Lullaby Africa returned to Kisoro in south west Uganda in January and was invited to establish three new groups at Maregamo, Cyanika and Chibumba. Our parenting teaching was well received by the mothers who attended the sessions.
Maregamo is high in the mountains and we were really pleased that 18 fathers, including the headmaster of the local school, attended alongside many mothers from the village. The headmaster had never heard teaching about attachment theory and the importance of baby bonding before. He asked if it would be possible for Lullaby Africa to return and teach the staff and parents of his school as he believed it would be good for them to understand the importance of good parenting skills.
118 mothers attended the first session in Chibumba to learn more about parenting. As well as forming the new groups, we revisited other parishes to meet new mothers and consolidate our previous teaching. We received a surprise when we revisited one of the communities. A wedding was about to take place and, rather than running a teaching session, Isobel and Viv were asked to preach the sermon at the wedding with about one hour’s notice!
Parenting other people’s children
The visit concluded with a leaders’ day attended by 45 of our local leaders. This provided an opportunity for leaders to share what was happening in their groups. We also took the opportunity to give some training about how to look after other people’s children. Many of the families we meet have taken in the children of relatives who have died.
Several of our local leaders had asked us to teach on this subject as the mothers wanted advice on how to look after and raise these children. We received great help from one of our supporters in the UK, who is an experienced educational psychologist involved with adopted and looked after children.
Parenting in Uganda takes many forms and it remains a privilege to be invited into communities to help parents grapple with the challenges of bringing up children while struggling with poverty and trauma. We are especially grateful to our hosts in the Diocese of Muhabura and to our fabulous interpreters and local leaders.