My name is Salomon Kazibwe. I was born in a village 2 hours drive Kampala. I had polio when I was born whish caused me to be lame. It was very difficult being disabled living in a small village. I didn’t get any walking sticks or a wheelchair, because there were no hospitals around or money to go all the way to Kampala. We were very poor and sometimes we lacked even food.
I was crawling and it wasn’t easy when I started school. Both adults and children would treat me bad and look down on me as though I wasn’t worth anything.
When I was 6 years I lost my father and I was staying with my mother, two brothers and one sister. I got an opportunity to go to a school for orphans and disabled children. They even gave me walking sticks when I started there at a age of 11 years. I was living at the school all the terms. When I finished primary 7, the school didn’t help anymore after that so I couldn’t continue to secondary school. I needed to move back home again and it wasn’t easy. They didn’t treat me good and there was no food, so I escaped from home and went to Kampala alone. I was 15 years old.
That’s when my life started to be really bad. No food, nowhere to sleep and struggling to survive.
I slept on the street and walked many days without any food. Sometimes I could get only one meal in one week. I tried to beg outside restaurants, but it wasn’t easy. I met other street children and we slept together tried to cover us from rain and coldness. The life was hard. I was attacked by others from the street, was dirty and always hungry. When I was sitting on the ground and begging, some people even steped on me.. No one respected me and you always feel worthless..
One day I reached a church that I heard some songs from. There were some people that were singing and they let me join them. They told me to come back when they heard I could sing. I became a Christian and my faith grew and I knew that God loves me and I’m worthy.
One night some other older street kids beat up my best friend badly. They didn’t hurt me, but to see my friend being attacked like that made me desire to try to find another place to sleep. I found a parking place for lorry’s and started to sleep under them up to one day when a man found me and help me to rent a small storage that I could cover myself in instead. I even got a wheelchair and I started to beg money from the roads, but they stole it unfortunately from me. I lost the hope totally.
I lived 6 years on the street until Joanna found me. I was so alone before, but now God sent me a person that cares and released my burdens. She bought a new wheelchair and clothes to me. STEPS even rented a room to me and the best day in my life was when Joanna took me to start the school again. My biggest dream has always been to work as a radio presenter. Now I got the opportunity to start in a media school and study TV and radio presentation.
The school was so nice for me and people treat me well. For the first time in my life I feel that people respect me. I’m so happy to get an education! Thanks to STEPS people’s lifes are changing. I hope they be able to continue to transform more children’s lifes. I believe that God is going to bless them richly.