“I am now a responsible child,” Komakech

Home / Publications / “I am now a responsible child,” Komakech
“I am now a responsible child,” Komakech

As we approach a compound with three grass thatched huts and a granary, two of them are closed apart from the one in the middle. At the entrance of the homestead is a tippy tap with water and soap.

I and my colleague wash our hands and proceed to the open hut. At the door, I call out, “Hello……!” at that moment, a young boy peeps through the door.

On seeing a strange face, he is hesitant to come out. However, when he sees my other colleague (the community volunteer), he comes out beaming with a smile; displaying dimples in the process.

After greeting us, he goes back in the house and comes out with two folded wooden chairs, unfolds them, places them under a shade in the compound and invites us to sit. He goes to what I later learn is the kitchen and comes out with a wooden stool.

Placing it a few meters from where we are seated, he sits down and smiles; a sign that he is ready to attend to us.

Komakech is a 10-year-old boy in Primary three at Barleych Primary School in Awach Subcounty, Abim District. He is the second born in a family of five. On the day of the interview, he had been asked by his mother to stay at home as she (the mother) and his sister went for a burial.

“Someone lost a child. So my mother and older sister have gone for the burial,” he says while pointing at a small crowd of people a few kilometers away from his home. “That is where the burial is,” he adds.

Komakech is a member of Pamo young stars Children’s club. He explains that initially, he would not be at home at a time when his mother is away. “I would be with my friends playing football (soccer). But from the trainings in the club, we were taught about our rights and responsibilities as children and one of our responsibilities is to listen to our parents. That is why I am here.”

The ten year old adds that besides trainings in the club, they are involved in other activities such as playing soccer and agriculture. But because of the lockdown, they no longer play soccer and practice agriculture as a club.

However, the club members had planted maize. “Last year, we planted vegetables but they did not yield enough crop so this year, we planted maize that we are currently weeding in groups of four children. SAO told us that if we are to do any activity, we need to maintain social distance so we decided to divide ourselves in groups of four when weeding.”

Besides the group activitiy, Komakech helps his mother with digging in the garden. “Before, we would dig throughout the week and I would get tired. But I used the skills I got from the club of discussing our challenges with our parents. I asked my mother to let me dig for two to three days and rest for one day; and she allowed.”

He also helps look after the family animals and also tends to his small maize garden which is a stones throwaway from their compound.

“My maize will be ready for harvesting in August and I plan on taking it for milling so that we can have more food at home.”

Komakech plans on expanding his maize garden so that he can have some for sell. “I will go to SAO and get more maize seedlings and a mask. Once I have harvested the maize, I will preserve some for home and sell the balance in the village market. When going to the market, I will wear my mask and have water and soap for my customers to wash their hands.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Skip to content