A Father in Uganda

June 16, 2017

My name is Yassin Ssemwogerere and I am 50 years old. I grew up in a polygamous family and didn’t get much of a formal education, so early on I learned how to fend for myself.

In my culture, when a man comes of age, he is expected to marry and have a family of his own. I came to Kampala as a teenager and did several odd jobs with big companies like Nile breweries. I found a wife and we started living together. Soon after, we had a child. Unfortunately my wife died due to an illness and left me with a toddler to take care of. I lived alone for about 8 years until I met Phina, my current wife. She was very young at the time and this was a marriage arranged by my friend. Phina told me about her own tough situation and said that she was ready for marriage. After consulting with her maternal aunt and my elder brother, everything was sorted out and we started living together. We now have 5 children together.

When I first heard of the BeadforLife Street Business School, I was eager to join but unfortunately men are not allowed at the training. However, all hope was not lost since my wife was going to attend the training! This was a rough time in our family life since I had just lost my job. Because of this, sometimes the family would go without food. Even the odd jobs I used to do were hard to come by. To help out, my wife had learned how to plait hair and we would at least get something from what she earned.

However, our life completely changed when my wife attended the Street Business School! For the first time we had a plan for the future! We could plan beyond a day! Currently, we plan together and have since opened up other income generating activities. I have put up a shanty where people watch TV for a small fee and my wife has started selling maize. This extra income has enabled us to put our children in school as well as have enough food for the whole family! I feel really proud of my wife for having joined the SBS training. I have been able to rise again and as a father I am proud of being able to provide for my children from the small business I started.

Having a wife who works lessens the economic burden on the family and the money management skills she acquired from the training have helped us plan better for our home.I appeal to other men out there to encourage their wives to attend trainings like these! BeadforLife Street Business School not only changed life for my wife but the entire family!

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