In June of 2008, three AIDS orphans made the difficult decision to escape from the only home they knew. Namatovu (16), Naiga (15), and Hakim (10) fled from an orphanage home notorious for unspeakable abuse and neglect. Malayaka House intervened, worked with authorities, and offered the kids safety, security, and ultimately hope for a better life.
Years after, in 2013, the three of them asked Robert to help their younger sibling, Cheche, that life had left behind living with his grandmother and surviving in the streets of Kampala collecting scraps on the streets.
These are four polite, hard-working, and motivated kids that by no fault of their own have endured far too much.
Namatovu, the oldest of the siblings, has taken on the role of family leader. She is a strong, brave, and confident young woman, a fighter through and through, who lost her innocence in life long ago when all the adults around her failed, time and time again. It has not been easy for her to carry the weight of the world on her shoulders, but unless one gets to know her very well, one can hardly notice the mountains she has climbed.
Namatovu is smart, resourceful, and determined to succeed whatever the cost. Remarkably, she not only knows how to protect her siblings and everyone around her, she also knows the fine art of taking care of herself.
From the time of her arrival to Malayaka House, the younger children call Namatovu, “Teacher Namatovu”: in every sense of the words Namatovu is teacher, elder, advisor, disciplinarian and task manager.
For a long time, her hands-on training revolves around our cooperative of businesses, which include mozzarella cheese making and sales, bakery and sales, craft shop sales and especially Pizza Nights. She was responsible for inventory, accounting, and office management.
Now she is a beautiful woman that runs her own small business, got married and has a baby girl.