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Neighbourhood Mother: Ritah’s Story

Mar 6 2018

Ritah is a mother of two, living in Kampala, Uganda. In 2012, Ritah discovered that she was HIV positive. She was struggling financially and was unable to afford school fees for her eldest child. Pregnant with her second child, she had recently been abandoned by the child’s father. Ashamed of her status, Ritah felt isolated and was terrified that her children would be left without any support if she died.

Following the birth of her daughter, Ritah came into contact with Watoto, which would prove to be a life-changing moment for her.

Ritah received support to access antiretroviral medicine and is healthy. She met other HIV+ women who shared their condition openly and she discovered love and hope in the Watoto family. Ritah received training to be a barista and she now works at Watoto’s W Cafe, which is nextdoor to the Neighbourhood workshop in Kampala. For the first time, she was equipped to provide for herself and her children.

Ritah is now able to meet her own medical bills if she gets sick, with occasional support available if costs get too high. Ritah is now able to afford school fees for her daughter to attend a local school. Her son attends a Watoto school, where he is receiving a quality of education far beyond anything Ritah could have expected and she is overjoyed.

As Ritah continues her training, in customer care, team dynamics and personal development classes, she is working towards the day when she can fully meet the needs of both her children.

Today, she would describe herself as a woman of hope. Through what she has learnt, she is confident that she can be a better mother to her children, and that she can provide for them.

Women like Ritah are raising Africa’s next generation. When a woman is equipped she can reach her full potential and her whole family is transformed.

As a Colour Sisterhood, we are passionate about CHILDREN, SISTERS and NATIONS. Learn more about challenges these groups are facing in our world today, explore the Sisterhood projects, and find tools to take action locally and globally to #bethechange at

Reflect. Respond. Rally. #iamsisterhood