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Thursday, 27 April 2017

Punishment Island

Unmarried girls who got pregnant used to be seen as bringing
shame to their families in parts of Uganda, so they were taken to a tiny island and left to die. The lucky ones were rescued, and one of them is still alive. The BBC's Patience Atuhaire tracked her down.
"When my family discovered that I was pregnant, they put me in a canoe and took me to Akampene [Punishment Island]. I stayed there without food or water for four nights," says Mauda Kyitaragabirwe, who was aged just 12 at the time.
"I remember being very hungry and cold. I was almost dying."
On the fifth day a fisherman came along and said he would take her home with him.
"I was a bit sceptical. I asked him whether he was tricking me and wanted to throw me into the water.
"But he said: 'No. I am taking you to be my wife.' So he brought me here," she reflects fondly, seated on a simple chair on the veranda of the house she shared with her husband.
She lives in the village of Kashungyera, just a 10-minute boat trip across Lake Bunyonyi from Punishment Island, which is actually just a patch of waterlogged grass. 
Source BBC News.

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