Kisa Foundation USA
Nansana Help Line
Cassava vendor raises 6 children by herself
Many Nansana families are struggling with HIV-AIDS and poverty
December 23, 2012
This article is the first in a series of stories about people in our community struggling with illness, poverty and misfortune.
Over half the population of Nansana lives on less than Shillings 2500 per day, according to recent reports from the Nansana Town Council. This is the poverty level. If your income is less than that, you dont have enough money to pay for adequate food, decent shelter, clean water, medical care education and many other necessities of modern life.
Many of the poor are single parents like Christine Namutebi, 49. Namutebi lives in a small house near Nansana Town Council, with her nine year old daughter Irene and five grandchildren between the ages of three and ten. She is the only provider for the family since her husband abandoned them over two years ago.
The grandchildren were in turn abandoned by Namutebis two older daughters. They left the children in Namutebis care, and they have made no further efforts to provide for them. Namutebi makes a living by selling cassava at a roadside stand near her home. All the food clothing, medical care needed by her family must come from her meager earnings.
Namutebis dire situation is made worse by the fact that she and Irene are HIV positive. They are constantly trying to find the money for the ARV drugs that are essential to their survival.
Namutebi also has other painful physical conditions including an abdominal hernia. She has had several operations for the Hernia since 2002, but doctors say it would be too dangerous to operate again. She doesnt have money for drugs which could reduce the constant pain which makes it impossible for her to walk farther than 1 kilometer.
To make a living, Namutebi buys cassava and charcoal from local vendors, then roasts it and sells it by the roadside in her neighborhoods. Many people in the neighborhood know her and buy her products. But her profits are only a few shillings for each sale.
The children in the household are clean, well behaved, and friendly to visitors who come to talk to their grandmother. Namutebi wishes they were in school, but most of the time she cannot afford school fees, shoes, or notebooks. So the children spend their days at home with their grandmother, carrying water or playing in the neighborhood
Namutebi fears that the children also face a life of poverty and struggle when they grow up, because she cannot provide enough to help lift them out of poverty. I have been shabby for most of my life, Namutebi said sadly. It has not been easy for me to bring up my children and the grand children, so I have had an unhappy life.
Can you help this struggling family with donations of food, clothing or cash? If you would like to help, please call KIFAD, Kiyita Family Alliance, 772 586 147.