13-year-old Ugandan twin brothers Malimo* and Musawo* are out of harm’s way and together again, after being at risk of trafficking while sleeping rough.
The boys cried tears of joy and hugged when they were reunited by Hope for Justice, at one of our Lighthouses, where we are helping them recover from their experiences.
The twins were previously at school, but after Covid-19 forced schools to close, they fell in with the wrong crowd. Their new friends told them their lives would be much happier in the city, where they could get well-paid jobs.
The boys ran away from home. But they didn’t find jobs, and lived on the streets; frightened and at risk of exploitation.
After a month, they were separated when police found Musawo and brought him to one of our Lighthouses. Worried for his brother, Musawo refused to eat and would cry throughout the night. Two weeks later, a kind passer-by brought Malimo, who was afraid that his brother was in prison, to us.
For about a month, we have cared for the boys, providing support, medical care and counselling. We have also offered life skills training and catch-up lessons to prepare the boys for their return to school.
The twins are now far more confident, happier and enjoy playing games with the other children. Malimo said: “I couldn’t believe that I could be helped. The team are very respectful and listen to children.”
Meanwhile, we also worked to find and contact the boys’ parents, who were relieved and happy to hear they were safe. We are working with the parents to plan a safe future for the family. The boys are looking forward to returning home soon.
*Names have been changed to protect survivors’ identities