Spotlight: Jennifer Nabukenya

JENNIFER NABUKENYA. Age 46. 2 children. Arts & Crafts.

Jennifer is usually one of the first women to show up at the center for class and is hardly ever absent. When she can’t make it, you sense the void of her contagious energy. Her voice is husky and her laugh hearty. She usually has a scarf tied around her head and a project in her hands. She is industrious and serious about her work and how she spends her time, but she is lighthearted and is one of those people who you meet and feel like you have known your whole life.

When asked about her challenges, her hands pause for a moment and she gazes up at the avocado tree as she shares how difficult it is to earn enough to support her family. She is engaged in many socioeconomic activities, from raising pigs and poultry, to selling what little crops she has leftover at her roadside stand and weaving baskets, but it is a long distance to reliable markets and cajoling and bargaining leaves her with unfair exchanges for her goods and little money left over in her pocket after paying for transportation.

So she struggles to put her children through school and provide them with everything they need and has spent many years mentally tormented knowing that it needn’t be this way. If her husband contributed his earnings to the family rather than spending every coin on alcohol, nights wouldn’t be wasted tossing and turning with worry and would be better spent sleeping soundly resting from a hard days work.

DSC01179Jennifer smiles through discomfort and shakes her head as she recalls the painful memory of her husband coming home drunk late one night. Her and her children were sleeping when she heard him crashing through the door. Bursting through the room he started yelling at her nonsensically and shaking her awake and insisting that her and the children leave his house immediately, threatening their lives if they didn’t submit to his demands of exile. She woke the children, begging and pleading with him to stay as they had no where else they could go. Apologizing for whatever sins they had committed he continued his violent tirade until he tired himself out and at last went to bed.

Sadly this instance was not an anomaly and many women like Jennifer suffer from the consequences of alcohol dissolving the family’s finances and turning their husbands into aggressors. Because a woman has no say in how to manage the home, she is powerless and spends her life in silent torture. Until now.

The classes in leadership and confidence, self expression and guidance and counseling have given Jennifer the necessary skills in communication and confidence to speak to her husband about what needs the family has without creating conflict. As she gains ground, she is becoming a leader in her family and has begun sleeping through the night, comforted by the business and trade skills she has learned so that she can provide what she needs on her own.

Learning to manage her time so she can make it to class while fulfilling all her household chores, she has a renewed purpose in her day and her life as she is able to see her goals become possibilities within her grasp. Jennifer hopes to buy a solar system for her family and make a dependable living, something she never could have imagined before she started coming to center. With her newfound ability to express herself, she has shared her difficulties with her new friends and learned that she is not alone in her struggles, and has gained the courage to face them with resilience and to believe in her goals no matter what challenges the day brings.

Jennifer’s advice: With confidence, anyone is capable of doing anything and everything they want to do, so don’t hold back.

If you would like to sponsor Jennifer’s journey to success, please follow the prompts from the link here to DONATE

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