Fort White has most modern amenities available in the city, a big difference from the 7 small villages in the 10 km radius surrounding it, where people collect water at communal taps and use outhouses. Though they have access to electricity some villagers often do not have money to pay the electric meter.
Most children grow up attending no-fee schools, where they are often provided with their only meal for the day. Besides the financial scarcity around us, we see a poverty of spirit. In these villages, there exists a ver heavy hopelessness. Many young people are not in school and those who are face countless challenges and don’t do well. Unfortunately, even those who are able to make the grade are often not able to pursue tertiary education or training because of their financial state.
Rural people migrate to the cities hoping to escape the poverty experienced in villages. Having left their children behind in the care of the elderly, migrants search for jobs. A lack of skills limits their opportunities to low paying jobs forcing the rural migrant into informal settlements. Their meager salaries are barely enough to sustain themselves and what funds they manage to send back home are inadequate for the care and education of their children.
Sinesipho describes her village as “big” even though it does not have many people. Her mother is unemployed. Her father passed away. She lives in a four-room house, which he shares with her mother, brothers, uncle and other children. Her brothers take the goats out to the field for grazing and bring them back home in the evenings. When it rains, they can’t take the goats out. When there is no water, they must drink water from the river. Sinesipho describes herself as shy. She likes to laugh and read her books. She says that she likes herself very much.