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Being a child in Rural Gisagara

Sunday, October 27, 2013 - 19:10

“My name’s Emelitha, I’m eight and in grade two at primary school. I live with my mother, two sisters and a brother. My father died when I and my twin sister were babies.

Today I would like to tell you what I get up to during my holidays! I wake up at 6:30 every day. Sweep the compound and go to fetch water with Emerance, my twin. It’s about a 20 minute walk to the water point in our community. Because we are young we can only carry a small five-litre jerry can each. Older girls and grown-ups will fill 20 litre cans.

Afterwards I wash the plates and cups and I am ready to eat! My older sister prepares the porridge. At home, each of us has chores to do. My sisters and I wash and clean the house and do simple cooking like boiling water and cooking porridge. My mum prepares lunch and dinner. When she comes back from the field she makes things like sweet potatoes and cassava, with beans, cabbage and mushrooms – which we love! My mum is a member of one of ActionAid’s cooperatives, so we get vegetables on a daily basis.

We have a sleep after lunch and then go to join other children in our village at the akagoroba ka bana, where we learn to pray, praise and worship. We perform the songs we learn in church on Sundays. I really like this!

We go home for dinner, which is not so different from lunch. We pick green vegetables with my mum from the kitchen garden she has made behind our house. Then it’s time for bed.”