Elis coping with life as a divorced mum of five

People
Other women selling at the Mt Hagen market.

By JAMES GUMUNO
WHEN mother-of-five Elis Maris divorced her husband five years ago, she was confident she could look after her children alone and provide them what they need.
“Due to ongoing family problem, I divorced my husband five years ago. But it has not stopped me from finding ways and means to look after my children and sending them to school.”
She sells handicraft from a stall in Mt Hagen city and is happy with how she is coping.
She sells string bags, stone axe and pigs’ teeth necklaces in front of Best Buy Trading in the city during week days.
“I have many customers, both tourists and locals, who come and buy my products.”
She sells products she makes from K50 to K200 depending on the size and quality.
“Whatever money I make every day, I budget for my kids’ education, food and other household needs.”
She also allocates money to support her church.
Elis, 35, is from Pawarae village in Ialibu district, Southern Highlands.
She has not looked back since the divorce and wants to take the best care of her four daughters and a son.
Her eldest son is in Grade Eight at the Hagen Tee Primary School.
One daughter is in Grade Three while another has just completed Grade One.
The two youngest daughters will be attending elementary school next year.
Her priority is to have her five children access quality education in the city.
She herself was educated only up to Grade 10 at the Ialibu Secondary School in 2006.

“ Whatever money I make every day, I budget for my kids’ education, food and other household needs.”

She enrolled at the Saint Paul’s secretariat college in 2007 to be trained as an office secretary.
In 2010, Elis decided to try out selling arts and crafts on the street of Mt Hagen.
She is now earning enough to put food on the table and meet her children’s needs.
It is why she was not too worried when her children’s father left.
She remains confident she can look after her family.
As a single mother, she knows she has a big responsibility to her five children and will try all her best to fulfill her role as a mother, as well as a father to them.
Life is not easy as a single mother but she knows she can do it – for her son and four daughters.

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