Life was already difficult for this single mother caring for 8 children and her elderly mother, and now she is struggling to provide just one meal each day as the children are home from school and her source of income is restricted by the lock-down.
Christine is the single mother of 5 children who are studying at IGF’s main primary school in Kitgum town. Two of her children are sponsored by a wonderful family in Australia, and three of her children are unsponsored. Normally, the children would walk 6km to school each morning, and 6km home again in the evening. Their nearest source of water is 3km away, resulting in a 6km walk carrying a jerry-can just to get water to drink, cook with and bathe.
Normally the 5 children would receive 2 meals each day at school. However, the current lock-down which has resulted in school closures means that the children must remain home, and with other dependent children this means there are 8 children to feed.
Before the lock down Christine could easily move around the community, access the markets and earn a small income to buy necessities. Now, it is difficult for her to go to the market to sell things. She said that she can only afford to offer her family one meal per day.
When asked how she is feeding her family, Christine told us ‘“I take a bundle or two of firewood to town to sell but it’s far like 8 kms from here and to make it back, it’s like 16 kms. Very tiresome but I have to do it. I also, together with older children do casual farm work (labour) in people’s garden. In days when none of the above happens, the family go without a meal. So each day, I have to balance between working on my garden and working on a way of earning some money to feed the family as well.”
Christine’s family was among the 280 families that have already received food and soap packages from IGF to help relieve the pressure of feeding their children.
“I am grateful for your support and for thinking of me and the children during this hard time. I know it is not easy and it must be God that is leading and helping you to do it.. The food ration given is helpful but as you can see, my household is quite big.. I am thankful and I ask and pray the Lord God bless and strengthen you”.
In additional to ongoing challenges of feeding her large family each day, Christine is concerned about her childrens’ education while the schools are closed. She prays that she can be supported with a radio so that the children can listen to the on-air classes and teachings broadcast through Mighty Fire fm.
As the lock-down continues across Uganda, IGF is seeking to continue providing food relief packages to the most vulnerable IGF families. You can help provide food and soap to a family in desperate need by donating to ‘Covid-19 relief packages’