Hamza is in Kampala, Uganda, where he himself was rescued from the streets several years ago. and where he now works with youth in the Kisenyi slum.
mar 2015 – resettlement
we really wanted to get Hamza to idec, to be a 2013 coffee talker, but unfortunately, his visa was denied.
(his visa was denied within a few short minutes, they didn’t even look at the documents idec had sent confirming his invite. stories from Amy Goodman‘s, the silenced majority, and this recent article about a teenage hacker in Kenya, help to not take this so personally, but also reaffirm our ongoing plight of decrease in humanity and increase in fear.)
we talked with Hamza, when we found out he couldn’t come, in order to share some of his story.
here he is giving us a little tour of the Kisenyi slum:
and here he is answering…
[we had trouble with the sound, so Hamza also wrote out his answers below]
what makes you feel alive:
i feel really good to wake up every morning still breathing , not feeling sick and start my day as usual , good and alive , there is always a hope in me that today will be a good day and that i have come this long to see a new day because i live for a reason, there is someone who need me to make a difference in his/her life
i normally head down to the slum area of kisenyi during days of non schooling days. and during these days , i had to stop schooling for awhile , there were a bunch of things i had to do. including organizing myself for the IDEC , VISA AND RUNNING A FEW ERRANDS
WELL , whenever i enter into this slum area, lots of people ranging from kids between 5 to 12 years make me feel bad and reminds me my days on the streets. they have hard life they are living, a life full of suffering and sorrow. many street children here , live by collecting scraps of old metals and bottle to earn a few cents , they can’t support themself with this very little money , and even if it would be enough for food , they only use that money to buy drugs , like aviation fuel, marijuana etc.
what change do you want to create/see:
i feel i would like to smile whenever i enter these slums for the changes that happen in my life, but still find nothing to smile about. little kids are kind of abandoned here, they are denied their rights or they are ignorant about them, or they are just unable to access them, but they’d love to.
kids always tell me they would like to go to school , have a safe shelter, protecting them from the brutal law enforcers who mistreat them especially at night. they are not well fed, when they do so, it’s when the outreach programs are here in the slum, or when they earn a few cents to buy themselves food, or some can’t afford anything, the only way of being fed is through eating in trash cans, or thrown away food scraps. this exposes them to diseases, and their sanitation is highly lowered, i believe they live in poor sanitation area. the older ones are a threat to the society, they steal from the people, drug addicts, make families on the streets, and they can’t support those families, all girls are subjected to prostitution, many of the girls have been raped and defiled here in the slums.
the challenges here are really much, but the most ones are poverty and broken families, the insecurity and civil wars in different parts of the country, among others. due to that, kids are facing the consequences. ending up on the streets. many of them don’t like this life. i have had tons of them asking me to take them back home, to resettle them with their families, and many would like to attain education and the older ones pledge for vocational skill training to help them improve their living and support their families. every outreach is a lesson to me.
and i would like to create something, to make a change to those unreached, i can reach to.
i really wanted to come over (to idec) and make new friends to discuss these issues and devise ways of improving the situation. i really appreciate the non profit like PCA for the good work done already and that is still in progress. however , there is still A LOT TO BE DONE.
find/follow Hamza’s recent work on fb:
Hamza is one of the first people we connected to when we created our ning site in the self-directed math class four+ years ago.
There was a chat on the ning – and we would talk to him there almost daily.
His story is incredible.. we gathered it in the slidedeck below.
Find/connect to Hamza here:
Here she is receiving some letters from the street project:
And here she is reading some of them:
Hamza is currently working on a documentary:
Kampala – A Blank Slate.
To encourage African people to take responsibility for their lives and give them back their pride as Skilled, artisitic and productive people fully capable of developing and utilizing their abilities.
This unique programme aims to plant a small seed of possibility in the minds of some children in Kampala. A seed that grows into self sustainable organisation that does not rely solely on donations, schooling or charity offered by outsiders but develops a business ethos and education set up from the outset based on valuing skills and opportunities that are currently available in its personnel. Building on and valuing what Africa has to offer and exporting it to the rest of the world.
The team assisting will be acting as facilitators rather than consultants or charity workers. This is to encourage the development of local talent and foster the belief that they can achieve great things without waiting for donations..
The approach will be unique and starting with a “blank slate” with decisions being made by those who will benefit from the work. The orphans, local families and individuals willing to help with time and skills. Long term it is envisaged
The project will start during the summer of 2013 with a small team of creatives/teachers working with the organisation already set up in Kampala, Uganda. The initial kick-start to the programme will be a period of two weeks working with local orphans and street children getting them to understand that they have value in this world and that they can lead prosperous lives for themselves with a little creative thinking. Basically remapping their futures.
The project will begin with two weeks of creative arts workshops leading to a festival over two days at the end. The workshops will draw parallels between creative arts and the real world using photography, filmmaking, dance, recycle art, skateboarding, and Street Trials biking as well as teach skills in the individual disciplines..
The team will then form and devise ways of making money and constructing a future using their environment, skills and qualities to create enough wealth to start building. This wealth can be in the form of donations, earnings, or merely trading skills for materials. Barter trading.
Initial ideas we are exploring in terms of business is the selling of their art, short films, documentaries, media, and perhaps residential weeks for European children/families to visit and learn from them about community, Africa, and their way of life.
We already have interest from families wishing to visit to learn the African ways.
A website will be created for the business purpose.
The programme is almost the reverse of the norm. It is not our goal to teach or impart our ways, our beliefs or our strategies but to build on their own attributes as an African nation. To help them develop systems that work for them and to build an education that is suitable in their environment. And finally to export those very qualities in different forms
A programme of basic medical knowledge (Paramedic) will be set in place by a trained professional. This will lead to training of the best students as trainers so that medical needs can be taken care of locally and professionally and will act as another form of business to generate funds.
These are fairly simple to begin with. Manpower, old digital equipment that can allow for photography, dance and music development at low cost, skateboards, trial bikes and any donations that might be offered will remain as pledges for the time being..
All these needs will be sourced through Facebook, twitter and volunteer contacts.
Brief About Us (Use Google to search more)
Gabi is currently a teacher in Cairo. She has a degree in teaching, is an Emergency First Response Instructor Trainer, studied anthropology, worked for 16 years as a dive instructor to instructors as well as sports divers and travelled to many parts of the world.
Mark is a photojournalist and is currently venturing into the filmmaking world. He also works as a coach in helping people with change. www.junglemoon.co.uk & http://markgillett.wordpress.com
as seen in Hamza’s slidedeck above.. PCA, via Paul, rescued him from the slums.
By the time we met Hamza, Lara was also already deeply involved with supporting him.
Lara and her husband, David, founded Craft Aid, which is now supporting (among many other incredible works) Hamza’s work in the Kisenyi slum.
incident feb 12 led to connection here: