Mama Salama’s dream

Posted on 22nd Dec by James − Category: News

“My name is Zam Namuyiga but most people call me Mama Salama. I am married and have four children aged from three to thirteen: Sudaise, Fauza, Salama and Masitula. I moved to Kasubi 12 years ago from Mityana, a town about an hour’s drive from Kampala. At the time, Masitula was one year old and I was five months pregnant with Salama so it was a real challenge to move with everything I had from my hometown where I had grown up to a completely new place where I knew no one except my husband. He had found a job in the area, which was the reason for our moving but I found it hard nevertheless. To make matters worse, not long after I arrived my husband lost his job and all the money that he had managed to save was stolen by con men. This left us in a terrible situation and we struggled to earn enough to live on for a long time after that.

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From left; Fauza, Irene (a neighbour’s daughter who, along with her brother, is looked after by Mama Salama), Masitula, Sudaise, Mama and Salama.

When Salama was born our circumstances had not improved greatly and many a day went by when we were unable to even provide food for the children. We were weak and would often get sick but never had enough money to afford medicine or to visit a clinic. At one point when Salama was three months old I was so weak I did not even have the milk to feed her and she became so ill I thought she would die. We were living in a house without doors or windows and I felt hopeless, desperate and more or less resigned to the death of my baby. We talked about how we would just take her body back to the village in a suitcase for burial. I even wondered if I would be able to go on much longer. One day I went to collect water nearby leaving Salama inside. When I returned I couldn’t even bring myself to go in and check on her, I was so sure she would be dead. Eventually I called to Masitula who was inside and asked her if her sister was ok. I can’t explain my relief when she said “yes”.

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Salama doing her homework

I looked for work wherever I could and always worked my hardest to provide for my children. In the end I just had to trust God to provide. So many times I felt hopeless but I always felt God say, “You’ve gone through many trials but don’t give up, it’s not the end, you will overcome.”

I met the Revelation Life team for the first time in 2010 through my children. They had been going to Street Club, a time of games and fun that the organisation ran for children each week in Kasubi – whenever they saw the team in the community they would run and greet them with great excitement. The team even came to visit me and I was surprised and blessed when they offered to help me do things around my home. The relationship has continued to grow and strengthen ever since. Over the years I have been helped, encouraged and trained in many things through Revelation Life. Masitula and Salama are sponsored to attend school, which has enabled me to afford to send Fauza too. I have learned many things, including; how to get safe; free drinking water through SODIS; how to make efficient mud stoves; paper bags to sell produce in, and even keyhole gardens. In fact, I have one outside my house, which gives my family healthy vegetables. Through Revelation Life I also have a small business as a ‘Solar Sister’ selling solar lights, which helps add to my income. Most importantly, I have also come to know God in a deeper and more powerful way through their discipleship groups. He has given me a heart to share with others what I have, though it might be little, because I know what it is to be hopeless and have nothing.

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Mama Salama and others in Kasubi, learning to make stove shelters for cooking outside in limited space. Encouraging people to cook outside has been part of an effort to reduce cases of pneumonia in the communities (see our post ‘Fighting a Killer’ for more information).

Through their teaching I have also learned a lot about health and hygiene. Thanks to the awareness trainings I now know about pneumonia and typhoid and I recently volunteered to become a ‘health champion’ for Kasubi community. I will be coming to Revelation Life for regular training on health and hygiene with the object of my being able to identify and inform the team of any emergency cases in the community as well as help them in basic teaching. Following that, I could further my skills through government training and become a qualified VHT (Village Health Team) worker.

A couple of the team members recently asked me about my dreams for the future. I told them that one of my dreams, after all I have experienced, is for my family to stay healthy. I have already seen such a difference in my family’s health through the help of Revelation Life, I know that this will continue and I look forward to being able to help improve the health of my whole community.”

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We are so excited to see how life has changed so dramatically for Mama and her family. From a place of such hardship and hopelessness to where she is now; eager to see and be part of the same change in her neighbour’s lives and in the whole community. We look forward to all the future holds for Mama and her family!

To help realise the dreams of more families like Mama Salama’s and train more people in health and hygiene, support us in our work this Christmas! Donate today by clicking below…

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