Rosemary comes from northern Uganda. Displaced by the war, she and her grandchildren have benefitted from the Bridges for Children and Wamama programs. In this interview, she tells how the Wamama group started. In Part 1 of this interview, she tells how she came to Kampala, and how B4C has helped.
I’ve benefitted a lot from this church. Again, when I joined they requested me to start a group of widows. The Wamama – widows, single mothers – I’ve really benefitted from that. Because it has taught us love. It has taught us unity. We pray together, do our things together, we love each other, we visit each other –
We get even to laugh, as well.
Yes. And we laugh.
Because, this smile you see on Rosemary today, it’s because of the Wamama group.
Because I used to cry! And if my tears were to become blood, by now I would be selling tears. but because of Wamama, I am always smiling. When I see you I’m happy. I always – I have hope now!
Would you give us some brief background of Wamama. How we started with you people? How did it begin?
Okay… there came a day, since the church is supporting the children. And when they come to visit the children they find that the children are not okay. The children are hungry. The children are suffering. Maybe they’ve already chased away the parents or the guardians from the house.
Mommy said, and Rosemary said, “Now we are only supporting the children to go to school. But – if we could support the mothers, and teach them how to pray, and teach them how to love each other, at least there will be a change.” Because it is always better to yeah somebody how to fish rather than giving somebody a fish to eat. So Mommy came out with this notion that “Why don’t we support these ladies whose children are in the program?”
That is Mommy who? Mommy Sara.
Mommy Sara requested us to form a group so that we may work together. And see that we can support our children. Is that right, Rosemary?
Yes. That’s very very right. That’s how Wamama began. And they began few in numbers, until now today she can tell us how the numbers have grown up and how the ladies – because they have a lot of testimonies. Not her alone, but different ladies when you meet them at least those who used not to laugh. Actually we’ll get to at least one of the days –
We can sing, we can pray. We play dramas. Like on Women’s Day we were very happy, we played a drama which eh – everybody was amused. And of course, it was about Hannah, the barren woman who kept on praying until when God listened to her prayers. Yeah. We played it and it was really wonderful.
The main problem we’re having right now – some of us we used to go to the city. Some of us carry banana, we carry different things, and we used to do – even my peanut [butter] here, we’d make it with the fried ground nuts. And I take it to town. But now the government doesn’t want to see people like us in the streets.
They have chased most of the women. And now, most of the women because they are not doing any thing, they have been chased out of their houses. They’re looking for somewhere some of them stay very far away, even as far as about twenty miles away. And they are not able even to come for the Wednesday meeting every day.
Most of us are being chased away from the house.Even me here. Mine has accumulated, but slowly by slowly, when I get some little money I give then. Yeah.Life is not easy, but Wamama group has really helped us. We who are still having some houses around here, we are now very few. But the rest have been chased away and they stay far away. Because they don’t have business and they don’t have money to pay the rent. And they cannot sustain themselves.
Life is not easy. It is just a struggle. But with God everything is possible. Because I’ve seen where the TOUCH got me, or where these people they got me from is not where I am now. Because now you can see me seated. I would lock myself inside the house and cry with the children because when we come out people laugh at us. People abuse us. But now, we don’t care. We know God is there. God who rescued us, who has been sustaining us. Even if we don’t get any meal in the morning, we know we will not sleep hungry. We shall get something at least. Amen.
Photos from Wamama: