Baligeya is a 62-year-old farmer and a father of eleven living in Bugubo village near Bugiri, Uganda. He is one of the many older males that make up the fathers’ club at his church. Being a part of this group has inspired him spiritually and taught him agricultural and animal rearing skills to help him support his family.
Through the fathers’ club, Baligeya was able to access ten kilograms of ground nut seeds sponsored by Bright Hope and his church. From these seeds, he is expecting great yields that will allow him to feed his family as well as cover school fees for his younger children.
“Thank you brothers and sisters at Bright Hope for my gift,” he said. “I was able to buy fertilizers and boost my corn garden which is flourishing. The rest of the money- I bought and planted four hundred and fifty eucalyptus trees that I planted in a garden close to home and they are also doing so well.”
Most of Baligeya’s children are married now but three of them who are still living at home help him in the garden and are learning agricultural skills through Bright Hope sponsored trainings held at their church.
For the first time, Baligeya and his wife, Logose, have also started keeping a good number of goats and chicken for commercial purposes. The group taught him to dedicate some of their livestock for income-generating activities such as selling eggs to boost family income.
“It is through [the] father’s club that I have learnt to be creative by saving from whatever I get,” he said.
Even more than helping Baligeya with his livelihood, the fathers’ group has changed his life and the lives of his family members.
“I treat my wife with respect that she deserves and also make sure that our children go to school,” he said. “I consider myself a total man now because of the morals, ideas and togetherness that fathers’ club has enabled me to enjoy with the rest of the members.”
The group has also connected him to other fathers in his community and helped him to develop meaningful friendships.
“Fathers’ club has given me brothers beyond my clan and religion because when we gather as fathers we are one despite all our social differences and affiliations,” he said. “I thank God so much for this club that has brought not only hope but plans, skills and ideas that are changing the way men view and play their roles both within their families and within society.”