New Vision (Kampala)

18 October 2012

Uganda: Ten Year Old Nursing Her HIV-Positive Mother

Esther Namirimu is only 10 years old, but she has a huge responsibility of nursing her blind HIV-positive mother. As part of its corporate social responsibility, Vision Group staff visited the family in Kyebando with food rations contributed by Vision Group and some readers.

Accompanied by a TASO official, Rose Nassejje, they delivered food items that included sugar, rice, cooking oil, tea leaves, beans and soap to Namirimu and her mother.

One of the little girl's biggest challenges was finding food to feed her ailing mother. Namirimu is the only child born to Rachel Nansubuga and Muhammad Zziwa. When Zziwa died of HIV/AIDS last year, the extended family abandoned them.

When Sunday Vision ran her story in the Real Life section on May 20, Namirimu was living in a miserable one-room house with a crumbling concrete floor and sandy walls blackened by soot in Kalerwe, Dobi Zone, Makerere III.

Sunday Vision editor Dr. Charles Wendo and Linda Mabikke from the customer service department handing over food donations to Namirimu's mother at their home . Right: Her mother and Pastor Enjoman, who is currently housing them

However, the two are now living with Pastor Godprince James Enjoman, the director of Jesus Blessing Church in Kalonda Zone, Bukoto 1 parish. He also moved Namirimu from Makerere University Primary School to his primary school, a one-room wooden structure that also serves as the church.

It is not clear why Enjoman moved Namirimu from a better UPE school to one that cannot even afford different classrooms for different classes.

All the classes have their lessons in the same building at the same time. At her new home, Nansubuga and Namirimu still face the same challenges they had before, save for the fact that they now have a sewage free house for a home.

No big difference:

The house is certainly much better than their previous home, but their other circumstances have not changed much.

For instance, Namirimu still has to wake up at 5:00am to prepare breakfast for her mother before she walks to school, about 2km from home.

When Vision Group and TASO arrived at about 01:00pm, Nansubuga had not yet eaten, yet she takes strong medicines that can harm her if taken on an empty stomach, according to the TASO official.

During the visit, Nansubuga cried as many times as she smiled. The visit itself and the gifts gave her a lot of smiles, but each time she spoke and reflected upon her predicament, she cried.

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