Eseza Kusasira has gone through more than what a 6 year old should or can possibly handle but better yet survived. Formerly known as Daphine Kangome, Eseza (Eseza is our local version of the name Esther, Inspired by the Esther’s Story in the Bible) was rescued by an elderly couple Ms Nabulya Gertrude and her loving husband Sssebagala Jackson commonly known as Jaja Jackson of Nakaziba village in the district where we work. These two had gone to Ngoma a remote village in Luweero district where Gertrude was a teacher in a small school and her husband a charcoal burner. It was here that Eseza’s father approached Gertrude asking for help after hearing of her kindness. Gertrude agreed to help this gentleman having heard the sad story of Eseza’s life.
Young Eseza is a result of incest, a short affair between a youthful uncle and his niece. In most tribes in Uganda, incest is an abomination and there’s no mercy for a child born out of incest, they’re either abandoned or sold off at tender ages.
The Ankole tribe is no different; and for this Eseza was denied her birth right, a right to be loved and a place to call home.
Gertrude agreed to take in this little girl because she thought Eseza’s situation was just exaggerated. Well this was not the case when she first laid eyes on this young girl, Gertrude narrates saying she had never seen anyone look so bad or scary in the entirety of her life, neither had she even imagined it. Gertrude says the girl was pink, hairy as a rat and worse still crippled. Asking why she was that way, Gertrude was told Eseza lived outside the house in a nearby bush, was fed on cold left overs, was not breastfed and did not know what love was. Being a ‘curse’ she had to be isolated at all costs, and for this Eseza was awarded with a horrendous appearance. Gertrude was almost turning back on her word, she did not know how to look after a kid this sick, but luckily for Eseza God still had a plan for her life.
Gertrude was told Eseza leaved outside the house in a nearby bush, was fed on cold left overs, was not breastfed and did not know what love was.
So GertrudeNabulya takes in Eseza at 3 years, decides to help her start a new life believing that if God had kept Eseza through all this then he would keep her to the end. The first thing that Gertrude did was change her names to Eseza Kusasira explaining that Eseza for Esther was after Queen Esther in the Bible who was an orphan but became the most favoured lady in the land and Kusasira which means mercy for God has been merciful to this young girl.
Sadly Eseza had been affected more than just what eyes could see; she could not function as a normal child. She could not talk, could not tell the difference between the sun and rain but could stand through any weather, Eseza did not know how to laugh… she did not know joy. All this because she was treated like an animal, she would just defecate on herself anytime anywhere, she was also bent from lack of exercise, sitting in one place.
She could not talk, could not tell the difference between the sun and rain but could stand through any weather, Eseza did not know how to laugh.
Now at six years the colour returned to her skin, she laughs sometimes and can sometimes communicates when she wants to defecate although she has not learned how to talk yet. Gertrude says there has been a big change and even though she was to take Eseza back to her relatives they would never tell it were her. This is good progress but not good enough, Eseza needs special help, she gets angry and aggressive a lot and associates with a few people mainly Gertrude. Also she is slow at learning basic things, talking is almost impossible and she is very sickly for which the cause has not been found yet. Gertrude thinks she was traumatised in some way due to lack of love directed to her, you can see this from the way she cuddles close to Gertrude as if in need of assurance that she will not be left alone.
Gertrude could not have her own children but it does not stop her from looking after the ten children found at her home. These children are from different tribes, religions but what they have in common is lack of a home. Gertrude has educated about four of the children but that is as far as she can go.
She wants to partner with BaNgaAfayo and help more children. She believes God has finally answered her prayers by bringing BaNgaAfayo in her community. There are so many ways we can help reduce Gertrude’s struggle and also help Eseza live a normal life.
You can Sponsor one of these children, donate something and be an architect in building Gertrude’s dream.