On this year’s International Women’s Day we launched the Send a Chicken program for 29 women and their families in Ruhanga. The program aimed to provide an asset to ultra poor women that they could use to generate an income and working capital that they could reinvestment. One of those participants was Night Barema.
Night spoke with one of our Program Managers and here is how they got on,
What is your name and how old are you?
N: Barema Night and I am 58 years old
Are you married?
N: I am a widow. My husband passed away 25 years ago
How many children have you got?
N: I have 6 children. They are all out of school. I live with my last born, Anita, who completed Primary 4 and then dropped out.
What is your level of education?
N: I didn’t go to school. My father didn’t think educating daughters was important so only the boys were sent to school. Night thinks her father didn’t go to Heaven because of this.
What was your life like growing up
N: I used to help the family in the gardens and raising animals. I was born in a village in Ntungamo sub-county and moved to Kakiizi when I was married off at the age of 16. I had my first child a year later.
How did you hear about LTHT?
N: I belonged to Kakiizi post-test which is a group of women concerned about HIV and I found out about LTHT when they called us for a meeting
Why did you join?
I wanted to be part of the chicken program because I thought it was an opportunity to learn something new and get additional income
What was your income before you joined the chicken program?
N: I used to make 10,000-20,000 UGX (£2.43- £4.87 per month)
How did you earn that income?
N: I had a sugar cane garden which I used to take care of and I sold the sugar canes by the road
What did you spend it on?
N: I spent it on soap, salt, sugar, and other basic needs for the household
What are you currently earning?
N: I am now making 70,000 UGX (£17.03 a month) from selling the eggs the chickens produce. I am no longer able to take care of the sugar cane garden so I have lost the income from selling sugar canes.
What percentage of your income is from the selling of eggs?
What has this income allowed you to do that you were not able to do before?
N: I am now saving 9,000 UGX (£2.19) per month and I have bought a goat. I am reinvesting most of my income in buying high quality feeds for her chickens
Do you consume some of the eggs?
N: No, I haven’t had a single one
Why did she buy a goat?
N: I bought a goat because they’re easy to raise and reproduce quite quickly
How do you hope to benefit from the goat program?
N: I would like to crossbreed my female with one of the dairy males so I can start drinking milk as I currently don’t
What are your aspirations?
N: I would like to have a more comfortable life, not having to work so hard anymore to cover my family needs. I would like to learn to write and read as I feel I missed a great opportunity in the past. I would also love learning to speak a bit of English.
What do they hope for their children?
N: I hope my children have a better life than me: get a good paying job, have a healthy family and live comfortably.
What changes would you like to see in you country in your lifetime that would affect you or the girls/women that follow?
N: I would like some factories to come to the area to produce sugar from sugar cane or dry pineapples, so jobs would be created and farmers would have easy access to market. I would also like to see more people having access to water.