Uganda – Chariet: nightingale and mechanic, promotes health among Palabek refugees

26 June 2020

(ANS - Palabek) - "Chariet" is the stage name of Charity Pinaloya, a 20-year-old young woman with two precious talents: a sweet and melodious voice and hands that are strong enough to repair cars and motorbikes. Her past is like that of thousands of rural Ugandan girls, who fight every day to earn a living. Charity lives with her mother and six siblings at the gates of the Palabek refugee camp. With few opportunities in life, she attended an improvised state primary school and did secondary school in a refugee school, because it was free.

After completing her secondary education, through and despite many challenges, she came across an opportunity to learn a trade that could give her a living. In fact, Charity, a Ugandan citizen of the Acholi tribe, residing just 5 km from the Salesian Vocational Training Center, was welcomed there as a student and there she completed a six-month course in Motorcycle Mechanics.

At the Salesian school Charity met joy and hope. She found an institution that is a house that welcomed her, a school that gave her skills, a theater where she could develop her talents, a courtyard where to relax and meet friends and a church where she could pray and grow in her faith.

Her extraordinary melodious voice and her modest character were immediately noticed by Fr Roger Mbayo, SDB, the director of the youth center, who became her guide and friend. And in addition to helping her develop her talent, the Salesians also encouraged her to continue her studies. In fact, she now attends the fourth year of secondary school in Paluda, always within Palabek, and also attends the Salesian oratory.

During the period of confinement due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Salesians launched an awareness-raising campaign among the refugee population. And Charity's musical talent has been of great help.

Together they recorded two songs:

Both were played during awareness-raising tours. Having been found captivating, the songs were accompanied by videos and soon several local radio stations started broadcasting the songs and even Ugandan Catholic TV was happy to relaunch them on their airwaves.

In her early songs, Chariet sensitizes the population about Covid-19, but also pays homage to the benefactors of the Salesians and to Trocaire, an Irish NGO that supports anti-coronavirus prophylaxis initiatives.

“This is what Don Bosco did and the Salesians do today: make the lotus bloom in the ponds and among the muddy pools. We discover the potential and create opportunities to develop them. As lovers of music and social causes, we promote the efforts of Chariet and many other young people to foster their talents and make their life better and meaningful,” concludes Fr Lazar Arasu, SDB, Director of the Salesian mission in Palabek.



ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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