Author:Annika

The Ugandan mother

On Sunday 26th of May it’s Swedish Mothers Day and we want to emphasize the Ugandan mother and her role in the family and in the Ugandan society. Ugandan mothers are some of the most hardworking mothers. Most of the women in Kids of Uganda’s Family Support Program are single mothers, and these mothers are able to send their children to school and provide for their daily basic needs. Mothers in Uganda have more responsibilities than the men of the house. When I asked about what makes the Ugandan mother special the most popular reply was that the Ugandan mother is an independent woman that works hard to ensure the wellbeing of her family and spreads happiness in a home with her love and support. The Ugandan mother is viewed as a symbol of strength because there is no task she cannot complete when determined.

 

Ugandan mothers are viewed as the glue that holds the family together. When we asked Ugandan children to speak on what makes their mother special, the reply was “my mother is not just my mother, she is also my teacher, nurse and friend, she is always there when I need her most and that’s why our bond is unbreakable”. In Uganda it is said that a Ugandan mothers love is shown through actions and not materialistic objects.

 

A regular day for a mother in Bubulo begins at 5:00 am. She wakes up very early to prepare the children for school and then leave for work. By 10:am they return home and tend to the choirs at home and prepares lunch. After lunch it’s time to go back to work or tend to other duties.

 

Because of high teenage pregnancy rates many Ugandan mothers enter motherhood at an early age and must learn about responsibilities very early and that’s why they considered as survivors. A Ugandan mother will do anything from cleaning homes as a maid to selling tomatoes on the street so that she can put food on the table. She is the family’s backbone.

 

Happy mothers day to all the fabulous mothers out there!

/Maria, Intern

 

Investera i en höna för en gladare påsk

Snart är det påsk och vad passar då bättre än att hjälpa en familj i Uganda med att investera i en eller flera höns?

 

Uppfödning av höns i Uganda är både en lönsam och prisvärd affär. Eftersom höns är hållbart och enkelt att hantera uppmuntrar gärna Kids of Uganda familjerna i familjestödsprogrammet att investera i just höns.

 

I Uganda är höns attraktiva eftersom de anses vara en delikatess för de flesta ugandier och ett hälsosammare alternativ till annat kött. En höna kan dessutom få upp till 15-20 kycklingar och en fullvuxen höna kan säljas för cirka 200 svenska kronor beroende på storlek och ras. Dessutom värper ju hönor ägg, och i Uganda kostar ett 24-pack ägg mellan 90 och 150 svenska kronor beroende på vart ifrån äggen kommer.

 

Investeringar i höns har visat sig vara ett framgångsrikt koncept då det både ökar en finansiell stabilitet och en långsiktig och hållbar säkerhet för hushållen.

 

För 100 kronor kan du bidra till att en familj i Uganda kan investera i en höna – en påskgåva som verkligen gör skillnad! Som tack får du ett gåvobevis per mail att skriva ut.

 

Klicka här för att komma till produkten i weshopen.

Glad påsk, och tack för ditt bidrag!

/Kids of Uganda

The state of teenage pregnancies in rural Uganda

During my stay in Manafwa I made a friend that is a teenage mother, and this opened up a conversation about teenage pregnancies, its causes, consequences and the solutions to this problem.

 

The major cause of teenage pregnancy is the lack of guidance due to parents and guardians who are reluctant or do not understand the need to educate their teenagers about the vices and sexual reproductive behaviour. This leaves the teenagers not properly guided during their teenage years of growth, yet this is a crucial time whereby their cognitive, emotional and social skills mature. Through conversations with the towns people I got to find out that the issue of early marriages is contributing to the increase of teenage pregnancies. The main reason leading to early marriages is poverty, and parents in rural areas often marry off their teenage daughters in exchange for dowry and monetary gifts, through this many young girls end up getting defiled and as a result become pregnant. The parents would rather settle for money than reporting cases of rape to the police because they are afraid of losing on the dowry they are receiving from the men marrying their teenage daughters. So, one can say that the major causes of teenage pregnancies are poverty, lack of knowledge and irresponsible parents.

 

Many articles and reports have been written about this issue and the consequences that follow. According to Dr. Sophie Namasopo in an article published in the Ugandan news outlet Daily Monitor, more than 80 teen mothers deliver at her hospital of residence monthly and that these deliveries often come with complications like premature and still births, prolonged labour and fistula among others, adding that this is caused mainly because these girls’ bodies are not prepared to have children yet. Teenage pregnancies come with many other consequences than those named above such as sexually transmitted diseases, family planning challenges and unsafe abortions.

 

Most of these teenage mothers are from poor backgrounds and are unable to support themselves which means they have difficulties supporting their offspring in terms of needs like education, healthcare, shelter and food. This burden later leads to a continuous chain of poverty cycles. Teenage pregnancy also has proven to be a burden to communities and the government of Uganda especially in terms of expenditure in attempts to curb down the detrimental effects of teenage pregnancy on the lives of teenagers.

 

So, as an organisation what services are Kids of Uganda providing to help these teenage mothers and the community? Within our Family Support Program, we organize workshops where we educate women on safe sex, contraceptives, dangers of abortion and consent. If any teenage mother feel like she cannot take care of her child we can, through the Familty Support Program, support her in leaving the child with an adult relative instead of putting the child in an orphanage. We believe its better for the child to live with relatives, because living with family inserts family values and morals.

 

Our Family Support Program intervenes by ensuring the child safety with the relatives they are given to, and we also provide means for the child’s upkeep and educations. Kids of Uganda a are strong advocates for children’s right and that’s why we are in constant contact with local authorities when it comes to violations of any child’s rights.

 

/Maria, Intern Kids of Uganda

 

International women´s day in Uganda

On the 8th of March it’s International Women’s Day. We at the Kids Foundation Uganda/Kids of Uganda have chosen to focus on the Ugandan woman and how she celebrates this day and what women’s day means to her. But also what this day means to the nation of Uganda and how the Ugandan woman is celebrated for her contributions to the society.

In Uganda they celebrate Women’s Day through different themes every year; this year’s theme is empowering the woman through innovative approaches to social protection. Furthermore, this aimed towards reducing poverty amongst women, since women are those most affected by poverty in Uganda. The country has set a so-called women’s fund through which a collective of women can get funding and start projects that will be able to sustain them in the future. To find out more about Women’s Day, its significance and how it is celebrated, we interviewed some women that stood out to us in the Manafwa district. We had many incredible women to select from, but we could only choose a few. The women we decided to talk more in-depth with about this special day were Eunice Wasike and Zainabu Muyobo.

 

We visited Chairperson Eunice Wakise and
had the opportunity to see some of the projects.

 

We started our conversation with Eunice Wasike who considers herself a mother and wife first then a politician second. Eunice is one of the many women in Manafwa that has contributed most to the growth of other women. Apart from being the districts women chairperson, Eunice is also a self-taught tailor, who also deals in farming, poultry, event planning, baking and catering. She is also an environmentalist that produces her own biogas.

The reason we have chosen to recognise Eunice is because of her innovativeness and willingness to help other women to better themselves. Through her tailoring business Eunice teaches other women on how to tailor so they can later use this skill to obtain employment or start their own business. With her event planning and catering business Eunice employs more than 30 women, which is a big achievement towards reducing poverty among women. When we asked Eunice of the woman’s role in the society, she answered “ as women its our duty to take care of our families, through maintaining our homes by cooking, cleaning, garden work and seeing that our children are happy and taken care of”.

In Ugandan culture the woman’s role is usually in the home but this norm is slowly changing and women are taking charge and becoming their own bosses. When asked why women’s day was important to her and why it should be celebrated she answered, “women do a lot of hard labour and in most cases with no pay, that’s why a day where our hard work in recognised and appreciated means a lot and is very important. It boosts our morale when we see that not all our hard work goes unnoticed”. Furthermore, we asked Eunice how she will be celebrating women’s day this year and she told us about the women’s gathering that is taking place in western Uganda, where women from different walks of life will come together to celebrates their achievements throughout the yeah. She invited us to attend the women’s celebration that will take place in Bubulo at the end of March.

 

Zainabu is a politician and chairperson for production in the Manafwa district. Apart from her duties to the district Zainabu is a poultry farmer, coffee grower, matooke farmer and women’s counsellor in the sub-county where she lives. In 2008 Zainabu was recognised and awarded by the president of Uganda for her achievements and hard work. She is all about empowering women and seeing that other women in her community can flourish the same way she has. We had the pleasure of attending on of the seminars where Zainabu was educating women on poultry keeping. When we asked Zainabu about the upcoming women’s day celebrations, this was her reply: “as women of this nation but mostly as women of Manafwa we are looking forward to the 8 of march because its one day out of the year we are recognised for our hard work and contributions to society”. But how tis this day celebrated? Zainabu shared with us on how the women on this day celebrate by sharing their experiences as mothers and equal members of society. This day is also celebrated by rejoicing through song and dance to celebrate past regimes and the liberation of women.

Our visit with Chairperson Zainabu Muyobo.

 

Zainabu pointed out on how this day is to celebrate peace in the country and the empowerment of mothers. We asked Zainabu on the importance of women’s day and this was her reply: “women are the backbone of any nation and that’s why it is important that the women are celebrated and valued so that she can continue to strengthen the nation and its future generations to come”.

To sum it up on this important day; International Women’s day is very dear to the women of Uganda is very much celebrated, as women we are constantly fighting for equal right and recognition and it is of great importance when we are valued and viewed as great assets to our nations. We, the Kids Foundation Uganda/Kids of Uganda, will also like to recognize and appreciate all the single mothers in our programme for working hard towards sustaining themselves and their families, from their projects these women manage to educate their children and feed their families which is a great achievement and for that we would like to thank them for their efforts.

 

/Maria, Intern

Kids of Uganda