Ketti lives with her children in a small community in Oyam, North West Uganda.
Every day in this part of Uganda is a struggle to survive. Drought and food shortages mean that families like Ketti’s often have to go without food for several days at a time. Even when food is available, it is rarely enough and mothers like Ketti are forced to make tough choices, having to decide which children are to be fed on a given day, and which are to go without. No mother should be faced with such awful decisions.
But Ketti has made an even tougher choice, for the sake of her youngest son, Emmanuel….
Emmanuel was born physically and mentally disabled. He is 13 years old but because of his disability and the lack of essential nutrients, his growth has been stunted; he is no more than 30 inches tall, if he could stand. But he can’t stand. All he can do is lie on a mat all day. When he is picked up he knows he will be fed, so Ketti can’t pick him up or hold him unless she has food for him; to see and hear him cry is most distressing. Often, children born with such infirmity to impoverished families are left to die once they are born; the ‘burden’ they put on the family is just too much for them to bear.
...she chose life!
Ketti works in a field, to earn money to pay for food, one or two days a week. In order for her to be able to do this, she made a reciprocal arrangement with other women in her homestead for them to look after Emmanuel while she was working, and for her to do the same for them while they were away.
One day she came home to find all the women in the homestead with Emmanuel. They had dipped their hands in paint and had placed their hands upon him, leaving handprints. What happened next needs little explanation; they poured petrol on him and gave matches to Ketti, telling her that the burden Emmanuel had become was too much, it would only get worse and that it was time for her to let him go.
Despite her son’s disabilities, Ketti chose life for Emmanuel – but the decision means that Ketti can no longer work as she now fears that one or more of her neighbours may take matters into their own hands.
Thousands of families like Ketti’s living in North West Uganda desperately need a hand up to get back on their feet and be able to provide for themselves.
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat." (Matthew 25:35)
*Samaritan’s Purse is looking to raise £200,000 in order to support 9,600 families. Any income raised in excess of this amount will be applied to existing or future Raising Families projects, at the discretion of Samaritan’s Purse.