Fergus Moran Award 2015
THE Fergus Moran Award is the honour given to a former street child, to remember 12-year-old Fergus, an avid supporter of our charity, who died after contracting a lung infection in November 2008. Fergus came to know Retrak following a TV documentary on street children, and since his tragic death, Fergus’ family have continued fundraising for our organisation in his name.
Retrak created the award to honour Fergus’ family and his memory and, this year, seven senior staff members met and considered the 2015 recipient. After much discussion about the positive attributes upheld by the children currently attending the three Kampala drop-in centres, staff finally agreed it had to be 12-year-old ‘Mutubazi’ (name changed – pictured below).
Mutubazi was staying with his father and stepmother at the time he left home. This was after the separation of the parents when he was just at a tender age due to domestic violence. Sadly, though his father remarried, the torture and mistreatment from the current stepmother made him feel insecure and afraid and not able to do his schooling, so he felt forced to run away from home. He struggled and suffered on the street in Jinja and influenced by other street, decided to walk to Kampala.
Whilst on the street, Mutubazi engaged in difficult behaviours including fighting, sniffing aviation fuel, pick-pocketing, using abusive language (as evidenced by his early encounters with the social workers). He survived by scavenging and feeding from the bins of busy restaurants in Kampala. His street life was made even tougher after he engaged in a fight with a peer which left his eye damaged. It was at this time that he was brought to Retrak’s Club house for medical support.
A new start:
Since he joined the Retrak programme three months ago, Mutubazi has stood out to be a smart, kind-hearted, hard-working and an open-minded child. He is also very social with other children and the staff. At little shy at first, Mutubazi now fully participates in catch-up classes since he is so interested in learning. He also loves drawing and painting and is so amazingly clean! He even encourages others to clean and keep up with hygiene.
He says at first he struggled with facing up to his challenges at home. The social workers are counselling his father and stepmother to ensure a safe environment and confirm that Mutubazi can really return to school in his village. Now he is preparing himself to go back home and take on his educational dream. Mutubazi sits on the children council leadership team and also was nominated a class monitor in the catch-up class.
Drop-in centre manager Prossie (pictured below) said: “It is not surprising that it is Mutubazi is being nominated for this award, he is a great role model for the other children.”