In her story, Donathille describes her life with her husband before and after being trained and sensitized on women’s unpaid care work and how they can reduce it to enable her to do other economic and social work.
MUKAMANZI Donatille is married to Bizimana Innocent since 1986. They have 10 children together, 5 boys and 5 girls. Their first two children got married, while their 3rd child MANIRAGUHA Lucie got pregnant very young at the age of 17, all the other children are still in school. They live in Kabarima Village, Kidakama Cell, Gahunga Sector in Burera District.
After getting married, Donathille was giving birth every year and at the same time doing domestic work from morning until late hours in the night. Her husband was taking this as normal because culturally in Rwanda, there are tasks and responsibilities attributed to a man or a woman. As a man, her husband could not think that he can help her is some of the domestic work such as cooking, fetching water, collecting fire wood,… In 2009, her husband had an accident and lost a leg. Since that time, Donathille’s life became very hard because her unpaid care work much increased with taking care of her husband in addition to the children. Her day was so busy. She would wake up early in the morning and go farming for food in the neighbor’s field, come back late in the afternoon, look for firewood and fetch water. Because she didn’t have containers and tanks to store water neither imireko,she was fetching water tree time a day even during raining season. Fetching water to Byunga takes her 2 hours for going and coming back. Near her house, there is a place where they sale water at 30 Rwandan franc a jerican. She couldn’t afford that price every day that is why she was going to fetch far from her house in the River. The situation became worse when she knew that her third daughter Lucie was pregnant at the age of 17. She felt very sad and discouraged. Donathille condemned herself that her daughter got pregnant at early age because she did not have material time to discuss life matters with her children.
Donathille’s life changed from the day her daughter Lucie, the teen mother was involved in URINYAMPINGA project implemented by Reseau des Femmes in partnership with Kvinna till Kvinna. She is thanking Reseau des Femmes and Kvinna till Kvinna for training them in women unpaired care work which made her husband realize the very hard domestic work that his wife has been doing all the years at home alone. During the training, they filled individual time dairies. From that exercise, her husband realized that from 4hrs in the morning up to 22hrs late in the evening, she was still doing domestic work and sleep around 22hrs. They discussed their time dairies and the husband decided to buy 4 big containers which keep like 200 litters of water to keep more water in the house and reduce the frequency of fetching water.
BIZIMANA Innocent and his Wife and
teen mother called MANIRAGUHA Lucie Before, Donatille used to fetch water 3 times a day in the past and now she is only going 3 times a week. In addition, they no longer fetch water in the rainy season as they use rain water captured and stored in the tanks and containers. Consequently, she saved time to attend Community social work for example Umugoroba w’Ababyeyi (evening parents) where parents discuss different topics concerning their lives and also taking care of herself.