This project includes community self-help groups, village savings and loan groups, training in modern farming techniques, and gender-related trainings to improve livelihoods.
Trainings related to gender-issues address critical gender justice issues and have dramatic, life-giving impact on the participants.
Akumu is one such participant.
Before she joined the group, Akumu was like a slave in her own household.
Her husband frequently came home drunk at night. If Akumu locked him out, he would kick down a door or climb through a window. He beat her often. “I never had peace within me,” she says.
Neighbors heard the couple fighting almost every night but no one dared intervene.
Akumu started going back to her parents’ house; at one point she was gone so long that everyone thought the couple had separated. “With those many quarrels and beatings,” says Akumu “we eventually lost respect for each other. Even the neighbors stopped respecting us.”
With no help from her husband, Akumu was also overburdened by household chores and the need to take care of her family. She and her husband did everything separately – they had different gardens, they never planned together, they never pooled their earnings.
But then Akumu joined a World Renew-sponsored group focused on gender related issues and she started feeling some light and peace within her.
Akumu didn’t keep her new knowledge to herself.
Every time she learned something new, she purposefully shared it with her husband. And although at first he ignored her, she never gave up. As time went by, he started listening and then he started responding and learning for himself.
Things started changing for the better.
Today Akumu and her husband no longer quarrel. Akumu’s workload has been drastically reduced: her husband sweeps the house when it is dirty; he even peels cassava, something he used to call “women’s work.”
They work as a couple now, weeding and harvesting and gathering firewood together.
Akumu says excitedly, “These days we plan together on what to plant and which garden to go to before we sleep.”
When Akumu goes to her parents' home now she laughs. “I am going for a good cause!” she says. “I am just going to visit my parents!”
World Renew Uganda