What we do

Living in the Slum

It was in April 2012 that one of families invited me to visit their home. I was born and raised in Kampala the Ugandan capital city, I had seen poor people before, but I had never seen such poverty that I saw in the Katanga slum, it was shocking I couldn't believe my eyes. This family was raising chickens for business in the same small room that all their 9 children used a bed room. The room was divided by a yellow rag which served as a curtain; to divide the room one side was used for raising chicken and the other side for the children to sleep (Bedroom). The heat and the smell in the house was overwhelming. It was difficult for a Normal human being sleep in that house.

Meanwhile before I could leave the house, rain came down; and it came down hard! Suddenly dirty water from a huge trench on the edge of the house started flooding this small room; and naturally begun to fear for the little children in the house. To my amazement however, these little children knew what to do. I looked in disbelief as a small girl picked up a container and she started scooping the water out of the house. That's when it dawned on me that this was no rare occurrence here; it was a routine for them at the house. Once the rain comes down everyone of these little children knew what to do in order to survive.

In the meantime I (since I was a guest) was offered a small stool to stand on so that the muddy water doesn't get into my shoes. But it was all in vain. Soon I was down in the water helping the children, so that the water doesn't spoil other items like the mattresses which they would desperately need for the night. I was bothered by this way of life; and when I left the house that day, I did not remain the same. I was so emotionally beaten that I couldn't sleep all night. That's when I resolved to do something about it. I developed an idea which later turned out to be useful to the community. A program which I called water, hygiene and sanitation. This was aimed at helping especially the mothers in the Katanga slum to live a better life.

In this program I discouraged reckless living, drinking unboiled water and encouraged personal hygiene for every mother. For example, using sandals while going to the toilet (Latrine), using dry plantain leaves to smoke out and kill the flies and germs in the Latrine, washing of hands before and after eating and sleeping under a mosquito net. Growing up I was taught that charity begins at home. So I taught the women that you don't need to have all the money in the world to live a hygienic life. It all starts with using what you have to create what you don't have. In the Bible God asked Moses, "What do you have in your hand?" Moses replied, "A stick Lord." We all know the story of how the stick changed Moses' life.

In so doing I knew that the women once empowered, will transform thier families and the community. Because from my observation the largest percentage of women in the slum are the heads of their households. Most men are busy out there looking for money and engaged in other activities. Most men in the slums have no time for their families apart from a few who prioritize the well-being of their families. The water, hygiene and sanitation program has transformed many lives in this community and it is still carried on to date even in my absence

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In so doing I knew that the women once empowered, will transform thier families and the community. Because from my observation the largest percentage of women in the slum are the heads of their households. Most men are busy out there looking for money and engaged in other activities. Most men in the slums have no time for their families apart from a few who prioritize the well-being of their families. The water, hygiene and sanitation program has transformed many lives in this community and it is still carried on to date even in my absence