Aidah is 24 years old from Baduda, a town about two hours from Namatala. She has 14 siblings, but, tragically, 13 of them died from illnesses as children. Her one remaining brother lives in Tororo, a town one hour away, and works washing mattotes (taxis). She does not hear from him often, and he is not able to help her or her children.
Aidah has been married twice, and has two children, Oliver and Ado. Her first husband, Oliver’s father, was killed in a riot when Yoweri Museveni was re-elected as president. He was shot during an uprising in the streets. They had been married two years and Aidah was devastated by his death. After he died, Aidah left Baduda and moved to Namatala to look for work, taking her young daughter with her.
She found work as a maid from 2001-2007. During that time she met her second husband. They were married in 2004 and only married for one and a half years, before he left her. He is the father to her youngest daughter, Ado, but he has never met her. When he found out Aidah was pregnant he left her. In Aidah’s words, “he wants all the beautiful skirts that pass in front of him.” He does not help with Ado, and Aidah has been left to care for Ado and Oliver on her own. Along with her two children, Aidah takes care of her cousin, Rogers. Aidah’s uncle and his mother left him, so Aidah has taken him in and pays his school fees. Rogers is 13 and spends his time trying to invent things.
Aidah now works helping her mother to sell charcoal in Namatala to people who pass by their hut. It is a dirty job, and many times comes with no profit.
Sadly, Aidah was diagnosed last summer with HIV. She is able to receive treatments each month for 1,000 Ugandan Shillings ($.40); however, her diagnosis is a financial and emotional burden she was not prepared to undertake.
Aidah dreams of one day being able to buy a plot of land and build a house for her and her children out of the slum. With her grant from 1000 Shillings Aidah is working to start a new business selling posho and beans.
A testament to her work ethic and determination, Aidah says,” I want to work tirelessly for Ado and Oliver.”