Watoto Mtaani Center

Shule Foundation, Jackie Wolfson, street kids, Uganda, Kisenyi, education, drop in center, rehabilitation , transitional home

About the Watoto Mtaani Center

Home to 20 former street children, ages 9 to 16, for a period of six months each, the 11-bedroom Watoto Mtaani Center serves as an interim house and bridge between street and home life, providing the necessary timeline for each individual child to begin healing from the trauma of street life and substance use. Sitting on over an acre of land in Bweyogerere, our kids have lots of room to run around and be kids again.

During their time in the center, the children detox, receive counseling and medical treatment, attend English and math classes, and participate in various extra-curricular activities —yoga, boxing, dance, soccer and board games— all the while receiving lots of love and encouragement from our highly trained. Read more about the day in the life of a Shule child here.

Learn more about our Skills Training Center and Outreach Program here.

What We Do!

Our program tackles the major problems of hopelessness, impulsivity, anxiety issues and emotional instability among the children. These are problems most often found in children engaging in substance use. We motivate, encourage, and instill self-belief in the children.

Street Visits 
Our team participates in street visits several times a week to engage with the street kids and identify new arrivals. During these visits we interact with the children one-on-one, discuss children’s rights, offer counseling, medical care, pay for them to shower and deliver food.

Rehabilitation and Counseling
Our social workers work with the children while they live with us, providing counseling and guidance both on a group and individual basis. They discuss issues such as substance use, peer influence, HIV/AIDS, problems at home, and conflict resolution.

Outreach, Family Counseling, Resettlement, Reconciliation
Family reunification and resettlement is integral to our program. We take children off the streets and instill a sense of belonging, treating each case as unique and tailoring our work to the individual. Through family mapping and interviews we identify the best caregiver to ensure a safe and loving home.

Emergency and Medical Care
Exposed to violent, harmful and unhealthy situations, children turn to substance use to reduce pain. Doctors will facilitate minor surgeries to treat septic wounds, deep cuts, jiggers, and chronic illnesses. Our partners at Naguru Hospital examine our kids for substance use and diseases. All children receive HIV/AIDS testing and deworming.

Education Sponsorship
Education is the cornerstone of our program — lack of access to proper schooling is a key factor in children remaining in street life. Our goal is to spark interest in learning, build fundamental skills and navigate a path to a better future. Upon completion of our program, we help each child determine their best educational path.

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