We have a new, exciting way for you to get involved with our work at Child’s i through a monthly giving community, The Giving Circle! Your gift can help mums like Mercy.
“Your past does not define your future,” these are not just words to Mercy; it is a mantra that she lives by every day. Mercy was left by her parents when she was a young girl. “I do not think my mother was ready to be a parent and neither was my dad,” she tells us, opening a wound that has left a scar in her life. A scar that Mercy has not let define who she is and who she is becoming.
“I grew up with my grandmother,” she tells us when we meet her and her four children at their home. Even when the odds stacked against her when her husband suddenly left, leaving her alone to care for their four young children, Mercy tells us she never once thought of abandoning her children. “I know how it feels to not grow up with your parents, to not know your dad, to not know your mom. It breaks your heart. I would not want my children to go through what I went through.”
For a while, Mercy had a hard time taking care of her children. After finishing her one-year course in tailoring, she could not find a job to take care of her young family. However, a friend of hers introduced her to Child’s i Foundation for support. She was supported with a sewing machine to kick start her business. “I have gone through a lot and that has given me the strength to take care of my children,” she says as she makes the finishing touches on a Kitenge shirt she is making for one of her customers.
Every day Mercy works, except for Sundays, because Sundays are sacred in her home. “We go to church together as a family,” Mercy tells us. Every morning she wakes up and walks just a few meters from her home to open her tailoring business. “I now have a business that is putting food on the table and helping me take care of my children.” The business may still be young, but Mercy has big dreams for her future, she wants to start a tailoring school to train other women like her.
Her advice to women who are going through the same situation she was going through not long ago is to not leave their children. “A child that does not grow up with their parents misses a lot in life,” she tells us, “my heart is full that my children are growing up with me because my children are my life, they love me and I love them, they are my best friends.”
We let Mercy get back to her business as a customer walks in to check on the progress of their dress, and we are left pondering on her parting wisdom; “Whatever you are going through today, does not define your future.”
Due to the pandemic and the countrywide lockdown, Mercy had to close down her tailoring business. Luckily, we were able to support Mercy with five months of rent as well as food packages to help her and her family get through this difficult time. Mercy has since resumed her business after the ease on the lockdown measures, and her business is slowly picking back up.
Mercy’s family is among hundreds of families that we support to stay together so they do not have to make the heartbreaking choice of placing their children in an orphanage. We would like your help to make sure that we keep more families together by joining our Giving Circle.
The Giving Circle is a global network of changemakers who are on a mission to transform the way we care for children in Uganda. Your monthly gift will support children, families, and communities to make sure every child grows up in a safe and loving family. Join the Giving Circle in Uganda here and in the UK here and support many more families just like Mercy’s.