Jane Nabwire, 55, becomes sole guardian to 13 children and grandchildren
Widowed and left with no income to support the 13 children suddenly in her care, Jane is one of many thousands of women struggling in the wake of HIV/AIDS in Uganda. Her children often go without food, and malnutrition and disease caused by unsanitary living conditions begin to take their toll on the family. Jane is growing ever more desperate.
UCOBAC steps in
Uganda Community-Based Association for Child Welfare (UCOBAC) is alerted to the children’s dramatically declining health. Working in eastern Uganda to help hundreds of families just like Jane’s, UCOBAC volunteers take immediate steps to assess and give Jane and her children the basics: home repairs and household goods, food and medicines.
Home sweet home
Jane and her family of 13 children and grandchildren had been living in a one-room hut, with no water or sanitation, little furniture and no means of earning an income. UCOBAC volunteers upgrade Jane’s home to a sturdy and sanitary sheet-metal and cement structure, and the family is given mattresses, anti-malarial mosquito nets, a jerry can for water and blankets.
BEFORE: Jane and some of her grandchildren in front of the one-room mud hut in which they all lived.
AFTER: A place to call home.
Two goats become seven
UCOBAC provides two goats which quickly become seven! A great source of income as well as nutrition, goats get Jane started on a number of agricultural and entrepreneurial ventures, including a fish hatching and selling venture funded by a UCOBAC small-business loan.
Jane shines as an entrepreneur
Repaying the initial investment in just a few months, Jane goes on to start a family brick-making business, which her eldest sons continue to run.
By the end of 2011, Jane had founded several home-based businesses. She planted a kitchen garden that was feeding the family and provided ‘cash’ crops for the market, and tended a herd of goats, some of which had been traded for cows – even more lucrative for family farmers in rural Uganda. The children were clean, fed and healthy, since Jane could now afford health care and to send the younger ones to school.
Grateful, energized and confident, Jane begins to speak with women’s groups in Bugiri District to share her story and offer others inspiration and hope.
UCOBAC continues to monitor Jane’s situation and work with others in the community.