Dear Heart to Heart, I was in a relationship with the father of my four children for seven years before we separated. My problem is that he does not support the children, especially now that they are in school. How do I make him attend to his duties because looking after children is not easy.

Prossy Carol Amanda: Pray to God to help you raise your children and show you the way. Let that man be.

Senfuka Barnabas. Abandoning mutual responsibility is one of the major characteristics of Ugandan men. Being a man is natural but becoming a father is optional. Yours is not a man but a boy. Think about him no more.

Pro Viana: Do not battle with a man messing with you because looking for justice will require money. Instead, invest in your children and move on.

Grace Twinomujuni Koburunga: Instead of asking how to make a man take care of his children, you should be asking for ways to be self-reliant financially and look after your children.

Moses Earthe: He wants you to settle the issue that led to separation and you go back to him. Those children need their father, take them back to him.

Agnes Akiror: Do not die in self-pity, regret and bitterness. Rise up and shake off the dust. Genuinely pray to God to open doors of survival for you and the children. Be creative and innovative, consult other women that have single handedly raised their children. Know one thing; threatening the father of your children or filling cases against him will only complicate your life and the children’s. Just let him be and work extra hard. Before you know it, your success will bring him back.

Ssembatya Danny Simpson: I wonder why women suffer with children when eventually they say “abaana ba musajja” (children belong to their father). Take the children to their father’s relatives. Whenever you get something, drop it there other than dying of pressure alone. After al, God sees that you are incapable of raising them alone.

Magdalen Adeke: Take him to probation or visit any human rights organisation near you. Never leave him with your children because men nowadays do not care about children. He will still leave them to suffer or even force them to the streets.

Victoria Sentongo: You have already lost the battle by thinking you won’t manage. Rise up. You can raise those children. It may not be easy but your love and determination for them will see you victorious.

Akugizibwe Paul: Women tend to prioritise motherly care to material needs. Let the children go to their father to attain an education and they will take care of you when they have jobs.

Counsellor says

Engage his close family and friends

Dear Pat, you are in a very difficult scenario causing you stress and anxiety. Many women have a similar problem, especially when you and your partner do not stay together. Even when you engage the police and law, they give temporary solutions yet children need fees over time.
You may need to figure out the extent of his liquidity, and then identify his closest friends in and outside his family. It could be a religious leader or clan leader to invite him for a talk with an objective of prudently making him understand the meaning of being responsible for his children’s school fees.
Generally, most men play hard to get especially when it comes to taking on their responsibilities after a broken relationship. However, they must do this because they too will be affected in the long run if their children do not get the basics they need in life.

Ali Male counselling psychologist, YWCA

Compiled by BeatriceNakibuuka