Birijmuye Sylvia Bygangi's family is from the village of Byerima where Sr. Maria grew up. She has adult children from a previous marriage and three young children who live at home with her now. Her daughters' names are Nakito Desire and Namboga Miiro, who are seven and four years old respectively, and she has a son Kayemba Joshua who is five. Birijmuye cannot afford to send her two older children to school so she fears for their future and for little Namboga who will soon be old enough to start school.
My name is Birimuye. I first got married when I was about fifteen years old. This is because when my parents died I had no one to send me to school and to buy me the basic needs of life. My first husband was very abusive. He used to drink a lot and every time he came home he would tell me to lie down and then he would bring a big stick and would start beating me. I had three miscarriages when I was with him and I think it was because of the poor treatment and the fear I was carrying all the time. Before he died of an accident, we had two twins who were about three years old when he died. Now they are grownups. When I got married the second time, my kids’ paternal aunt asked me to send them to live with her since she didn’t know how my new husband would treat them. During the period I was dating my second husband, some friends approached me and said to me that this man had a family and children. I thought they did not want me to get married to him that is why I did not pay more attention to their words. He rented a house for me and he used to come three days a week to see me and our three children. When the news got back to his wife that he had rented a house for me and that I had borne him children, she warned me that if I did not stopped being with her husband something was going to happen to me.
The following week thieves came during the night and took away everything from the house. My husband also stopped giving me financial support as he had been doing before. His character changed in a short period of time. I decided to come back to my village with my three children that I had while we were together.
They have not seen their father for three years. I struggle to get life’s needs and to pay for their tuition. I am a very hardworking woman but I just lack the capital to do something bigger where I can earn more money to get the needs of my family. I am just so happy to be one of the families chosen to have pigs and a pigsty. I promise to work hard to make that project a success.