I was brought up with a rule. That rule stated that if you work hard, you can achieve anything you want. This is what my parents taught me when I was growing up.
When I met Saidat, who is from Luteete single mothers, we immediately bonded very well. Saidat is about the same age as my mum, she is fluent in English and she is one of the most hard working people I’ve ever met. There is a reason why her English is so good. Saidat is the only one from both women groups who went to secondary school, although didn’t finish it.
When I visited the inside of her parents house, I was surprised how spacious it was, complete with cemented floor. Apparently her father was a wealthy man who even owned a car (a huge luxury in rural Uganda). He could also afford his daughter to go to secondary school. However, after his sudden passing, Saidat could not graduate. Later in life Saidat got married and after a death of her husband, she needed to come back to her parents house, which is far from ideal for any grown up child.
It is so interesting how many of my beliefs and values were shaken and rethought while I was in Uganda. That thing of hard work.. I’m not sure anymore if it really holds any truth. I have seen Saidat every day coming to our group and working every minute to fulfil the orders of my beloved tea coasters and rings for napkins. She works hard at home too.
It’s challenging to be a single mother in Uganda and even if you work hard every day, it’s still difficult to stay afloat. I feel so privileged, because where I was born it is indeed true that if you work hard, you can achieve a lot of things in life. In Uganda this is not always the case…