A group of single mothers have come together to counsel young families on the need to remain in marriage, saying life as single, divorced mothers was very harsh to the women and their children.
The women have formed a Community Based Organization (CBO), known as “Rudi Nyumbani” through which they encourage women to stay in their marriages, no matter the circumstances, citing challenges of staying alone.
Their chairlady, Pamella Apollo says experiences gained as single women are enough to encourage married women and their husbands stay in their marriages.
Over 20 divorced women staying in rented houses in one compound within outskirts of Migori town narrated their daily tribulations when the press visited their compound.
They said they are forced to use their meagre income gained from doing odd jobs, so as to support their children who are staying with them.
Ms Apollo, 50, who has been divorced for 3 years, noted that majority of women who find safe haven at the CBO, are driven out of their families by domestic violence, financial constraints and misunderstanding.
Pamella, who has been staying with her four children, aged between 6 and 15 years, fled her home as a result of domestic violence. She claims that her husband became a violent man who, could beat her together with the kids.
For the three years she has stayed there, Pamela says that even though she has found peace, her greatest challenge is instilling moral uprightness in the kids and maintaining high levels of self-control and discipline on her side.
Besides that, she says that children brought up by single mothers are traumatized and can’t perform well in school.
As a result of these challenges, Pamela, together with other divorcees, has been making efforts to re-unite young women with their husbands.
The ‘Rudi Nyumbani’ initiative has so far re-united 12 families, majority being young women below the age of 40.
One such beneficiary is, Florence Achieng, 33 has been at the rescue center for two weeks, following a disagreement with her mother-in-law, that resulted in her husband unleashing violence on her.
She says that efforts to bring them back together have been painstakingly slow, but she is hopeful that things will work out before the weekends as she is nostalgic about returning to her marital home.
Zawadi Akoth 47, who has been living at the rescue center for five years however has no plans of being re-united with her families, citing security concerns.
Zawadi says that hell broke loose when she gave birth to her third set of twins, prompting her in-laws to neglect her on accusation that she was a “harbinger of bad omen” to the family.
She claims that the in-laws had planned to kill her set of twins, prompting her to leave the matrimonial home to find a safer place for her children.
As a divorcee, Zawadi however believes that running away is not always the best way to solve family wrangles