A Single Mother’s Business

Patience* dropped out of school and started living with Faisal* when their daughter was born. Patience had disobeyed her parents, who had encouraged her to stay in school, but she had decided to start her adult life with Faisal. He had promised her heaven on earth and that he would take the best care of her.

Faisal tried his best to provide for his new family by ensuring that all they had necessary things to run their home. They were able to buy a small piece of land in the suburbs where they built a house that provided a good environment for their young family. This helped Patience to start a small business selling groceries within their new community. The business grew to become a medium sized shop that was now supplying goods to the nearby small startups. This made Faisal  a very happy man with his family.

Asking for help

Faisal’s extended family started showing up at his home and business asking for help because they presumed he was now a very rich man who could help them with running their own families. At first, his uncle became bitter whenever he asked Faisal for money and he could not come through for him. He blamed Patience because he thought it was her that stopped her husband from helping them. This went on for a long time and made Patience very resentful, leading to arguments with her husband who didn’t know what to decide because he had always been close to his family.

A sad turn of events

Bad fortune befell Patience when Faisal suddenly succumbed to an illness unknown to this day. His death meant a lot of things to a widowed Patience. She had to try to continue running the family as well as the fast-growing business. The relatives from the deceased’s family started claiming that they needed to look after the shop business to ensure that Patience was not wasting the money. When she tried to disagree with some of the decisions they wanted to make for her, they were bitter and threatened to chase her from the home and business. This was a nightmare for her: she had no other place to go as she had had a bitter separation from her parents.

In the end, she had to agree with them, and they decided that some other relatives would come in to stay permanently. This is because they felt that this was the deceased’s property that now belonged to them.

Getting worse

The conditions became worse, resulting in bitter fights that became violent when Patience had a disagreement with one of Faisal’s relatives. Patience ended up receiving bruises all over her body and this prompted the Local Chairman to intervene. The case was forwarded to the police and the two involved in the fight were detained. After two days of detention, to Patience’s surprise, the shop had been relocated and the house was now sold to new owners!

No Street Called Home

Patience became homeless with nowhere to go. Patience ended up staying with one of her aunties who promised to provide refuge for a short period of time as she was already struggling to make ends meet. Patience’s daughter went to the streets of Jinja to try and make some money selling scrap metal.

It was at this point that a social worker from S.A.L.V.E. International found out about Patience and her mother living in sorry conditions, fending for themselves with next to no income at all.

After detailed assessments, Patience participated in S.A.L.V.E.’s Single Mothers’ Business programme. During the training she shared her story and her willingness, coupled with determination, to earn money when given the opportunity.

She started selling small merchandise at her aunt’s premises and the business slowly grew to become successful. After five months of operation, Patience is now back on her feet and well able to take good care of her child. She had also suffered a lot of emotional torture and is consistently receiving counseling from S.A.L.V.E. social workers. She is slowly but surely changing her mind about the past, embracing the present that she now has, and is hopeful for a great future.

At S.A.L.V.E. International, we work with families of street connected children. We reintegrate children, carry out family counselling, help children to join education and extend some start-up capital and training where needed to selected families after careful assessments of who needs what support to thrive.

All well-wishers and supporters are therefore called upon to further this cause to help ensure that there is “No Street Called Home”. We can’t do this without you.

* names changed in line with our Data Protection Policy

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