As far as women empowerment goes in this day and age, it is basically represented by a woman in a very classy pant suit in a boardroom talking about why she should be your publicist or lawyer. However, at first sight of the SHINE model homes in Kihanda subcounty in Kanungu district, my idea of empowered women was entirely switched and therefore I would like to shine a light on a woman that is the true definition of empowerment.
Meet Sarah, a 34-year-old lady that has been head of her family for over 8 years in the absence of her husband and is continuing to defy all odds with her astonishing work ethic and creativity. Sarah’s husband, also father of her three sons, left to work as a police officer in northern Uganda eight years ago and has only returned home twice as he lacks the fund to come home every year. She argued that she was tired of relying on the money he sent that was only enough for one meal a day for one week, so she opened a small groceries shop in front of her house that became the main point for her community. Two years ago, Sarah joined the InPact SHINE ambassadors that is part of a hygiene project that includes proper waste disposal practices, owning a rain-harvesting water tank, has a vegetable garden, a tippy-tap by the toilet and proper dish drying rack. She shared that before she got the tank, she had to trek over 2 hours every day for water and this meant she closed her little grocery shop and wasted time she would have spent carrying out other necessary activities. Today, Sarah has one of the most successful shops in her community, is putting two of her sons through secondary school and one in primary school on her own and has a productive vegetable garden in her backyard and can afford to take care of her extended family with no help from her husband.
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