My Life in Masindi, Uganda

Guest post by Ivan, a child enrolled in ChildFund’s Uganda programs

boy with book

Ivan studies his science text.

I live in the Yelekeni community in Uganda’s Masindi area. I am 11 and in form six at school.

My community is found in the mid-western part of Uganda. Our area is blessed with a good climate that favours agriculture so much that we have two growing seasons in a year. The most stable foods are beans and maize.

By culture, I am Acholi, and being a boy we spend most of our time hunting for wild animals during dry season and making evening fire for the elders. Girls are responsible for collecting firewood, cooking and grinding grains, using our local grinding stones.

During birth, according to my culture, baby boys spend three days in the house and girls spend four without being brought out. On the day of bringing the baby out, a small party is held for naming the baby. The name is given by the elders.

During burials, men are not seen to be crying. And it is men who participate mostly in the burial exercise. During marriage, it is the men who take the dowry to the bridegroom’s family.

Hand-drawn mapFor a child in my community, one has to wake up and groom in the morning, sweep the compound, brush your teeth, wash your face and dress up for school. During weekends and holidays, we wake up at 6 a.m., go to the garden to either dig, weed or harvest crops, then come home at 2 p.m. From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., we play football.

Some families have just one meal in a day, which is in the evening.

At 7 p.m., we bathe and then go to sleep.

Thanks so much for sharing with you my story, and greetings from Masindi area.

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