The Gulu Feminist! Morris grew up without a father and his mother was raped by rebel soldiers during the civil war. She was everything to Morris; a hardworking lady who struggled to pay the school fees for Morris and his three siblings – traditionally the role of the father. When the school fees increased she took out a loan from the bank and went to Sudan to run a business selling produce in order to repay the loan. Unfortunately, the money she was sending failed to reach the bank as it was being stolen by a friend. Burden of responsibility While the bank was taking away all they had, Morris’s mother found out her best friend had betrayed her and she became distraught and mentally ill. Morris was left by his siblings to pick up the pieces. ‘My mother’s situation might not have troubled me much,’ he says. ‘But what hurt is that when she became mad, my siblings all disappeared saying they could not stand the shame.’ ‘What happened to my mother happened because she wanted to give us a good future, so I did not expect them to act that way.’ From the age of 13, Morris had to take care of his mother. While other children played he would have to sit and watch her, or run around the village after her to make sure she got back home. This responsibility weighed him down. ‘At times it would all feel too much,’ he says. ‘I felt trapped because I couldn’t do anything for myself. I dearly loved my mother but sometimes I wished we could both die.’ Freedom at last Morris says arriving at Kira Farm was like being released from prison. ‘I cannot explain the freedom of waking up in the morning without the responsibility of taking care of a mentally ill person,’ he says. At times this freedom was so overwhelming that he did not know what to do with himself. ‘Some people thought I was reserved when I sat alone,’ he says. ‘But I just wanted to savour every moment without anybody interrupting.’ In the early days at Kira Morris felt angry towards God and his family – blaming God for his mother’s situation and hating his siblings for being so heartless. The discipleship training, however, helped him to trust in God and not worry about his mother in his absence. Positivity and inspiring others Morris is grateful for his time spent on Kira because it taught him to look at life in a positive way. ‘Yes, my mother is still mentally ill,’ he says. ‘But I am so grateful that I can now take care of her in the best way possible. I am getting her medication which means she is stable most of the time.’ Thanks to the skills he acquired at Kira Morris has been pick up lots of jobs, from painting houses to making furniture, increasing his income from £50 a month to £135 a month. Morris has been using his positivity to inspire and teach others too. ‘I approached our female Member of Parliament to see how I could partner with her to help women in our community,’ he explains. ‘Through our collaboration I am now teaching 18 women tailoring skills – something that I learnt at Kira Farm. I do not want them getting a bank loan after what that did to my mother.’ Soon these women will earn an income from tailoring and won’t ever need to rely on loans. Morris is also training his village in hygiene and has introduced a number of tippy taps - a tap for hand washing made from local materials. Living a joyful life Alongside his own work Morris has opened up a business providing a service mowing compounds – in doing so he has created much sought-after employment for two young people. Morris has just been shortlisted for a large painting job at Karuma dam, which will boost his income considerably. With these extra funds he plans to buy himself some land. Morris's positivity is infectious! ‘The training at Kira Farm gave me a desire to live a purposeful and joyous life, no matter the circumstances around me,’ he smiles.