Everyday life for many children in the country
Most families in Uganda live in the countryside. Here life is very simple and often they only have one hut where they cook, live and sleep. There is no running water. The water often has to be transported home in containers from public water points. The children usually take on this task.
People grow vegetables for their own needs or keep goats or cows. The children have to help with the care of the animals and also in the garden or in the fields.
What is the everyday life of a child in Uganda like?
Before school, the children often have to help with the household. This includes fetching water. But the water point is usually not just around the corner. The children sometimes have to run for an hour to get to the water. They then fill them into canisters and carry them home again. That means another hour’s walk. Only then can they go to school.
School is not always just around the corner, either. And parents who take children to school by car, there is no such thing. First the school uniforms are put on, because they are compulsory, and then it’s off to school. In Uganda, many children have no shoes, which makes the way to school even more difficult.
How is school in Uganda?
In Uganda, children can attend primary school for seven years. This is followed by middle school for four years and high school for two years. But the reality is often different. Only 86 out of 100 children who should actually attend school even come. The others stay at home with their parents and have to support them with housework or field work.
Primary school goes from first to seventh grade and is actually free. Only after free school attendance was introduced did a larger number of girls attend school. But later the school costs money, money that many Ugandan families cannot afford.
Children in Uganda wear school uniforms, that is often the best clothing they ever own. Often there are no classrooms at all and the children are taught outdoors. The classes are often overcrowded, with more than 70 children in one classroom.
Many children have to work
In addition to the almost normal work of children in the household and in the fields, there are also many children who live on the street and have to earn a living for themselves. You are completely defenseless and exposed to great dangers. Children are often abducted, have to work as servants or in restaurants without wages and are exploited as street vendors.
It can also happen that children are sold to other countries. The bad thing is that state officials are also helping here, people whom the children should actually trust. Sometimes parents sell their children too, often not knowing what will happen to them.
An estimated 17 out of 100 boys and 16 out of 100 girls work in Uganda. Many children also work on the country’s plantations, where they harvest tea or coffee. Here they usually only earn a few cents a day, but are exposed to great dangers. The minimum age for work is 14 years in Uganda as well, but nobody adheres to this law.
During the civil war in Uganda, a country located in Africa according to globalsciencellc, many children had to become soldiers, especially in the 1980s. They were child soldiers. These children have often experienced and seen terrible things that children should not experience.
They often have to struggle with the consequences even as adults. Today’s government does not deny this, but claims that the children voluntarily served as child soldiers.
Many children in Uganda lost their parents to AIDS. They are orphans and have to support themselves if they are not lucky enough to have someone in the family look after them. If this is not the case, then as street children they often end up in the rubbish dumps of the big cities.
Eating in Uganda
What do you eat in Uganda?
The most important meal in Uganda are plantains, which are used to cook a solid porridge called matoke. By the way, the porridge is not at all sweet like the bananas you may know. Matoke is often served with vegetables or bean porridge. If meat is served, it is pork, goat or chicken. Fish, mostly perch or carp, are also available near the lakes.
Then there are our popular French fries. Cassava is also an important food. While matoke is mainly cooked in the south of the country, potatoes are also often on the menu in the west. You can find a recipe for Matoke in our tips for participation.
A peanut sauce called Luwombo is also popular. They are steamed in banana leaves and then served as a side dish.
Asian influence: chapati and samosa
Since many people from Asia and especially India lived in Uganda for a long time, the food culture of Asia has also found its way into Africa. Chapati, baked dough cakes, and samosas, filled dumplings, originally come from Asia, but are also eaten in Uganda.
The Europeans and Americans also have an influence, there are omelets and sandwiches. There is also a lot of healthy fruit and vegetables that you can buy there in the markets.
How do you eat in Uganda?
Those who eat traditionally kneel on mats. Before doing this, you clean your hands with water, usually a jug is around. The food is then served in deep plates. Because you have to knead matoke porridge with your hands until it is so firm that the sauces can be dipped with it.