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04 April 2012

Sentamu encourages work with street children

Sentamu encourages work with street children

The Archbishop of York urged Christians to commit to helping young children forced to live on the streets of Uganda at the launch of a new book for those interested in international child welfare.

Dr John Sentamu attended the launch of Working with Street Children – An Approach Explored by Andrew Williams on Valentine’s Day at the Salvation Army headquarters in London.

The book aims to encourage those already working with street children or considering going into that area.

“I strongly commend this book to all practitioners, would-be practitioners, decision-makers and opinion formers to remind them and all of us that each story told in the book represents a real person and actual circumstances,” Dr Sentamu writes in the foreword to the book.

He then goes on to encourage readers to be agents of change and transformation.

Author Andrew Williams was born in Uganda and his father remembered the now Archbishop of York in the 1960s as a promising youth leader in Kampala shortly before Idi Amin’s rise to power.

Andrew, who has 20 years’ experience of working with children and young people, said: “It is especially significant that Dr Sentamu was present at the launch as he has supported, encouraged and prayed for the work described in the book since it began.”

Andrew and his wife Katina started to develop the Tigers Football Club for street boys in 1996, transforming it into an effective social work organisation. The organisation was rebranded Retrak in 2005 to reflect its expansion and changes.

In 2006, Andrew was awarded an MBE for services to disadvantaged children and Retrak now works in three countries in Africa, with more than 3,000 street children a year.

Commenting on his book, Andrew said: “I am hoping that Working with Street Children will in some way contribute to fulfilling a vision for a world in which every child has dignity and opportunity and no child is forced to live on the street.”

Visit the book’s website for more information.