Milton Mutagomoka is a resident of Bubukwanga and a Community Activist in Bundibugyo district.
Milton’s broken life is now a breath of fresh air from the series of trainings he has attended with SASA! Together Start and Awareness phases.
From his own confession, Milton regrets his behavior with his four wives that he mistreated and led to their departure after a very short stay with him. The most patient stayed with him for a year, while the fourth wife lasted for only a month.
“I had a challenge in my marriage. I married four women, the first one stayed for a year, the second for six months, the third one stayed for eight months, and the fourth could only bear with me for a month before she left.” He said “I never realized why my wives were leaving me all that time.”
But the SASA! Together training is all that Milton needed to realize that he was his own enemy.
“When we started the SASA! Together training, i realized that none of the women was a problem, but I was. I used to take all the proceeds we made from our cocoa plantation. I used the money to drink with men in the community and returned home with nothing.”
Milton is now married to his fifth wife who he has stayed with for one and a half years. The longest he ever stayed with a wife.
“From the training, I decided I must change my behavior. With my fifth wife, we sit and plan together for every coin we make. I have never quarreled or fought with her. We are now building our home together and I started a business at the Bundibugyo Main market for her. I have discovered that I was the problem. Had I attended SASA! Together training earlier, I believe I would have stayed with my first wife.”
In August last year, Milton together with his wife completed the construction of their house. He says that he used to believe it was the man’s role alone to make decisions for the family.
“In our culture, we are raised to believe that a man has power and control over the woman and everything in a home.”
This transformed man has now taken it upon himself to speak to his male friends in the community to respect their wives and children. He is equally advising them to reduce on their alcohol drinking in order to save their finances.
“I thank UGANET and the UN WOMEN for this program because had it not been the training they exposed me to, I would perhaps be still held up in my ignorance. I also beg them to continue training us and help us become better men” The SASA! Together training, now at the Awareness phase is aimed at deepening the analysis of men’s power over women and the community’s silence about it. Community members at this stage are expected to start questioning the way things are done and whether that is how they ought to be.