April 21, 2022

Lodule Justine is reunited with family

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This is a story about how a boy named Justine found hope in a situation that seemed impossible. Thanks to donor support, he is now living with his siblings and grandmother.

Lodule Justine and other children at Redeemer

Lodule Justine's Background

Justine is a south Sudanese child who came to Uganda while following a crowd of Sudanese refugees. Arriving in Uganda, Justine ultimately makes it to a refugee settlement where hunger and poor living conditions ensue. 

There was no proper feeding at the settlement. Because of food scarcity, eating once per day (if at all) was an everyday reality for all who lived within the refugee camp. In addition, the settlement did not have proper housing or a school for the children.

Justine and Naomi in their third-year nursery at Redeemer

From the settlement, when he was four years old, Justine came to Redeemer Children's Home in June of 2017. Justine's resiliency shined brightly on our CCI's staff from day one despite what he had just experienced. He could only speak Arabic when he first came to our home, but after a month of living with us, he started speaking English and the local language, Madi.

Finding Justine's family

When Justine turned six years old, social workers began locating his biological family to see if kinship care would be an option; unfortunately, we learned that his mother died while Justine was three years old.

After the news of his mother's passing, our social worker and administrator of the home began tracing to see if we could locate Justine's father. 

Sadly, when we found Justine's father in one of the settlements, he was very ill. He visited Justine at our CCI but died shortly after the visit due to his illness.

Yet again, social work conducted further tracing to locate other familial relatives. We found that Justine had a clan grandmother where his elder brother lived within the settlement.

Lodule is kneeling close to Rose when she visits the family

Living with his grandmother

We were able to reunite Justine with his grandmother and older brother. As we write this, they have lived and bonded together as a family for two years.

However, it isn't just Justine and his brother living with their grandmother; 17 children (10 girls and seven boys) are cared for within his grandmother's home.

Justine can speak his mother tongue well and is currently living happily amongst the other children and his grandmother.

Lodule Justine and 9 of the 14 children who live with their clan grandmother pose for a photo. The other four children (not in this photograph) are at boarding school. Justine is in blue jeans, and the boy nearest their grandmother is Justine's brother, James.

Some challenges

Justine's story doesn't end here. There are still challenges to overcome to allow him and his family to continue to grow and thrive together. 

Here is a list of some of their familial needs as Justine's grandmother provides love, care, and safety for all 17 children:

  • Their home does not offer enough space for all the growing children and their grandmother.
  • Their grandmother doesn't make an income as of right now. She needs assistance and counsel to help her discover income-generating opportunities that will make sense for their family situation.
  • School fees are challenging to pay for so many children as they do not have stable means of getting income.
  • Feeding challenges exist because there are so many mouths to feed in the home.

Our plan to support them

Our work with Justine and his family is far from over. Here are some of our plans for continuing support to keep his family together:

  • We as a home are trying to find a means of building home editions for them to enable their stay in their current home.
  • We are also seeking help from our donors who can help support the school fees of the school-aged children in the house.
  • As a CCI, we also wish to create income-generating activities, such as farming, to improve their living. They can use crops from their farm for consumption and sale – thus growing their income.

Justine in primary 2 in his family

Thanks to donor support

Thank you for taking the time to read Lodule Justine's story. We plan to continue our work, supporting his and other families in kinship care.

We couldn't do all we do without the generous support of donors, so again, we thank you for being here and invite you to join us in our mission of reuniting children with their families.

With donor support, we can impact even more children within the communities we serve so that more children can thrive as they grow up with a better life.


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