Uganda leads with prominent slums. There are about 3.5 million Ugandans living in slums today. The majority of the slum’s population comes from the war-torn zones of Northern Uganda, Congo DR, South Sudan, Burundi and Rwanda. Some from their rural homes to escape poverty, others have migrated from Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia and Ethiopia. There is a high birth rate in the slum.
Male residents usually do not have any choice but to become day laborers, hawkers, domestic workers in the middle-class areas or the city center, and sometimes get involved in other risky professions, like pick-pocketing, drug-selling or selling sex. Women are particularly vulnerable to the pandemic, as commercial sex is often their only option.
For a child in a slum, life is simply a dull pain. There are no joys, no future and no hope, unless there is a miraculous intervention… Most of them do not go to school. Uganda has 2.5 million orphans; 1.2 million are orphaned by AIDS.
The income for the families depends on how much each child is able to beg for each day. The money is used to buy food and to pay for rent in the squalid slum area in which the families live. Many of the children and parents spend their nights living in small makeshift structures in the slum in downtown Kampala. They have no mattress or bedding and sleep on the floor. Each child is expected to pay 300 shillings for a night spent in the dilapidated, leaking, overcrowded rooms.