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We are a US-based 501(c)3 nonprofit charity organization that seek to work in Ghana and other developing countries in Africa to empower, support, and equip vulnerable children, women and communities we serve with basic needs to escape poverty.

The plight of an African Widow. Help a widow project

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Societies in Africa respect the death of a person as a norm and cultural practice. Many of those that have lost their partners will always share the plight of being in such a situation and where it throws them. Miss Winnie Nfaaki, the field counselor at the RMC Uganda chapter, encountered one widow from the Nambale sub-county in the Iganga district whose story enticed the write-up for this article. In her words, I quote:

My name is Sarah, a widow to the late Malwaya Bazirio. We had nine children at the time of his death, and apparently, they have been ten since he died, leaving me pregnant.

At the time of his death, he was the breadwinner of the house, and his demise left a big gap between us. I had nowhere to start from with that number of children. After the cultural funeral rites were held, that was the changing point. Many things turned out black to me. Friends and families made many negative suggestions, one being that his brother being the heir, should marry me again or, less, I leave home for good. In short, they tried to chase me. No one was willing to help the children apart from my family and me. I was denied access to the farmland since I refused to be married to an heir who is suspected to be HIV+.

With my many children, I managed the crisis. They dropped out of school, and those older helped me preserve the family’s survival. Nothing came in easy. In the short run, even the eldest son got into an accident during his normal vending, which left him incapacitated, so we had to go to the hospital. In my absence, the eldest girl was raped by a neighbor’s son, which caused a setback. When we returned from the hospital, the girl was three months pregnant. I lost my son; my daughter was raped on top of losing my husband. She broke me to pieces, but I am trying to recollect and mend my broken pieces back to the whole by sharing my story. I am left at crossroads, the two children helping me all scrapped off, and I am now left with the burden on the rest. Education is a problem, and clothing too. We are at the mercy of kind friends.

As Ryvanz-Mia Charity organization has given ears to this story. On record, many widows are chased away from their spouse’s premises after their death. Many widows cannot access the property, can not stay on the land, and are not allowed to make decisions after the husband’s end. Many widows are forced to marry their husband’s brothers simply because they are heirs.

Our role as Ryvanz-Mia Charity (RMC) through field coordinators is to create sensitization on such cultural practices. Seeing a widow being forced to be married off to the heir makes her prone to certain diseases like HIV, STI, and others. It also causes a commotion among the family. We need to see such a practice die off. We, too, need to follow up on the HELP A WIDOW project that is clustering them into groups, which will be easy for us to monitor, share, dialogue, and give them an awareness of the rights of a widow. Such a family, Sarah, since it has school dropouts like the raped daughter, can shine again if maintained in the SHE SHINES PROJECT for youth affected by the covid spell through the apprenticeship programs. We can achieve this with your support. Alone we dare not climb, but with you, we reach greater heights. You can donate anything to support the suffocating widows and mothers whose stories may be unfolded. Anything can count, especially regarding education, clothing, and health.

NB; The names herein are not the actual names of the said persons on request by the narrator for security and personal reasons, but he is very willing to open up on one on one discussion

 

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