In Uganda, Missionary Nun Determined To Tackle Child Begging

Children begging on the streets of Kampala, the capital of Uganda. (Credit: Stock image.)

A Comboni missionary nun in Uganda who’d been out of the country for ten years recently returned to discover a widespread social problem she hadn’t seen before: children begging on the streets, often as part of a human trafficking ring. Working with the Ugandan government, Sister Fernanda Cristinelli is determined to do something about it.

Sister Fernanda Cristinelli, a Comboni missionary, has returned to Uganda where she had served for ten years, to witness a disturbing new phenomenon: widespread begging. According to Fides News Agency, children sit by roadsides all night, “begging for a few pennies.

“They cannot have a hot meal, go to school, play, wash, feel safe and secure. They are children from the Karamoja area, one of the poorest in the northeast of Uganda, who are forced by adults to beg in the capital Kampala,” Cristinelli told Crux.

Cristinelli says her return to Uganda has put her “in front of a phenomenon that I had never seen in Kampala years ago.

“Children aged 3 to 10, and girls from 12 to 14, are begging on the streets, the busiest of the capital, and adult women control them. The little ones jump towards cars in the unpredictable traffic of the streets of Kampala to beg, and the girls, with babies on their shoulders, do the same.

“In addition, these children live in decrepit tents at the edge of the city, in the mud when it rains,” Cristinelli said.

The Daily Mail quotes 32-year old Betty, a mother of five, whose survival and that of her family depends on the capacity of her two -year old daughter, Namuli, to make money begging.

“Like any mother, I feel bad about doing this. But without the money Namuli gets from begging we will die of starvation and have no money to put clothes on our backs. This is the only way we can stay alive,” she said.

To read the full story by Ngala Killian Chitom on Crux: Click Here