Grandmothers of today can be described as a new generation of “Superwomen”. We are inspired by the determination, the desire and courage of our widowed Grandma Jariat. At over 75 years of age, she proves to us over and over again that age should never stop you from doing what you love.
After losing her husband to war many years ago, Jariat struggled to raise her 9 children. Unfortunately, 8 of them died along the way and has only 1 surviving child. Throughout her life, Jariat has always been enterprising and resourceful. For years, she sold sugarcane and whatever edible thing she could grow in her garden. This helped provide her family’s every day needs. As she grew older, she became overwhelmed and paused her business.
When Jariat joined the ROTOM Senior Friendship Program four years ago, her desire was to revive her business again. Fortunately, with support from her ROTOM Support Friend, Jariat was able to open up a small kiosk at her home where she now sells foodstuffs and firewood in her front yard.
Jariat says, “I have found a wonderful family through ROTOM. I appreciate ROTOM for helping me get back on my feet. My support friend helped me build a kiosk where I earn some income. I am now able to meet basic household needs for myself and my grandchildren”.
Grandma Jariat is an incredible inspiration and gives us a new appreciation for the roles that grandmothers play in our families and communities.
We hope that society can be more attentive and sensitive to the roles of older persons today.
You make us proud Jariat! By Kenneth Mugayehwenkyi
Granny Safina shared her story with ROTOM staff during a Journey for Change trip to Uganda. A small woman, yet big in personality, she greets each member of the team with a big smile and a warm hug; dressed in a traditional, pale yellow dress with bold floral print, and cropped gray hair, this spirited grandmother reflects on how when first introduced to ROTOM she had just recently been thrown out of a rental with all her belongings. It was not the first time this had happened and too often her things would be stolen or lost before she could find another place to rent. Her hands gesture in frustration as she explains how her children grew up and moved far away, offering no support and leaving her to fend for herself. She firmly states that if it was not for ROTOM, no one would care what happened to her. She expressed deep gratitude for her relationship with ROTOM staff and sponsors and of how she has grown to believe she can really trust their concern for her.
Granny Safina also eagerly reports how being involved when ROTOM has allowed her to receive medical treatment when she is sick, and she is able to get well quicker. She says they even offer counseling so that the seniors have a chance to process their challenges.
On the day of the interview, Granny Safina is proud and excited to share her home with the ROTOM staff. She tells how ROTOM helped to build her a simple home and how just seeing the pile of bricks gave her so much hope. How wonderful it is, she says to sleep in peace, not worrying about being kicked out with her few personal possessions. “If it was not for ROTOM, I think I would be wandering or dead,” Granny Safina says frankly, but instead “I have a home and I am happy. I pray for them.”
Granny Safina was a recipient of funds donated to the ROTOM Home Safety and Security Impact Fund. These funds specifically help senior adults repair their homes, build new ones if needed, create safe cooking spaces and provide solar lights. For more information on how you can make a difference in the life of a senior adult in Uganda or Ethiopia or to donate to one of our special impact funds go to www. Reachone-touchone.org/us.