How different is your life to that of Dignity, a 13 year old Ugandan girl?
What is the one thing you use every day that you wouldn’t be without? What product makes your life easier? We mean everyday things that you probably take for granted… clean running water, a toilet, electricity, a mobile phone?
To a child in Uganda these things are considered luxuries… things they do not have.
Now imagine if YOU woke up in a mud hut. Everything about your everyday life was changed.
Read about a day in Dignity’s life and then enter our “Day in the Life Product Design Challenge” and design something to change a life.
What is your home like?
My home is 3 mud huts. One for the kitchen and cooking and one where we sleep. The other one is the toilet. The toilet is a pit latrine and gets quite smelly with lots of flies.
Who is in your family?
My family is my mother and my brothers and sisters and two orphans who’s parents were killed during the war. My father left us.
Where do you sleep?
We sleep on a mat on the floor, which is very dirty as it is earth. We have a blanket to cover us.
What time do you get up?
We get up before it gets light. I don’t know what time because we do not have a clock. When I get up, I sweep the compound, go and fetch water and then have breakfast before going to school
Where/how do you wash?
We put water from a jerry can in a basin to wash. I hope that soon we will have a washing shelter which will be more private.
What clothes do you have?
I have my school uniform and I wear a dress at home.
What do have for breakfast?
We have porridge for breakfast. Porridge is made from maize flour and water – it is very liquid and we drink a cup of it before going to school.
How far do you walk to school?
I think it is about 3 miles – it takes about one hour.
What is your school like?
My school is very big. The little children sit on the floor and we squeeze onto benches. There are over 100 children in my class of different ages. Because of the war, we have some big children who came back from the bush after being abducted by the rebels. Even though it is primary school, they are sometimes 18 years old.
What subjects do you learn at school?
We learn English, Maths, geography, religious education, sport, agriculture and history.
What resources do you have for learning?
How long are you at school?
We arrive at school at around 8 and leave at around 4.
What do you have for lunch?
What time does school finish?
About 4 o’clock.
What do you do when you get home?
When I get home I help my mother in the gardens – digging or weeding. Then I go to collect water – it takes about 45 minutes to walk there and then longer to walk home because I have to carry a jerry can with 20 litres of water in it. I sometimes go to collect firewood for cooking. Then I help my mother with the small children and preparing the meal. Then I do my homework – but it is difficult in the dark because we have no electricity and often the kerosene for the little lights made from tins runs out so we have no light. If we do have kerosene, it gets very smoky in the hut.
What do you have for dinner?
I mainly have porridge like at breakfast. Sometimes we have beans. Or we eat yams.
What time do you go to bed?
When it is dark and I have done my jobs.