PROMISE: Enock’s Story

“I am called Enock Nayigiziki, 22 years old and married to Ruth with 2 children; one girl (3.5 years) and one boy (1.5 years). We live in the Murundi Sector in Kayonza District. I was born in this area and I have been married for about 5 years.

I got married at an early age and I think that also affected my family. Shortly after I got married, I started drinking alcohol in large quantities and this affected my sense of reasoning. After a short while I got attracted to other ladies and lost interest in my own wife.

We started to have conflicts at home because of my drinking habit. I beat her at least 3 times a week and I did not provide the basic needs of my wife and the family. I felt that the money I earned was solely mine and I had the right to use it as I so wished. I did not feel I needed to help my wife with household chores such as taking care of the babies, fetching water or firewood
and I was so rude to her. With hindsight, I admit that was irresponsible.

About a year ago, the PROMISE project initiated a Men’s Club in my community (Murori Village). After the members had been sensitized about gender equality and the dangers related to family
conflict, they invited me to their meetings. They pointed out to me the dangers associated with my drinking habit, the treatment I meted out to my wife and implications for my children and my own self. They explained gender and its importance, development, peace and sanity, to me. They told me what they had learnt in the clubs which included family planning, and the need for hygiene and sanitation.

I adhered to their advice and reduced the quantity of beer I used to take. I started to support my wife in household chores. Nowadays after we have worked in the field we come home and while my wife is cooking, I go to fetch water or firewood. I take care of our children by bathing them and playing with them.

I am so grateful for the PROMISE project that has brought about this change in my life and family. I am pleased that my wife is now a happy person, and our daughter who used to be malnourished is now very healthy.”

On her part, this is what Ruth, Enock’s wife, had to say in affirming the welcome change in the husband and the family. “Before my husband joined the Men’s Club in our community, we did not have peace in our home. My husband was a drunkard and he spent a lot of his income on beer and used the remainder as he wished. He was quarrelsome and violent. He used to beat me without any cause. He never consulted me, and rarely bought clothes for me.

Suddenly, I realized that he had stopped drinking and he became sober. I thought it would be for a short while but to my pleasant surprise I started seeing him helping in the household chores. I was surprised and I asked him what had happened. It was then that he told me that he had joine the PROMISE project’s Men’s Club, which had educated him against his depraved behaviors.

I can testify that my husband has changed. He doesn’t beat me anymore. He buys clothes for me and helps with some tasks that he didn’t before. When the child is sick, and I am unable to take her to the Health Center for treatment, he does so willingly. We now sit down and plan how we wish to use our money and other resources. I can say that we are now a family as a result of the PROMISE project’s work in our community.”