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Child labour

Funding: 26 USD Johanna Persson Green (Använd pengarna till något bra!); 31 USD Jacob Söderberg (Bidrag till nått bra/ jakob); 20 USD Martin Jemarson (Grymma bröder stay strong); 15 USD Ulla Wiik; 204 USD Anders Svedbrant; 31 USD Myrthel Engelbrektsson; 20 USD From Lina and Lino, good luck!; 10 USD Maria Burger; 10 USD Gunilla Humble; 51 USD Anna Wendelin; 26 USD Jannike Nickander; 26 USD Fredrik Nickander; 31 USD Samy / to children of africa; 31 USD Karin Agerman (You are doing a fantastic job!); 51 USD Jacob Axelsson; 20 USD Hanna Berglind

In this post we tell about a charity which we were really not so happy with. But we learn and do another one soon after, which felt really good. Helping people with the heaviest of work, hammering stone.

We paid the Bushenyi county jail a visit to see if we could help some poor prisoners that were to be released soon. In the sense of make one good mother/father citizen out of one bad. To help them and their family on to a better path so that they can earn a living in an honest way. We did not get a good feeling of this visit unfortunately. We were not allowed to take pictures. They have got many human rights complaints and also we saw prisoners walking on there knees on gravel as a punishment. We did not get such a good feeling about this as when we visited the prison in Kericho, Kenya.

In Kericho, the prisoners we met had been stealing because of poverty to support their families, but when we talked to these prisoners they had been violent and one was a murderer (she said. Given the short sentence she had gotten, she probably got the word mixed up with manslaughter). We thought this is nothing for our fund to support. So not to disappoint the prisoners nor the jail for the time, we spent our own money and not the funds and bought very little stuff for making hairstyles as something to do for them. One of them wished to open a hair salon in the future. We got another bad indication of corruption when the prison guard wished us to buy a tablecloth. “For what?” Luise asked, ”You know when you open a hair saloon, it has to look nice” the guard replied. (So this was a good indication we actually bought stuff for the guards).

With this bad feeling in my stomach of helping murderers and corrupt human rights violators I couldn’t think of not comparing this to the poor family I saw the other day, walking up the highest hill in the village. Two mothers and a bunch of kids were digging for stones and then dividing the stones in to gravel or macadam size pieces with a hammer.

This picture is from some others doing the same a day later.

All by hand. This is what I thought prisoners did, or at least 100 years ago.

So without losing time, we set off to help these two families with something. We asked our driver where we could buy female goats. He took us to the saw mill first where we bought a black and white goat which we thought was cute enough to earn the name Nutella.

We then went and bought another goat which we named Pancake.

Goats are precious as a gift. You don’t need to own land to keep them, nor a permit. They soon produce new goats to sell and they give milk. Food is all over without cost.

We kept the goats in the courtyard of our house at the hospital. They loved the high grass but they did not get along very well. They chewed on everything and made chairs fall to the floor.

They also peed and pooped all over the yard which our maid was not so happy about. It’s amazing how these animals can pee four times in one hour and quite a lot of pee also, only by chewing grass…no water.

We kept the goats overnight and then prepared to letters in english and Niancole which is one common language here, the maid helped us with the translation. In the letters it said that this is a gift from Bikeofgoodhope and that they hopefully can earn a living in the future with the goats and so that there kids can go to school.

We took the long walk to the high hill.

It was sunday so many people don’t work. But two women were hammering.

They were both potential mothers so we decided they were good enough. It was hard to communicate but they happily understood the gift after spending a couple of minutes reading the few sentences in their own language.

Since we couldn’t speak to them we had to walk to their relative who could translate. We walked another two kilometers to get to this female relative from the hill. Then we all sat down in her livingroom to hear the two womens stories.

They were 28 and 42 years old. One the mother of four the other one a mother of six. They were hammering stones every day. Usually six hours only to go home at lunch to make lunch for the family’s kids that goes to school when it is not holiday. The young kids come with their mothers and all the kids come along and hammer stones during the holidays. They all eat porridge for breakfast and matoke (fried potato like banana for lunch) meat is luxury and is very rare. One of the women has a small plot where she can grow some of the vegetables needed for the family but it is not enough. When we ask what the fathers do they giggle a little and shake their head; ”They are not capable”. The men work also, one at the coffee factory and one as a guard but maybe it is not enough or maybe that money goes to drinking and prostitution, we want to ask this but now the living room is full of kids and elders so we don’t.

Anyway the translating relative has a good education as a schoolteacher and lives with her husband in this permanent house. Other than this she has only two kids to support, she says it is enough. When we ask why her sisters has more kids she says that they got married early and produced kids instead of going to school, so now they have low salaries and more mouths to feed.

Hopefully, these goats will push them in the right direction to getting a more sustainable income for the family than hammering stones.

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