As part of our widow support programme, our team identifies widows whose houses are in need of repair and provides materials and local labourers to help make vital repairs to their homes. Sometimes it is necessary for new houses to be built from scratch, but where possible we try to make the most of resources by making repairs and improvements to existing houses.
Last month, Isaac, Project Coordinator for a little bit of HOPE (Uganda), and the team started work on two widows’ houses, and we were pleased to receive an update from him on how the work is going.
Isaac tells us…
“At the moment we are spending time with a mother of two children, who lost her husband 25 years ago. Her two children are married, so no longer live at home, but often visit her to check on her wellbeing. She has been staying in her house for many years with some of her grandchildren, but unfortunately it has many problems. The house is very old, the walls are badly cracked and often parts of it fall down, while other parts leak. She also recently had to struggle to dig out an ant hill that was disturbing her, and meant some rooms could not be used. When we met with her and told her that we can repair the whole house, she was extremely happy. She said she was about to abandon the house in fear that the wall might fall on her while she sleeps, but she was so happy on hearing this news and is just waiting for us to begin work. We have been able to visit her, assess her situation, and also buy some of the materials to begin with and hope to have the house completed over the next few weeks.
The other woman we have begun to support with repairs is Joyce*. She is an empowered widow, who does some small-scale farming for consumption (she grows millet, beans, maize, cassava and potatoes), and also has a small business where she sells ripe bananas to earn a living. For her house, we first need to take down the parts of the house that are unstable and rebuild them afresh, and then plaster the whole house. We have already bought sand and bricks to begin the rebuilding, and have managed to install wooden windows where there were none, to provide good aeration.”
For anyone who has been fortunate enough to visit Butaleja District, you will know that, in spite of the hardship they experience, the widows we work with carry a joy that sometimes doesn’t seem to make sense. They are hardworking, innovative and often care for many others, even if they are in need of care themselves. Being able to make vital repairs to their homes lifts a massive burden off the shoulders of these incredible women and helps provide them with a home they feel safe in, and proud of.
Thank you for your support that enables our team in Uganda, along with the local community, to provide help and opportunity to those most vulnerable in Butaleja.