It was a psychologically abusive marriage. Like blades, his words sliced through her soul. She loved him, but he broke her. Every day, he mocked her impaired arm and drained her. On the day he left, he said that he had found better, ‘a real woman’ with two whole arms. This was the second man to leave her crumbling with the burden of raising their children.
Every day, she missed her first husband; he was killed in the war back in South Sudan. The very war that had since made her a refugee in Uganda for about five years now. At least she knew love back then; her first husband never reminded her that she was born with an impaired arm.
Sunday was broken!
News of Windle International Uganda’s European Union-funded Skills for Employment Project (SEP) found Sunday in this state. The mother of five living in Yumbe District saw it as a chance to take back her life and never have to be at the mercy of anyone again. “I am 29 years old. I have 5 children and I am doing Fashion and Design,” she says.
Like many beneficiaries of the skills training, she heard about the programme from the village chairperson, who had seen how bleak her situation was. “At first I thought it was cosmetic making, but when I got here, I joined hair dressing, then I asked them to change me to tailoring,” she chats.
She is glad they instantly let her go where she felt most comfortable. “I like Fashion and Design, if I succeed here, I will be able to make money and start my own business,” she smiles.
Sunday says that her dream is to start a place in the trading centre and make her own money. Lucky for her, the six-month training is tailormade to achieve this, as it comes with a financial management component.
Interesting to note is that students can practice on the machines at the training centres and make items for sale back home. She has since taken advantage of the opportunity and is already making items. “I sew a dress for Ugx15000shs, a shirt for Ugx5000 and a gomesi (Ugandan traditional wear) for Ugx15000-20000,” she says. “In a day I can make over 5 gomesis.”
Undoubtedly, she is a hard worker whose goal is to leave the past behind and embrace the hope that the training represents. “I want to be the biggest tailor here in Yumbe District because South Sudan is not yet peaceful,” she says. “My children look at me as the father and mother, I don’t ever want to disappoint them. I want them to be proud of me.”
Sunday is grateful to Windle International Uganda for helping her believe in herself again. “The morning he left, he did not say anything, he had insulted me the whole night,” she flashes back to a time when all was lost. “He would abuse me and tell her me I am not fit to be called his wife; that I am disabled and I cannot stay with him.”
She suddenly breaks into a smile, her tears long gone. Sunday is healing and is now gradually understanding that he was wrong. She is, in fact, perfect just the way she is! “Thank you Windle,” she whispers.