It’s almost Father’s Day, and over the past weeks, we’ve been sharing the stories of inspiring dads in the Unbound community. Charles is a dad in Uganda who’s been working hard to make a good living to support his family. He took some time to share about his journey with Unbound communications liaison Regina Mburu.
Regina: Tell us about your family.
Charles: I am a single father, after separating with my wife three years ago. I have four children. I live with three of them while my wife lives with the youngest one. One of my children, Luwukya, is sponsored in the Unbound program.
Regina: What are some challenges you faced before your child became part of the program?
Charles: Life is not easy as a single father. … I was struggling to provide for them. I used to work as a casual laborer in a construction site and the wages were very minimal.
Regina: How did life change when Luwukya got sponsored?
Charles: I was relieved. His school tuition was covered. Unbound has also been very helpful during this time when we are experiencing famine. They gave my family a food grant.
Regina: Are you part of a [parent group]? How do you feel being part of the group?
Charles: Yes, I am a member of the Kisakyamukama group. When I became part of the group, it was hard for me to come up with money to make the monthly contributions. The group supported, nurtured and encouraged me to start an income generating activity, so that I could support my children and myself. The business would also assist me make my monthly contributions to the group.
Regina: How exactly did the group encourage you?
Charles: I had the idea of brick making, but I did not have the means to start up. The group advised me to hire a site where I would be working. I saved up some money from my wages as a construction worker. My brother also gave me some money, and one of the group members loaned me some money to buy firewood to help in drying the bricks. That is how I started my brick-making business.
Regina: How is the brick-making business faring?
Charles: It is doing well. I have been able to make my monthly contributions to the group. I have also been able to take up a loan [from the group] twice. I used the loan to buy firewood to dry my bricks as well as get some wage for my employees at the site.
[bctt tweet=”“The (parent) group supported, nurtured and encouraged me…“ — Charles in Uganda”]
Regina: Do you like your brick-making business?
Charles: Yes I do. It provides for my children and me. I also enjoy a ready market from my bricks, so the sales are good.
Regina: What is your future plan?
Charles: My group members are encouraging me to save up and buy a piece of land to construct my own house, since I am still living in a rented house. They are also encouraging me to take up more loans and put the money into good use. I am growing old and so I will not be able to make bricks for long. With the profits earned from my brick making, I am constructing a salon, which will start running soon. I will also put up a retail shop.
Regina: What are your dreams for your children?
Charles: I want my child who is in the Unbound program to get support until he [can] become a doctor. I want my other children to get education [so they can] become nurses, engineers or teachers.
Regina: What are you currently working on?
Charles: I am working really hard to improve my income and provide fully for my other children who are not part of the Unbound program.
Regina: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Charles: I am very grateful to Unbound and my child’s sponsor. I pray that Unbound lives long.