'Thank you for loving us': Why Kitukiro throws a party when Ida comes to town

Shouts of joy and clapping arose in time with the music as Ida's car parked under the tree where the community gathered to meet her. They had called her three hours before, wondering how long it would be until she arrived. They had been anxious to get started all morning, and they couldn't contain their excitement when the moment finally came.

You can expect to see Kitukiro Village celebrating whenever Kibo staff member Ida Bazonoona visits them. It's not because her visits are rare — she visits Kitukiro every Wednesday. It's not because they expect to get money or gifts from her — she comes to teach them and never gives handouts.

So this is why Kitukiro village celebrates whenever Ida comes to town:

  When Ida comes to town,  the women who gather to listen to her receive rest, and it is often their only break during the week. Since women are generally responsible for about 90 percent of domestic work, their family needs them to do work all day, every day, including weekends. However, Ida's visits give the women a few hours to rest and spend time together in community.

When Ida comes to town, the women who gather to listen to her receive rest, and it is often their only break during the week. Since women are generally responsible for about 90 percent of domestic work, their family needs them to do work all day, every day, including weekends. However, Ida's visits give the women a few hours to rest and spend time together in community.


  When Ida comes to town,  the community knows that they are in the presence of someone who loves and respects them. They know that Ida deeply loves them because she is a consistent, reliable presence. As the rainy season begins in the Busoga region, one community member said to Ida in Lusoga, "Thank you for loving us. It was raining, and the roads were bad, and you could have gotten stuck. But you came anyway because you love us."

When Ida comes to town, the community knows that they are in the presence of someone who loves and respects them. They know that Ida deeply loves them because she is a consistent, reliable presence. As the rainy season begins in the Busoga region, one community member said to Ida in Lusoga, "Thank you for loving us. It was raining, and the roads were bad, and you could have gotten stuck. But you came anyway because you love us."


  When Ida comes to town,  the community members can be themselves, because she has proven herself trustworthy and understanding. She shares the village's culture, language and customs. She joins them when they sing and dance. She teaches them using language, metaphors and examples to which they can relate. She respects their way of life, because it is her way of life, too.

When Ida comes to town, the community members can be themselves, because she has proven herself trustworthy and understanding. She shares the village's culture, language and customs. She joins them when they sing and dance. She teaches them using language, metaphors and examples to which they can relate. She respects their way of life, because it is her way of life, too.


  When Ida comes to town,  she empowers the women she teaches to speak. Ida has been empowering women since she started working with Kibo in 2002. Women's empowerment takes many forms in Ida's lessons, including teaching them that they are a blessing, not a curse; worthy, not unworthy; capable, not incompetent. However, sometimes women's empowerment is as simple as giving a woman a microphone and encouraging her to stand up and introduce herself in front of peers and strangers.

When Ida comes to town, she empowers the women she teaches to speak. Ida has been empowering women since she started working with Kibo in 2002. Women's empowerment takes many forms in Ida's lessons, including teaching them that they are a blessing, not a curse; worthy, not unworthy; capable, not incompetent. However, sometimes women's empowerment is as simple as giving a woman a microphone and encouraging her to stand up and introduce herself in front of peers and strangers.


  When Ida comes to town,  the community know she will teach them something meaningful and perhaps even life-changing. Ida empowers people she teaches physically and spiritually. For example, she teaches women and girls about their menstrual cycles, which is usually a taboo subject in Busoga households. She explains how menstrual cycles are not a curse on women, but a blessing to a woman's body, and she teaches women and girls how to care for themselves during their periods. She also teaches spiritual lessons, usually from the Bible, that help unify the community by encouraging them to love God and each other.

When Ida comes to town, the community know she will teach them something meaningful and perhaps even life-changing. Ida empowers people she teaches physically and spiritually. For example, she teaches women and girls about their menstrual cycles, which is usually a taboo subject in Busoga households. She explains how menstrual cycles are not a curse on women, but a blessing to a woman's body, and she teaches women and girls how to care for themselves during their periods. She also teaches spiritual lessons, usually from the Bible, that help unify the community by encouraging them to love God and each other.


  It is a good day in   Kitukiro when Ida comes to town.

It is a good day in Kitukiro when Ida comes to town.