PLIGHT OF THE GIRL-CHILD: RICE-WN DIGS DEEP TO FIND THE CHALLENGES FACED BY THE ORPHANS AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN
Molly Drateru is a 15 years old girl in Okuvu primary school in Yivu sub county, Maracha district. She is not only a very hard working girl but also a very good athlete in the school.
She was taught by her elder sister on how to make pan cakes and that is what she does to get money which she uses for paying her school fees, buying clothes, books, pens and also feeding.
Molly is just one of the many Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) who do work and fend for their siblings. Besides school requires, they have to bear the burden of their basic needs.
“My father died when I was only 7 years old,” narrated Molly Drateru, “and the money my mother gets is so little and that’s is why I resorted to making and selling pan cakes to raise more money.”
As result of these predicaments, most of their dreams are shuttered and often cannot continue with their education. Many of them drop from school and end up getting married at a tender age.
She said: “I would really like to be a teacher but this money from pan cakes will not be able to educate me up that level. I will therefore stop in primary seven”.
Molly appeals to the government and people of good will to pay attention to the suffering girls. She said that there are many girls who are married off before finishing even primary seven and that many parents pay less attention to girl child education.
Drateru gets between five thousand shillings (UGX 5,000/=) to ten thousand shillings (UGX 10,000/=) from the sale of pan cakes every week but this cannot be enough to finance her education.
She advices young girls like her to stop engaging in early ‘boy-girl’ relations but find ways of getting money productively so that they will have a better future.
Compiled by Robert Olugu (Program Officer – Hygiene and Sanitation, RICE-WN)