Samantha was 12 years old when Hope Street found her living on the street. Here is her story.
Samantha is from a very large family; she is the youngest of six children! While she was still young her father passed away from AIDS.
Suddenly a widow, Samantha’s mother had no means for survival. She began to look for another husband – most widows remarry rather quickly in her culture. Unfortunately for Samantha and her siblings, their Mother’s new husband lived in the neighboring country of Congo. Their mother wasn’t able to take the children to her new husband’s family, so Samantha and her five siblings were left in Uganda to fend for themselves.
Three of the children disappeared rather quickly, their whereabouts still unknown. The most likely explanation for their disappearance would point to child traffickers. Samantha remained with her older sister, but with no means for provision the older sister soon joined a prostitution gang in a neighboring district. At just 11 years old, Samantha was all alone and found herself living on the street.
She slept on a shop’s verandah on the street, under the protective eye of a night-time security guard.
Despite her young age, Samantha found a job baby-sitting for a woman in town. The woman exploited Samantha, paying her no money and only providing food in exchange for the labour. But Samantha was grateful even for food. She slept on a shop’s verandah on the street, under the protective eye of a night-time security guard. She had no money for medical care or warm winter clothes, and she had no hope for education or a future.
Samantha was 12 years old when Hope Street found her; a prime target for traffickers. She moved into our safe home and was immediately adopted into the Hope Street family. She started school in March of 2013, and with lots of tutoring and support at home she slowly caught up to her peers.
Samantha’s teachers have ear-marked her as a leader.
Now, two and a half years later, Samantha is 15 years old and is excelling in school. She came top in her class for English! She loves practising her English over Skype with us in New Zealand. She also loves dancing, singing, netball and drama. Samantha’s teachers have ear-marked her as a leader. She certainly is a leader around the Hope Street campus! We’re very proud of our girl, she’s amazing. We can’t wait to see where the future takes her!
Samantha playing the drums
Samantha in her new dress