MPIGI – Uganda is set to join the rest of the world to commemorate the International Day of the Family (IDF) that happens on the 15th May every year.
This year’s theme is “socially just transition towards sustainable development: the role of digital technologies on social development and well-being of all.”
On this day, all state and non-state actors take stock of their activities in promoting the institution of the family as a basic unit of society.
Uganda as a country will celebrate the day on May 14, 2021 under theme “COVID-19 Pandemic and the Family in Uganda: Challenges, Opportunities and Lessons Learnt”.
The function to be officiated by the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga will be held at Fareway Hotel, Kampala.
The main objective of this day is to advocate for the Protection, Promotion and Preservation of the family institution for National Development
Challenges of COVID-19 on the Family.
Speaking to the Mpigi residents at Kamengo community hall on Tuesday, Ms Byekwaso Carolyn for Child Health and Development Centre, working on family strengthening interventions asked parents especially men to always endeavor to create time for their children to avoid being hated by their own blood.
According to her, fathers are failing to play their role in parenting because they are just following the norms that a father should just provide fees and food and leave attaching and relationship building role for the mother.
“I see the fathers blaming the mothers for making children hate them. I think what the children want is not the amount of time, it’s the quality of time. They (fathers) need to understand even when you have two or ten minutes how do you make use of the ten minutes to increase the bonding with the child,” she said.
She added that, “So I wish we could have programs going forward that strengthens the bond between the father and the children but also strengthens relationship between spouses.”
Byekwaso says that Mpigi has had a lot of challenges related to domestic violence, poor relationship between spouses, poor bonding and attachments between parents and their children.
She, however, lauded parents for fighting to see that their children become what they want to become.
She also asked parents not only to embrace but also understand and cope with the technology.
“Technology is here but how can we make sure that our children can benefit from it and how they can eliminate bad technology.”
Child’s i Foundation’s Hilda Nabossa said that as the Foundation, some of their core values is to strengthen families amidst the pandemic of Covid-19.
“So that’s why we’re here to talk to our families what they plan during the pandemic, challenges and opportunities and also to tip them how to move forward,” she said.
Ms Nabossa says that they discovered the families have been resilient and they plan take care of their children basing on the intervention of the social workers from the Foundation.
She says that as the Foundation, they have also taught families on the importance of trust among the heads of the household and also to work with community leaders to support them in the challenges they’re having.
COVID-19 is profoundly affecting life around the globe. People get ill and die, schools close, the healthcare system is overloaded, employees lose their jobs, companies face bankruptcy, stock markets collapse and countries have to spend billions on bailouts and medical aid. And for everyone, whether directly hurt or not, Covid-19 is a huge stressor shaking up psyche, triggering fears and uncertainties.
The economic impact of the movement restrictions, lockdown, and halting of economic activities could have both immediate and lasting implications for Ugandan families, particularly for the poorest and most vulnerable. Women of reproductive age, children, persons with disabilities, those living with HIV/AIDs, and additional vulnerable and marginalized groups are also at risk of experiencing more impactful shock and having less ability to recover from the shock (UNDP Uganda, 2020s).
This, according to the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, also includes women who may be at greater risk from gender-based violence when in lockdown with abusive partners.
The restrictions of movement, transport, and market operations has negatively impacted on agricultural households that rely on market sales and will negatively impact households that do not have harvest in stock to survive on.
The Ministry has indicated that food insecurity could increase vulnerability of households and increase overall insecurity.
Additionally, pregnant women and those with pre-existing or chronic medical conditions may experience reduced access to proper nutrition and basic health services. Impacts for vulnerable households may range from loss of food security and nutritional issues to job and income loss and heightened probability of falling into poverty or chronic poverty.
Ms Nakibule Hafitha, one of the parents says when Covid-19 came, she lost her job where she was earning some money to cater her family.
“Of course my boss could hardly afford to pay me so he had to lay me off. Even though lockdown was lifted but up to date, he has never called me back to my work,” she said.
Nakibule applauded Child’s i Foundation and Ministry of Gender for restoring their hopes by teaching them several matters regarding family unity, the program she says has benefited many.
She also advised parents to limit their children on consumption of technology and not allow them move anyhow on the village because that’s where they learn most of the bad manners.
“I don’t allow my children to listen to every radio station or watch every television station because some of the content is not fit for them,” she said.
Child’s i Foundation is a Non-Governmental Organisation that helps children return to families by rebuilding family support systems upon assistance they have rendered to less-privileged children in Uganda.