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Celebrating Motherhood

The Joys, Sorrows, and Dreams of Mothering in Uganda

May 08, 2018 - Uganda

Alobo Monic

Sacrificing for the Children


ALOBO MONIC is a refugee from South Sudan. She is a member the Village Health Teams collaborating with RMF to promote good health and living habits in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement. She also serves as a coach in RMF’s Sports Development Program.

“Being a mother is beyond giving birth. As a mother I hold a lot of responsibilities, taking care of the whole family and sacrificing a lot for the wellbeing of the children. I have to forego visiting other places for the sake of my children. I sacrifice other fashionable things for the sake of my children.

Just hearing my daughter call me ‘Mummy’ gives me a lot of joy. I struggle alone with my daughter since her father is in captivity in South Sudan, so sometimes I feel so sad when I see her lonely as other children are with all their parents.

Real Medicine Foundation has enabled me to manage my roles as a mother. The incentives I am given as an HHT and a coach have helped me to fend for my daughter for food and education and other basic needs.

Raising my child in Uganda is quite difficult, because in South Sudan I had a lot of land to cultivate all the crops I wanted, unlike here. My hope for my child is to provide a good education.”

Namatovu Maxensia

Considering the Child First


“I am NAMATOVU MAXENSIA, and I am a Ugandan. I am a mother of one: Nantongo Shiella Mary. I work with Real Medicine Foundation as an instructor in Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute in the Department of Tailoring and Garment Cutting. Being a mother needs too much sacrifice, because in all that you have to do you have to consider the child first. You have to forego other opportunities that may be good for you, but not good for the mother. My daughter gives me a lot of happiness, and she is the reason why I try to work so hard.

Real Medicine Foundation has enabled me to fulfill my responsibility as a mother. For instance, it enables me to pay school fees for my child and pay for other basic needs. My hope for my child is for her to become a doctor since it has been her dream.”

Abalo Pasquina

Managing Family as a Single Mother


“I am ABALO PASQUINA, a single mother with one child called Noel Luis. I am a refugee from South Sudan living in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement.

I am proud to be a mother because every day when I wake up and see my son growing, it gives me strength to work very hard. Being a mother has made me to be patient in life, because a child has his way of controlling the pace at which I would like things to work out. For instance, in situations where I would not have cooked, but I have to cook for Luis because he will demand food when he returns from school. So as a mother, I have to make sure that I have budgeted time to cook food at home. Whether I have money to buy the food or not, the child expects food.

There is a lot I learn from my son. I did know English, but my son, Luis, who studying at St. Bakhita Primary School (one of the schools in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement) is teaching me some words of English. This makes our evening hours interesting in our hut. I have someone to laugh with. A child brings consolation to the heart.

The sorrowful moment is when my son asks me for his father. We were separated by war, so I don’t know whether he is still alive or dead. That question just brings a lot of sadness in my heart, and yet I can’t stop him from asking. When the child demands for special food and I don’t have money to buy it, it is a sorrowful moment. Also, managing a family as a single mother without any reliable source of income is stressful. But at least if my husband was also present we could share these troubles of parenting. My hope for my child is he can grow health and study."

Yikiru Comfort

Raising Children in Uganda


“My name is YIKIRU COMFORT, and I am a mother of two children: Madut Ran and Liech Ran. I am a hairdresser, and I attained this training from Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute under the sponsorship of RMF.

I feel good being a mother, because these children make me strong in terms of looking for opportunities. I don’t give up in life because of my children. In addition, our marriage makes meaning because we have children, but if we had no children and things get tough, one could easily walk away. But for the sake of children, one has to compromise and withstand the struggles. Even when I am living in the refugee settlement, I find peace in my children as I look at them. As a mother, you need to understand your children, because sometimes they can behave in a naughty way, and as a mother, I have to be patient and correct them and give them guidance not only for the moment, but guidance for life.

Raising my children here in Uganda is so good compared to South Sudan; the weather in in my country is too hot and the type of food is not favorable. Uganda is very good because of a variety of food and the weather is favorable. My children can speak good English, which helps them to communicate easily with their peers. Uganda is peaceful compared to the horrible situation in South Sudan, which is not good for upbringing children. My hope for my children is to build for them a house in Uganda."

Akongo Mary Avalino

Healing from Trauma Together


“I am AKONGO MARY AVALINO, a mother of two children. To me, motherhood needs time. As a mother, I have learned that children need me to spend time with them. Not specific time, but full time. The more time I spend with my children, the healthier they grow. The challenge is balancing time to look for money for survival and creating time for children. For me as a refugee, my children need more play therapy with me, the mother, so that we heal ourselves from the trauma we have. My children don’t feel confident when I am not with them. They have little trust in their surroundings, but I know it is the effect of the trauma from the war in South Sudan. So as a mother, I am supposed to provide time for them.

The sorrows in motherhood are lack of money to provide for the basic needs of the children. Children have demands they want you to provide. Their demands are a must. For instance, when a child demands a ball and that is what the child wants, the child attaches a lot meaning to that. When I fail to provide, then I feel very sad, because I feel a failure if I don’t get a ball for my children. If I were not a refugee, I would not have failed getting a ball for my children. Parenting as a refugee is really hard.

RMF has empowered me to manage my motherhood responsibilities. They gave me an opportunity to train in hairdressing at Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute. The skills I acquired have now helped to earn some money, which is helping me to provide for my children. My hope for my children is a good education."

Atuherize Irene

Hoping for the Future


“My name is ATUHERIZE IRENE, and I am a staff member of RMF. I have worked as a Sanitary Officer since 2015. I am a mother of one. I came to RMF as a single lady, but after working for two years, I spotted a fiancé and eventually became a mother of Emmanuel Muhumuza, my son who is two years old now.

I am so happy being a mother, because it is a unique opportunity. Nothing gives me joy and happiness like my son. It is just fun having a baby. The sad moment in motherhood is when my son is sick—spending the night without sleep because my baby is crying.

Working with RMF is favorable for me as a mother. When I was pregnant, I was given maternity leave, and if my baby is sick, my team understands the situation. I work, and I have productive time with my son. The salary I get from RMF also helps to provide basic needs for my son.

The hopes I have for my son are: Taking him to good schools to acquire education, having some savings for his health, and making sure that he reaches his dreams."

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