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A personal essay about day-to-day life for Nelly, a girl from Mbale in Eastern Uganda.

By Nelly from Uganda 

My name is Nelly. I am 18 years old. I live in Eastern Uganda.

I am in level S4 in school. I study Luganda. I study English. I study Swahili. I study art and computers. My school is good, very good. We work hard my friend. We enjoy what we study. In our leisure time we like to dance and sing in Church. We go to converse with girls and boys.

Most families in villages have gardens to grow the food they eat, and the families that live in cities buy fruit, vegetables and meat at local markets . Very few people have refrigerators in Uganda, so many of the things that they eat have to be picked, prepared, and eaten on the same day. Some of the most common foods are plantains, corn,  potatoes, millet, ground nuts and local vegetation. At home we eat Matoke, it’s a type of plantain. They are bananas, but not sweet bananas. We have many traditional foods in the East of Uganda in Mbale.

In Uganda, most chores and housework are done by hand. For people who live in the villages, there are not so many power lines to provide them with electricity.  Plus it can cost a lot of money and there are many power outages. A girl washes clothes by hand, fetches water in a plastic jug, and digs out the weeds in the family’s gardens using a hoe.

This personal essay was developed as part of the Girl Child Project. For the project, Peace Corps Volunteers around the world collected and shared stories of girls in their communities to celebrate their diverse paths toward opportunity and success. This project was facilitated by the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Working Group at Peace Corps Headquarters.