‘Privileged to support families in Uganda’

MHDE'Jane Rintoul
MHDE'Jane Rintoul
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A DAVENTRY woman has told of how it’s been a ‘privilege’ to help some of the amazing families in one of the world’s poorest countries.

Jane Rintoul, 50, is the head of the Department for International Development’s office in Uganda where she is responsible for delivering the British government’s aid programme.

She has been working with the people of Karamoja, an area in the north east of the African country.

The country was among those affected by a severe drought in East Africa, which have been among the worst for 60 years.

Speaking to the Daventry Express, Jane said: “We have taken a different approach to how we deliver aid to some of the poorest countries in the world.

“We can hand over the emergency food aid packages but what we want to do is try and help people help themselves.

“We have been working with a lot of the farmers to help them better cope with growing food in very extreme weather conditions.”

Jane experienced first hand the role of women in a typical Ugandan family.

She said: “After one day of digging, peeling, grinding and carrying I could barely move.And yet for many Ugandan women, this is a very typical day.

“Some of these women carry out their tasks with pride and dignity despite how much hard work they have to put in.”

Jane, a former Southbrook Secondary School pupil, has been in Uganda since 2009 and has helped children and grandparents left at the head of the household following deaths in the family.

She is full of admiration for the people she has met in her time in the country.

Jane said: “It is a fantastic job because you see such amazing people living in such hardship and carrying on through the most extraordinary of circumstances.

“They do all of this with little money or basic comforts.

“These people want the opportunity to plan the size of their family so they can provide for their children with an education and a route out of poverty.

“It is a privilege to help these brave and wonderful people as a job.”

In the time there, she has seen 150,000 extra mothers able to give birth at a medical facility, 65,000 girls go back into primary education and a 1,000 girls go to secondary school.

Thanks to her help, more than a million women have access to modern family planning.

Jane said: “The best thing about this job is being able to help people after seeing the challenges that they have to go through to get basic things such as food and water. It is a very rewarding job.”

She has previously been in Vietnam and Mozambique but is soon set for a new challenge.

In July she leaves Uganda to help deliver aid to Zimbabwe. It will be a very different challenge.

Jane added: “Where I have been in the past, places like Mozambique and Uganda, we have had the full support of the local government and this has been key in getting aid to the people that need it the most.

“However, because of the political situation in Zimbabwe, it will be a much greater challenge in getting the aid out to where it is needed.

“It is a challenge that I am very much looking forward to undertaking.”