In native Africa we have a saying that it takes a village to raise a child which was the case then but not anymore, not with the evils that come with the transforming world; poverty, famine, war, corruption and this all creates an environment of survival for the fittest.
Working to re-empower the village…
Kayunga, in remote central Uganda has many cases of homes headed by the grandmothers and grandfathers, looking after eight or more grandchildren. Mainly because these children are orphans, have been abandoned by their fathers leaving the responsibility solely to young mothers or the parents left for the city with the hope of bettering their life, that and much more.
When you talk to most of these children asking them with whom they live with, they tell you their grandmothers and a few grandfathers come into the picture. As if it is not enough you find that these grannies look after grandchildren from more than two of their children and in some cases some of their actual children are still under their care too. You find an almost extended family with overwhelming needs that weigh down on these old people both physically and psychologically.
Supporting widows and the elderly…
What most these grandparents can do is farming but not forgetting the unpredictable weather, unstable market prices for their goods or the transport costs to these markets, how much profit can be obtained to sustain a family of ten. By sustaining I mean to cover school fees, medical bills, food supply and other essentials.
BaNgaAfayo Initiative Uganda has recognized the need to include these grandparents in their plan seeing that they have been sidelined for so long, work on reducing the burden they carry by providing essentials (clothes, school fess and school materials…) for their grandchildren. For the widows and single mothers, provide them with skills on income generating projects like liquid soap making, candle making that can help them become economically independent and be able to look after their children.
The big question is how can we realize this?
BaNgaAfayo alone can not do so much but with help and support from good Samaritans, well-wishers; people willing to sponsor these children or partner with us to provide the different required services this can be made possible, we can do this!
In one way or another we are a village if we look past the difference in our locations, so let us raise these children and not let poverty, corruption hinder us.
We can do more together…