The Nsumbi Single Parents’ Group in Wakiso District was developed with the help of Advantage Africa and SPAU in 2009. The group members, most of whom are widows, have improved their families’ income through undertaking poultry-rearing, vegetable growing and small business enterprises such as chapatti-making and water collection.
The group also expressed the need for a nursery in the Nsumbi community which would provide early education for the poorest young children and also afford hard-pressed single parents the opportunity to spend time on their income-generating activities. A disability-accessible nursery has been built with a small play area at the back with fun play equipment. The building also has three self-contained units at the front to help provide ongoing funding opportunities for the long-term running of the nursery’s activities.
More than forty young children initially joined the nursery which officially opened, amidst joyful community celebrations, in February 2013. Since then numbers of attendees have grown and with a small team of committed and inspirational staff in place, the nursery has gone from strength to strength. It is now community-owned and self-sustaining through its income-generating activities and nominal termly fees.
With most of the Nsumbi Single Parents’ affected by HIV, Advantage Africa has also helped the group with accessing anti-retroviral therapy, Memory Work training to cope psychologically and practically with the disease’s impact as well as providing intensive nutritional support for individuals struggling with chronic weakness and ill health.
In 2009 single parent Teddy was living in a poor mud home with her children and desperately ill. SPAU brought her into the Nsumbi Single Parents’ Group and she received counselling, was taken to hospital for treatment for her immediate severe symptoms and was able to start taking anti-retroviral drugs. Intensive nutritional support helped her regain her strength, enabling her to safely take her HIV drugs, earn an income and in due course rent a much better home. Now, Teddy works hard to grow and sell tomatoes, onions, sweet potatoes and sugar cane. She cooks and sells chapattis and also weaves baskets. She has become an inspirational figure within the Single Parents Group, determined to overcome her ill health and poverty and committed to ensuring her children, so nearly orphans, can complete school.