- Posted August 31, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Saved by Music.
Located in Mbale town Eastern Uganda is a group of former street children depending on music to change their lives for better. It started in 2009 by a young and passionate man called FREDRICK KYEWALYANGA to help get street children off the streets of Mbale through Music.
With a brass band and Modern African cultural dance troupe, Fredrick named the group Elgon Youth Brass Band and got it registered as a Youth Community based organization. Many of these children run from home and end up on the streets of Mbale with different reasons which include: mistreatment by parents, poverty in families, death or separation of parents, drug and forms of child abuse have been responsible for the increased number of unemployed and street children. Once Fredrick picks these children from the streets they always have stories to tell him explaining how hard it is to leave on the street, take un example of Henry a 14 year old explaining his story…..
When Henry was 10, his father passed away, leaving his family in poverty. Shortly after, Henry ran away from home, hoping to find a better life on the streets. Instead, he fell into a life of drug abuse and violence, begging to survive at bus stops in Mbale. Life was not easy as I thought it would be he says. He always walked around in town looking for scrap metals which he would sale to scrap dealers and got a few coins to buy food for himself!
He adds; when one needed a spot to sleep on verandas of shops and ‘’protection’’ while on the street, you had to obey what the big boys asked of you to do. He was sodomized a long with the other boys of his age, beaten, and this went on and on and on until he joined the group of Elgon Youth Brass Band. Because Fredrick helped to get him off the street and become a band member, today Henry can play sweet music from his trumpet before an audience, can show his talent, confidence, and can respect himself as a worthy citizen. The music and song encapsulate the well-being of children, proclaim powerful messages, reach families and address the violence that children meet on the street or in their homes. With support from kind people, the children in the group are offered chance to play, encouraged to attend school and are given help in planning their future.
Through the group, many children have been happily reunited with their parents and more wait to be reunited after going through rehab then the hunt for their homes will start under the group’s BACK TO MY ROOTS programme.
Fredrick’s Vision is to create a youth development centre (Elgon Youth Development Centre) with the aim of Reviving the hopes of disadvantaged children by creating opportunities for them to be skilled, self sufficient and productive. He needs support.