Friday, January 21, 2011

The Women and Their Stories - Lydia and Annah

Lydia was born in Rubingo, and until the first workshop was held here in Mbarara, had never been outside her own village. She was the firstborn of 12 children, and explained the reason for such large families to us. "People think to themselves, I must have 8 children, because two of them will be snatched by measles." All the children in her family had some schooling, and Lydia herself went to Primary-5, finishing was she was 15 years old. She wanted to be a nurse, but her father was a "drunkard" by the time she was in P-5, so there was no money for her to continue. So at 16 she got married. She told us
that most women do the "donkey work", while many men just build a house and then do nothing. But she had a good relationship with her husband and he helped her. Sadly he got sick and died quite suddenly 7 years ago. Lydia has four children, the oldest of whom is already married with a child of her own and another on the way. One of her children is now in secondary school, and her hope is that she can afford to send the other two as well.
Annah is 40 and was the eighth of 11 children born to a peasant farming family in Bugamba. She spent most of her childhood fetching firewood and water, digging, washing and cooking. The older children in her family didn't have any education, but by the time Annah was 10, her parents realized the importance of schooling, and enrolled her in the village school. She completed P-6. She was married when she was twenty, and was happy until her husband died 9 years later. She has 3 children of her own, two of whom are now in secondary school, also a niece (an orphan) that she cares for. The cow she bought last year with her earnings has now had a calf, which she sold, and she has bought another plot of land.


  1. Hi Pippa
    Thanks for posting the stories of your women. It certainly makes us appreciate the life style we have in this country.

  2. There is nothing better than being reminded of the rights we have gained - to be educated, to choose our partners, to be treated equally. Hearing these women's stories, you see the stark contrast and know that the struggle for equal rights is far from over. Thanks for sharing - their hope and tenacity are inspiring.