TDT worked with Soroti Mothers Union on a pilot project to provide vulnerable women with independence and a source of livelihood. Livestock training and sheep and goats were provided to forty five women in the Soroti Archdeaconary. Here are the stories of some:
I am called Esther Kiai from Odudui Parish Angai church of Uganda. I am very happy for the gift that I received from TDT through Mothers union office Soroti Diocese, it was an angelic visit to me. Am now 8 years old in marriage but it has never been easy, I never owned any item on my own making it difficult to meet family needs like mother.
I have gone through challenges like;
• Domestic violence, we are not respected from our own husbands and other relatives.
• Low income base. Last year and this year has been challenging due to long dry spell forcing us to have one meal a day.
• High rates of diseases like malaria, Hepatitis B etc. has also affected us as a family.
• We as Mothers still face a problem of gender in equality were some men look at their women as properties without a voice and a role in family decision
Benefit; I am very sure that this year my sheep will multiply, because I have already got knowledge on how to understand the life cycle of my animal, how to feed and treat. I feel proud because I own an asset. The livelihood project has helped me know how to share with others.
Above is Esther Kiai tethering her sheep.
I am called Hellen Imede from Owollo C.O.U Asuret Parish single mother of 4 and living with HIV/AIDS. I must say thank you for remembering our group. Though sick, but still have the ability to do something for the next generation.
I go through a lot of challenges like:
• Poor nutrition, we are required to feed well but sometimes we don’t have enough to support our immunity.
• Stress of medication, we are required to take our medication daily and it is not easy.
• Children living in fear of seeing me die soon because of my condition.
• Costs of treatment of the animals.
• Illiteracy. Some of us do not know how to read and write.
The training has helped us with some knowledge and skill, am able to know the interval and dosage for spraying my goat but I also request if we be helped on functional adult literacy classes.
Hellen Imede of Asuret with her goat as she prepares to give it water
More recently TDT has been supporting the Mother’s Union to offer a menstrual hygiene training programme for girls aged 10-18 in schools to make re-useable sanitary towels. Female members of staff also take part in the trainings. Around 50% of the girls in the classes have said that they miss 2-5 days a month of school because of menstrual hygiene issues. Disposable pads are expensive and as well as missing school on certain days of their period girls will sometimes also miss school to go out and work to earn the money to buy them, they also resort to using old cloth or newspaper as an alternative. In general knowledge around the subject is low and it would be helpful to train mothers, all teachers and boys on the subject. Classes were suspended when schools were closed during Covid but have now started again.
In 2021 a Women’s Adult Literacy Class was started which also doubled as a savings group. To help with this the women also learn numerical literacy so they can record transactions accurately. Learning to read and write improves the self confidence of the women and the group is so popular it has grown from 30 to 44. The women are also able to offer each other pastoral support. For the first 6 months the classes were supported by TDT/ The Mother’s Union however the trainer is now supported by funds that the women themselves have collected so that they can continue learning. They hope to learn skills such as baking and soap making and have also been trained to make re-usable sanitary pads.