Written By Alyssa Kurtz
It has been 3 years since I was last in Bombo. In those 3 short years the town has already changed dramatically. From new clubs, to increases in food prices, to women wearing jeans (instead of skirts) I can see the influence of the city infiltrating nearly all areas of Bombo life. Though many of these changes are considered good signs of "development," one of the greatest travesties I have encountered thus far has been the overwhelming increase in the number of single mothers living in Bombo.
In talking with Josephine Ssemakula about the plight of the single mother she explained,
“Life for women is hard here, but it is especially hard for women once they have children. A woman who is abandoned without children can make something happen for herself, but once she has children it is extremely difficult.”
As I spoke with the many single mothers living in our compound, I have found this to be overwhelmingly true. Due to the realities of poverty and unequal access to resources, widowed and abandoned women are left with little to no resources and nowhere to turn. Though there are a few women’s groups attempting to help single women start up small businesses in the Bombo area, it seems this is often not enough to ensure the well being of these mothers and their children--considering their needs often run much deeper than financial needs alone.
Yet, amidst all the hardships, the strength and determination these women display to provide for the needs of their children continues to amaze me. I am constantly challenged by the character and courage I see these mothers daily display. I have already learned so much from these amazing women, and I hope that in the short time we have left, we can continue to find ways to encourage them and help lighten their far-too-heavy loads.