16p per day? Everyone has a story....

Elspeth Dugdale | December 3, 2018

16p per day? Everyone has a story....
35k = £7.29 - weekly salary for 45 hours work

 ‘Everyone you meet will have a story ……remember that not every problem they have can be solved, but every story can be listened to. Sometimes that will be enough and it will always help.’ Unforgettable advice from Charles to a visiting team about 10 years ago. In recent weeks, we have had to keep reminding ourselves about this. A few conversational snapshots….

 

Meeting up with a very bright S6 leaver from 2016 who has the grades to apply to university .......

He is currently ‘stuck’ in Kampala earning a miserly £7.29 (35,000 shillings) per week - roughly 16p per hour. To save money he walks 2 hours to get to work. Even allowing for economic differences and Kampala factory rates, the salary is shocking and exploitative. The family background means he and his younger brother are not welcome at home and have no parental support. Despite this, he has a firm plan to follow in Charles’ footsteps and train first to become a teacher, then a lawyer in the future. Despite the current situation, he says he has learnt a lot through the hardship, has become stronger and has real hope and expectation for 2019.

silhouette.jpgMeeting a local family who live in a small house, within a stone’s throw of WTA......   

Five out of six siblings are now at primary school and some of the best in class. Mum and Dad both work hard to provide for their young family. In recent times parents and children have experienced serious illness and live in real poverty. Earlier this year, the five year old sister suffered a violent, abusive attack from a known, family friend, for which he has been jailed. Despite this, the whole family remains full of hope and purpose, expressing grace and forgiveness for the perpetrator. Their joy and delight in life is infectious, unnerving and inspiring.

 

Moses.JPGMeeting an ex-student who we have known for 10 years.......

He began S1 on the old WTA site, but sadly had to leave in S5 to prevent his family land being stolen by unscrupulous neighbours - sad that his school life was over. Four years later, he is now married and living near Masindi with his young family. Over time, he has become a ‘serious man’ in the community, slowly building up a business, developing his land, and advising on local matters. Recently, Moses was selected for further engineering training to meet increasing demand from developing industries in the area. Rural living is rarely easy in Uganda, but as a family they maintain total hope and trust in better times to come. 2019 will see the arrival of a new baby and a new career.

Just three stories, three inspiring people. Good to remember.