Chrysalis Youth Empowerment Network

Joel (15) – My Current Life History and Problems in Namokora, Kalabong

Joel in Kireka near the Chrysalis Centre, May 2013

Joel in Kireka near the Chrysalis Centre, May 2013

Since my father passed away, we the family have not had proper cares.  One of my late father’s brothers happened to snatch my father’s carpentry tools for himself, not thinking of our wellbeing as children of the late.

My mother is undergoing several problems like heavy labour in the garden and works for people to get money in order to feed us.  Some days she can get 1,500sh (40p) a day from working in people’s gardens and also at the same time have to cultivate for feeding us.  This makes her vulnerable to illness, because of hard work.

On the other hand, my uncle is not allowing our mother to cultivate on the land we own from the village and sometimes he goes up to the garden and chases my mother away.  My mother tried to exert her rights but she was unable to promote the issue to the authority because of a financial problem.  She tried with the clan just during last term school days and we (me and my brother) did not attend because we were at school.

The man could not even help us buy school requirements or help with cultivation, even though he had cattle for ox-ploughing.

My mother is too poor to pay for medical services for eight children, including three children of my sister, who was divorced from her husband and with her land denied to her, she cannot raise more money.

So, what should I do to try to solve these problems?

Joel has been a member of the Butterfly Project since 2011 and is a strong advocate for children’s and human rights.