Thanksgiving In Uganda Update: Twirenabo Family

Meet Etanazio Twirenabo, the 39 year old mother of nine and matriarch of a multigenerational family. After Etanazio gave birth to two sets of twins back-to-back, Etanazio's husband became frustrated with the difficulty of providing for such a large family. He self-medicated with alcohol, blamed Etanazio for having too many children, and abandoned the family, leaving Etanazio to assume full responsibility for food, clothes, school fees, and medication for her family. Etanazio was left with no source of income. So, she found a job working on other people's farm from morning to evening. At the end of the day, she is paid the equivalent of $1.32 or given a basket of potatoes to feed her family for that day. After finishing her work, Etanazio returns to her two-bedroom, mud and timber home where she prepares the potatoes for her family's one meal. Then she works her own family's garden which occupies the small hectare of land that they live on and provides them with a small amount of additional food during harvest seasons.

Obviously, potatoes may fill a person's stomach, but they lack basic nutritional essentials, such as protein. Sadly, even though her children have food to eat, Etanazio's family still starves from Kwashiorkor protein malnutrition. (This causes her children to have distended bellies, which you can see in the photos.) When Etanazio received her hutch and three rabbits, she cried. She wept over the heartbreak of being abandoned by her husband and the hopelessness she had felt. She spoke about how her two oldest daughters had married in their late teens before their schooling was completed because they could not afford food, let alone school fees. For the first time in years, Etanazio has hope. She plans to breed the rabbits as a source of protein for her family and sell the surplus rabbits for an additional source of income. The rabbits can be sold for $3-$10, the equivalent of many days working in the field. Since receiving her rabbits, she has also gained social standing and respect in her community.

She plans to save enough money to pay for her children's school fees. Now that they have access to the nutritional essentials required for brain development, her children will have the ability to perform well in school. Within a single generation the cycle of poverty will be broken. Thank you to all those who donated. Please never forget Etanazio's name. You changed her life forever.

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