MEET THE 9YEAR OLD CIVIC LEADER BUILDING BRIDGES IN HER COMMUNITY

Juliet Acom
Posted September 14, 2019 from Uganda
Jane Akello

Jane is a 9year old girl from Mutungo slum, a swampy area in the outskirts of kampala city. Right infront of Jane's house is a channel built to divert rain and sewer water from the mainland to the swamp.

In order for Jane and her neighbours to connect to the mainland a makeshift walkway built from old timber and rusty tin had been built to enable them walk to school, hospital, the market, church or join the main road. This kept washing away after heavy rains and for the time it was being replaced the only option to go accross would be to jump over the channel (mostly adults and the big kids) or climb into the channel and walk out on the shallow end, this meant that the smaller children would miss school.

Last month after heavy rains the bridge washed away; this time Jane did not wait for the local authorities to come! She got a stool and a makeshift wooden box and started to fundraise $3cents from each passerby to build a better bridge (500 uganda shillings). When she had enough collected, a neighbour who works at a building site together with a few youth helped her buy sand, steel rods and they builf a concrete walk way!

Now Jane and her friends can not miss school.

I have learnt from this little girl that we do not have to wait for the government to give us solutions; we can use our own skills and experience to find a working solution to problems affecting our community and the environment where we live. We must support the ideas of the children around us, guide them after all they are the leaders of tomorrow.

This story was submitted in response to GirlForce: Unscripted and Unstoppable.

Comments 23

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Sylvia Maduka
Sep 14
Sep 14

This is so inspiring ,we must realise the power in us and how much we can affect our society by the little things we do.Jane is an inspiration

Juliet Acom
Sep 14
Sep 14

She trully is.
Let me find her photo so I can add it to the story. I will show her your comments the next time i go by her house

officialkris_b
Sep 14
Sep 14

❤️

Juliet Acom
Sep 14
Sep 14

Thanks, I will surely send her your ❤❤
Have a pleasant weekend

Jill Langhus
Sep 14
Sep 14

Hi Juliet,

How are you doing, dear? What a great, and inspiring story of tenacity and drive. Thanks for sharing this story. I would love to see her photo and know more about her story, too, such as, is she always this driven and tenacious, did her parents encourage her to build the road, etc. I hope you can give her a big hug from all of us, the next time you see her, and let her know how amazing she is and how impressed we all are with her:-)

Hope you're doing well and having a great weekend!

Juliet Acom
Sep 16
Sep 16

Hi Jill,

I finally managed to get a photo of Jane. She is a self driven girl, she saw a concrete walk way and brought the idea to her neighbour who is a builder. Her parents came on board when she started to fundraise money for it from persons using the bridge.

She is such i bright young girl

Jill Langhus
Sep 16
Sep 16

Hi there:-)

Thank you, but I can't see the photo, though:-( The system is cropping her head off. Can you add it as a secondary photo. Those sometimes work better than the primary one. Such as a great story! Yes, she is!!

XX

Juliet Acom
Sep 16
Sep 16

Oh dear, is it better now?

I am using a phone to do the edits for now

Jill Langhus
Sep 16
Sep 16

Yes, thank you!!! Aw, she's so cute!

XX

Oluwatoyin Olabisi
Sep 14
Sep 14

Please follow me.
Secondly, the Girl Child is the future or how else would you explain the capability of this 9 year old in going against all odds in ensuring she does not miss school.

Juliet Acom
Sep 16
Sep 16

Thanks Oluwatoyin, true we need to invest in the girl child

Lisbeth
Sep 14
Sep 14

This is so an amazing little leader. Please tell Jane that I say she is genius.
Yes we all have to learn from Jane never to give up and to learn to take responsibility.
Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend.
Lizzy

Juliet Acom
Sep 16
Sep 16

Thanks Lizzy,

I saw her yesterday and showed her the comments. She was so excited to see my story and we took a picture which i have shared here.

Greetings from Uganda!

Lisbeth
Sep 16
Sep 16

Oh amazing! I will look for that recent post. Thanks

Anita Shrestha
Sep 14
Sep 14

Great and inspiring story ''I have learnt from this little girl that we do not have to wait for the government to give us solutions; we can use our own skills and experience to find a working solution to problems affecting our community and the environment where we live. We must support the ideas of the children around us, guide them after all they are the leaders of tomorrow''.

Juliet Acom
Sep 16
Sep 16

Thank you Anita. We must applaud this little girl. I would like to buy her a medal :)

Anita Shrestha
Sep 16
Sep 16

Yes nice

Hello, dear Juliet,

Whoa, what a resourceful girl Jane is! I love how she creates solutions. She is a leader, indeed.
Thank you for sharing her story to us. How did you meet Jane?

Juliet Acom
Sep 19
Sep 19

Hi Karen,

I am happy to hear from you - thanks for taking the time to read Jane's story.
How I met Jane is quite interesting - one of my close relatives relocated to that side of town about 4months back. So I went to check on them because they have a child who is living with SCD and generally life has been tough and they are struggling.

On my way to their house, we lost our way and as we tries to manover around re reading the instructions we end up at a dead end - basically a sewer tunnel with no way accross. And on the other side is this little girl seated on a stool with a small box with coins standing up each time anyone approaches the make shift bridge she talks to them for a minute or so and they give her a coin.

Initially i approached her thinking someone was abusing a child using her as a beggar to get money so i found my way accross and the rest is history.

When i listened to her i was humbled! I just had to go back. I couldnt resist!

It's my pleasure, dear Juliet. :)

Wow! What a story. I love stories. :) If you were not lost, you might not be able to meet her. I'm glad you approached her because you wanted to protect her in case someone used her as a beggar. It just shows how your good heart leads you to another good heart. :)

You could have included this back story on your post. It becomes more interesting how you two met! Haha. Thank you for sharing, Juliet. Hope you have a great day!

Merze Tate Explorers

Wow! She is a hero. I can't wait to see what other things she does for her community now that she know she can make a difference!

Thanks for sharing!
Sonya

Juliet Acom
Oct 06
Oct 06

Thank you Sonia,

I look forward to sharing your feedback with her. I will represent the sisterhood to encourage her to keep up with the good work!

Regards

ANJ ANA
Oct 10
Oct 10

Dear Juliet
Thank you for sharing this important piece. Truly, children are the leader and its so good to know that in her early age, she is determined. We must support her and she deserves all attentions for fulfilling her ideas.
in solidarity,
anjana