Emily Martha Mutiso(23years) is a mother of two, Hope and Andy, 2 and 4 years respectively. She resides in Kabonyo village where she relocated to after getting married. She narrates that she passed through a lot of difficulty since her in-laws never welcomed her as she was of another tribe. In Kenya, marrying from a different tribe always comes with overwhelming challenges. Tales have been told of couples who had to end their marriages due to opposition from parents and relatives. Each community has its own set of values and customs and
reconciling cultures can be very challenging.
On several occasions she had been chased away by the husband who was never keen to listen to her plight and instead faulted her for any misery. Her husband even expressed that she was a bad omen. The entire family culturally believed that even their children got sick frequently because of the bad omen. Her husband ceased providing for the children forcing her to single- handedly provide for the children’s needs.
In July, 2021, Emily was introduced to the MTM program by Everlyn Akoth – ECD Promoter, Kabonyo village and this made a turning point in her life. “My husband and I got an opportunity to listen to the teachings on MTM program during home visits and support meetings and the change was evident. He has been trying to atone for the way he’d been treating me.” she says. “I am glad that since then we’ve learnt that the environment affects the children’s holistic growth. My husband became very peaceful, understanding and now provides for the family
unlike before.” Though it took some time for her husband to embrace the program, Martha is glad that he can now spend time, play with children and even assist with some of the house chores. Hope and Andy are growing up well with Hope being able to reach her social, language, cognitive and physical development milestones.
“We now live in peace and even the neighbors wonder as they could always see us fighting and I would run to their homes for refuge. My husband’s participation in nurturing, care and house chores doesn’t still sit well with some of my in-laws. I see some light and believe with time and continuous sensitization, all will turn out well.” Change is a process and Emily believes that soon community members will change their attitude and behavior towards early child care and development.