By Edwin Masereka & Joanitah Asiimire
Sarah, 33, was on the verge of abandoning her home. The misunderstanding between her and the husband was growing from bad to worse each day. The matter was even made worse by her lack of income.
“I was a housewife who depended on my husband for everything. A time came when we started struggling to make ends meet. Over time, our relationship started suffering as we could not talk or discuss anything without shouting at each other,” said Sarah, a mother of three from Awelobutoryo village in Oyam district.
Life changed for Sarah after she attended the Empowered World View training.
She returned to her village from the training determined to change the situation in her life. She and the husband had inherited four acres of land on which they had a small grass-thatched house.
When I came back from the training I realised I could use available resources to empower myself and others, I didn’t want to waste any more time. All I needed was a mind-set change which I had after the training on Empowered World Views.
First, Sarah wanted to break her dependency mind-set. She set aside three acres of land to grow cassava that she supplies to the nearby Acaba Senior Secondary School. She now uses the income earns from selling cassava to compliment her husband’s income as a volunteer with World Vision.
“I realised my husband needed my support because as a family we had many needs, especially caring for and educating our children. We also wanted to construct ourselves a permanent house. All these and more could not be left to him alone. I had to come in and support him,” said Sarah, who now grows cassava and other short-term crops, like beans, tomatoes and onions for home consumption.
Besides growing cassava, Sarah also started rearing pigs. With her farm located about 1km from Acaba Senior Secondary School, accessing feeds for pigs is not a problem. “I don’t spend much on feeds because I usually get food remains from the school,” she said.
She started with one pig that later produced 10 piglets. After three months, she sold each piglet at UGX 100,000 ($28 USD) totaling UGX 600,000 ($167 USD), which she used to buy congregated iron sheets for roofing their permanent house.
Today, she describes her relationship with her husband as fantastic. “We now have open discussions and resolve issues together. Our faith leaders supported us to overcome the disharmony that was creeping into our relationship,” she said.
With all the knowledge and transformation that she attained, she realised that she did not want to keep it all to herself, she is now a champion in building relationships in her village. She has already helped to reconcile five families and their children are now going to school. She continues to train members of her household cluster on the Empowered World View. She has so far trained 11 household clusters with an average of 15 households.
Every Tuesday, she meets married couples and trains them on how to use the resources available to support their families. She has also been hired as a counsellor for Acaba Senior Secondary School.
“In one of the meetings, I met a woman who had named her 11-year-old son Odaga meaning ‘they hate me’. After we had a conversation on the implication of names given for our children, she decided to change the boy’s name to Omara, which means ‘love’,” she said.
She depends on the weather for farming, but plans to start harvesting rainwater from her new house in the future. “I am still mobilising money to build a rainwater harvesting tank. This should be in a few months,” Sarah said with confidence.
She is a voice to reckon and a source of inspiration to many people in her village today.