Hello, two mzungu’s here, we are Katie from Ireland and Julia from Austria. As we are volunteering with KIDA we got involved in one of their projects and in doing so we spent a week at the house of the family of Gertrude Serwadda . In this family, the mother is not only a widow but also the mother to a staggering amount of 13 kids. The kids were aged from 9 to 36 and also two more little ones running around aged 3 and 7 whom were children of one of the oldest daughters. Their land consists of mainly farmland and the family home which in Ugandan standards is considered quite big but in fact is quite small for the number of family members living there. Although the vast size of land they ownthe crops they grow only go towards the families daily meals. Leaving them with not many options to obtain an income.
From the first day we could see how the family operate with little to no money and the daily challenges they face especially since the passing of their deceased father. However although they have many obstacles every day we could see that their mother is truly a strong and hardworking woman and doesn’t let this fact overcome her determination to maintain her family’s well-being.
Early morning we arrived and began our day picking beans and conversing with the children. After spending a week we discovered depending on season most daily life remains quite the same as there were only so many crops to harvest and later prepare meals with. The week while we were there it was the season for beans and cassava which meant for this season the children ate nearly the same meal every day.This was just one of many things we noticed during our stay. Other things that come to light were the problems such as some of the children not having shoes resulting in jiggers in the feet and the fact that due to lack of money many of the children could not continue or even begin with their education. One thing that struck us most was how the children talked about their sufferings so openly and with ease which gave us an insight to their perspective of how normal theirlife is for them but for us it was heart breaking to hear of such sufferings and their down beaten path.
We are happy to have been welcomed in to this family’shome and to have the opportunity to experience what we did. We not only got a cultural experience but an eye opener to people’s daily lives here which made us content with our stay here and more importantly getting involved with KIDA.
Many thanks to everyone at KIDA and we wish them luck with continuing to do the wonderful work they do!
Katie & Julia.