Through parenting sessions, alot has been achieved in the communities in Bileafe Sub-county. Dina 58 and Joyce, wives to Fanuel are now able to shake hands, chat, eat together and care for the children of one another with love. Fanuel a 61 years old member of Parenting Group in Nicu Parish attended a four days training on Positive Parenting with his two wives. Fanuel has 9 children with the first wife Dina and 2 children with the second Joyce. The 5 have grown to make their own home 3 are in primary school, 1 in Secondary school and 2 are yet small.
“I thank God for this Program that has come to open our eyes. Through the trainings from this Program, my two wives now live as sisters in the family. Before the training, my wives would disagree, live suspiciously and jealousy of each other and when one of them would cook food in the absence of the other. She would not preserve food for her co-wife. Each of these wives would only take care of their biological children. These women did not respect me as a husband, they would return home late after visiting the market. But after attending the training on parenting, my wives changed greatly. They return home early from market place to cook food for the family. They now respect me as a husband, meet my needs, treat every child in my household as their own, with love regardless of being a biological child. They can now sit together to chat harmoniously among themselves.”
Fanuel narrates as he laughs while the women stare at him with a smile)”. In understanding this, Dina interjects, “ yes, I am a member of Christian women fellowship; I got the chance to attend the 2nd phase of parenting training; the 1st phase found me away. This training helped to calm my bitterness, gave me a room to release my emotions and forgive my co-wife and my husband. I was a bitter woman because I felt that whatever items that my husband brought home were not being shared equally. And my husband disgraced me when he permitted my co-wife to plant sorghum in the field that I prepared. My husband was not taking good care of me and my children. But after the training, my husband has learnt to balance his care, love and resources among two of us. I got peace and treat the children of my co-wife as my own children and she also takes care of my children well and this gives me hope to confidently do my work knowing that the safety of my children is assured by my co-wife”.
Joyce smiles as she nodes confirming the words spoken by her co-wife. “I noticed that after attending the training, this man started sharing equal resources among us. I also used to think that he was giving extra share to my co-wife, while she thought I was the one getting larger share, none of us was happy.
Dina the first wife clarified that what her husband earlie on termed as ‘lack of respect’ from them as his wives, was because both of them were jealousy to each other, as she thought she was doing more work than Joyce, just as Joyce thought she was being over worked than her (Dina).
As a result both co-wives abandoned meeting Fanuel’s needs such as serving water for bathing, tea, lunch and other needs at the right time when he required. Glory to the Lord for the parenting Program that changed the family, “I live happily with my co-wife and our children, I learnt to forgive my husband and my co-wife whenever I felt offended.” Expressed Dina.
When Fanuels’ daughters were called to speak about their parents, they shyed off and the facilitator requested for a privacy for them to speak, and Vanish a 13 year old daughter in class four spoke saying“I hated my father’s behaviour of quarrelling on us and on our mothers when he would be drunk. But after the training, my father has not quarrelled with my mother and my step-mother. And also through the teachings in the children groups, I have learnt to help my parents in doing house chores which I used to hate.”
(Filda a 12 year old daugter of Fanuel in class four who was preparing lunch in the kitchen, scarried to join the facilitator and her sister (while leaning on Vanish) she spoke saying,“for me I used to hate the quarrel between my mother and my step mother. And we also used to live in hatred with our step siblings. But after the training my mothers have not quarrelled again, and we now live as one family with my step kids who were stubborn.”
Fanuel poses with his two wives and children (on Left Dina carrying a child, Fanuel next, Filda daughter daughter to Fanuel, Joyce second wife to Fanuel in red top, Vanish daughter to Fanuel and other children)
This is amazing as the Program is a child centred, the harmony among the co-wives and other spouses/parents is helping them to look at every child with a mind of being a parent to them. Unlike in the past jealousy and other family misunderstanding would influence them to displace their emotions and revenge on the children by starving, flogging, child labour among many.