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Teachers: Citizenship: Globalisation Social

Last Updated: Monday January 31 2005 10:38 GMT

Worksheet: Mahamood's story

Mahamood, 8, from Uganda. (Photo: Sam Faulkner, NB Pictures)
Hi, I'm Mahamood. I'm 8 and I live in Kamwoyka, a district in Kampala, the capital of Uganda.

I'm the best somersaulter on my street! My dad taught me and my brothers to do back flips before he got ill. He used to be the local football coach too!

There are twelve children in my family. Eight of us still live with our mum, dad and gran.

Dad used to be a trader. He bought goats in the country and took them to sell in Kampala. He earned good money because people always want to eat meat.

My dad's been ill for two years now - he's very weak and we're not sure what's wrong. He got medicine from the hospital but it's very expensive and he had to stop buying it. We used to have seven goats, but we had to sell some and we ate the others. There's only one goat left now.

We all stopped going to school when Dad became ill. We couldn't pay the fees. I'd been one of the best students in my class. Now I get really bored because there's not much to do.

I help by doing jobs around the house. I light the charcoal fire, make tea, do the washing up and fetch water. The well is about ten minutes' walk away so it doesn't take long. I also look after the baby - I like doing that.

Sometimes I play with my brothers and sisters. We play dodge ball and skipping, but my favourite is football.

My older brothers also help me to read. We have a few books in the house - but I'd much rather go to school and learn properly. I really miss the lessons and my friends.

Mum earns a little by selling tomatoes. This is the only money we have. If mum could sell more tomatoes then we'd have more money to pay for things like school fees and books.

A project called Kamwoyka Christian Caring Community has helped by giving mum a loan improve her business. They also run a clinic for people who are sick like my dad.

We eat once a day at about 4pm. Sometimes a neighbour brings us something before then - maybe some bread. We fetch water for him to say 'thank you'.

Mum cooks posho (ground corn mixed with water - a bit like porridge) with red beans. If she has some damaged tomatoes that won't sell she makes a sauce with them with cabbage and onions. This makes the posho much nicer.

Our neighbour has electricity so I sometimes watch his TV, especially when there's a football match. I support Arsenal and Brazil.

Dad has a battery radio and we often listen to the news. I've heard about America and fighting in Afghanistan, but I've never heard of England before. It isn't on the news!

If I went to school I would know more about different places in the world.

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