Alupo Martha wanted to become a nurse when she was child. When Yoweri Museveni took office and war broke out in Uganda, Martha’s father died and so did her dream of becoming a nurse.
As the oldest child of seven children, Martha had to drop out of school to take care of her brothers and sisters. There was no longer enough money to support the family, or pay Martha’s school fees and she left school during Senior Two, around 10th grade.
Martha eventually married at the age of 28, and was with her husband for seven years before his lack of support for the family led them to divorce. Eleven years later, Martha married again and she moved her family to Namatala to find work.
Martha moved her family from her village of Serere, so that her children could have access to education. Her mother and brother still live in the village, and Martha is able to bring her children to visit them on Christmas.
In Namatala, Martha did find work; however, it is backbreaking manual labor cleaning the grounds of Mbale hospital. She is paid 100,000 Ugandan Shillings ($40) a month, which is not enough to support herself and children, and the work is hard on her body at age 43.
Sadly, after six years of marriage with her second husband it ended in the same way. He stopped helping the family and they divorced.
Martha dreams of starting her own business so that she can provide for her family and not have to work at the hospital anymore. She wants to be able to pay her children’s school fees, and have the ability to provide “nice meals” for them.
MARTHA’S FAVORITE – FISH AND GREENS
For most of us, eating a salad for lunch is as simple as ordering one at a local restaurant or a quick trip to the grocery store. For the inhabitants of the Namatala Slum in Uganda, it’s not quite as easy. Hunting and gathering may seem like a practice of the past, but it is an everyday occurrence and a way of life for thousands of people in Uganda, including Martha and her family. Read more…