Life being hard for the low income earners in Uganda and in light of the skyrocketing prices of individual basic needs and the inflation going out of the hands of the Central government,parents or guardians of the children in Uganda are finding it hard to sustainably maintain members of their families single handily, so they have found no better alternative except to engage their children in family income generating activities at a tender age.
A family which drew my attention and gave me a new push in the examination of the roles children play while they are at their parent’s homes,especially in a fragile economy like that of Uganda,belong to a woman of 44 years who was a typist and a receptionist of a defunct paper industry in 1997 in Jinja town before the market replaced paper bags with polythene paper bags- Kizza Gertrude Kigozi.
Kizza Gertrude Kigozi is blessed with two children- a girl of 11 years and a boy of 8 years.Both of them are attending school.The former in a private senior secondary school in Kampala and the latter in a government funded primary school in Njeru town council,Buikwe district.Like any other single parent in the country she is finding it hard to financially maintain her children,while they are at home or at school ever since her husband lost his job in a flimsy circumstances in the middle of 2009 ” Specioza Nakawesa my eldest daughter is in a boarding school.She pays shillings 550000 in school fees and takes a variety of things at the beginning of a school term including sugar for upkeep while at school.Likewise,although Vincent Saabwe ,my son is in a government school he needs money for transport and feeding as well as other personal belongings. I am a subsistence farmer and our land is not doing well” Kizza Gertrude Kigozi.
In order for Kizza Gertrude Kigozi to supplement the little income she gets out of the sale of her agricultural produce, she bought two mature pigs putting each pig under the personal care of her children ” this is the third time the pigs of my children are giving us piglets each and my children are taking care of them because they love them” she added.
I have found out that Vincent Saabwe and her sister takes turns in feeding the pigs except when Specioza Nakawesa is at school.Their mother told me that she sales a one month pig at shillings 50000 and a fully grown pig at a minimum of shillings 250000. The money she uses to pay for her children’s school fees as well as other requirements. Specioza Nakawesa and Vincent Saabwe says that their work to feed the pigs begin early morning of the new day,when they give them a mixture of Maize brand and water.” we clean the the temporary structure where they stay as a routine before we either leave for school or for other duties” They said.
Asked whether what she is doing is not a violation of children’s rights,Kizza Gertrude Kigozi said that children’s rights though important works for those who have.Is your opinion different from that of the mother of two?