According to a recent report published by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, 80% of widows in Uganda live as the heads of their households and 79% rely on small-scale farming in order to survive. However, 56% have a disability, 70% are illiterate and 58% have never been to school. Statistics are helpful in grasping the breadth of the issue, but often distract from the individuals that comprise them. There are currently 721,671 widows living in Uganda, and Mary is one of them.
Two years ago Mary received a Christmas hamper, thanks to our supporters. She wanted to share her story with you…
I live in Bugosa village; Butaleja District where a little bit of HOPE is working. I lost my husband in 2004 and have 8 children (4 male and 4 female). The eldest children are locally married and did not go far in education due to lack of fees for equipment and exams.. I live with 2 of my children (1 daughter and 1 son) who have also now dropped out of school due to illness. I am the sole carer and provider for all of my family, which is very difficult. I am a peasant farmer, thus my earnings are hardly enough to provide for the family needs and also pay for my children school fees. I had wanted to educate my children so that they would be able to start an independent life.
Your gifts have been so important to me, especially in enabling self-reliance for myself and my family. Self-reliance is the development in which a little bit of HOPE is involved; something I am very grateful for. I was provided with a Christmas hamper and I am still using the items. In the hamper there was a mattress, a pair of bed sheets, a mosquito net and 2 jerry cans, and they have helped so much to improve my health. I was also recently given a goat and I am very happy for the support. With this goat my life has changed greatly for the better, thanks to your help. I am now focussed on my future and I have something to look forward to, because each day I have to care for the goat so I can benefit from it. This was the first time I have ever been given such a gift, which was a great surprise because I had little hope. Life was hard and my future looked dim. But now I have the chance to have a healthy life and hope for future sustainability.
The goat is a very important aspect in my life because once it grows and gives birth to kids, I can sell them and buy a cow. When the cow grows and gives birth to a calf, it will provide milk that can improve our family diet and health. When the calf grows a little bit, I can sell it and the money will help me to build a latrine. I hope to gain a lot from this single goat and have an independent life in the future.
Thank you for your support through which people like me receive meaningful and sustainable help. May the good Lord bless you.