Early in January, 2006, the Child and Family Protection Unit of the Entebbe Police Department contacted Robert about the deteriorating health of 8 month-old triplets named John, Jimmy, and Cheche. They were living in a very poor village with their mentally ill mother. The boys were extremely sick and the community was worried. On numerous occasions the boys were left alone and forgotten about. When the villagers tried to help the children by taking them into their homes, their mother would become irate and belligerent. It was obvious the babies were not getting enough food and were growing sicker every day, causing concern to grow in the community. The Local Council was alerted about the situation and voiced their fears to the police.
The following month, Robert was called to a meeting that involved the community leaders, the Child and Family Protection Unit, and a local child advocacy group. It was inevitable that the situation had become life threatening and if something wasn’t done immediately they were going to die. The boys were now in critical condition; each baby was sick with malaria, pneumonia, and severe malnutrition. The local authorities made the difficult decision to rescue the triplets from their birth mother and placed them in the care of Malayaka House.
Robert spent the next week in the hospital with the boys until they were strong enough to go to their new home. They continued to travel back and forth to the hospital, as the infants’ weak immune systems were not strong enough to fight the malaria. High fevers, convulsions, vomiting, diarrhea, and serious upper respiratory infections were some of the triplets’ most challenging symptoms. All efforts would go into getting John back to health and then Jimmy would get sick. Once Jimmy started to get better, Che would get sick. For six months Robert and the aunties fought to keep the triplets alive.
Today they are more than perfect! All three boys graduated nursery school in December 2011. It is almost impossible for one to believe the grave start they had in life compared to how well they are doing now. Their personalities are very different, but each shares an exuberance that is second to none. It is no longer possible to speak of the triplets as a single unit like we once did, but it is also not possible to think of them as separate. They are connected to one another by something that is unknown and mysterious, which is both powerful and beautiful
Cheche is very different than his brothers, and most of the other kids. This boy is strong and he wants to work. The more complicated the job, the better. And now it is finally getting easier for him because he is big enough to actually participate and help. But even before he was big enough, he would just sit and watch, absorbing into his little brain whatever was going on. He follows the big boys and older Uncles around the house, trying to help wherever he can. Che is disciplined, studious, mature, and respectful. He is also fun, loving, silly, outgoing, social, and happy. He has the best sense of humor ever and he is always making jokes and laughing. When he cries he hides, because he is a proud young man and he thinks he is stronger than that.
Che studies Primary with his brothers, loves his teachers, and basically loves everything about school. He is a very intelligent kid and is capable of being whatever he wants to be.
He is one of the best helpers of Hakim in their farm, and it is common seeing with Big Cheche walking around with a pipe, chicken’s food, water… always with a smile.