It’s no surprise that the children in Uganda are much different than the children back in the US. What I didn’t know was how different their responsibilities were. A simple observation from just driving past slums, you can already see a handful of kids carrying multiple jerry cans (which can hold up to 5 gallons of water), helping their mothers with laundry, and young girls carrying babies.
Actually entering the slums captivated me even more. I didn’t realize how many responsibilities the children had. Back in the US, the most responsibility a child would have is to just clean up after themselves or finish their vegetables. Having a seven-year-old brother of my own made it easier for me to see the drastic differences in their childhoods. While these children were out all day helping their families whether it be doing college. Another thing I had noticed was how these young girls were carrying around babies. During a trip to the slums, I realized that babies just a few years old were clinging to these young girls as if they were their own mothers- which really made me think about how long these girls must have taken care of the babies.
The differences in the childhoods here and the ones I’m used to seeing or experiencing myself were compelling to witness. It’s rare to see a child around 8-10 years old with this amount of responsibility in the US, it’s rare to even see
a high schooler know how to do their own laundry. It really makes you appreciate everything back home- especially having a childhood where all you had to worry about was if you wanted to either go to the pool or the park.