My Journey in Education

keronga
Posted April 9, 2013 from Uganda

In search of Education

I was born in a polygamous marriage, abandoned and rejected at just 18 months, lost my Dad at a very tender age, became a child mother at 19 years, was abducted by rebels at 22 years but all these happenings didn’t stop me from pursuing my dream – Education.

Recently I graduated with Masters in Public Administration. My daughter has Masters in Education and my youngest is in Ordinary level this year.

I’m a single mother who is determined to ensure that I take my girls to the highest level of education and I’m also advocating for girls to have second chance in life even though they have made mistakes. My story:

In Uganda when a girl gets pregnant, it’s difficult for the parents and relatives to allow such girls to continue with education. The same happened to me. My own relatives couldn’t help me and the only person who was willing to help me then asked me to travel to Northern Uganda in order to join a particular school for my Advanced level. I had to accept because I had no option. Northern Uganda especially Gulu at that time was a hub for the rebels. I left my baby daughter with her dad and travelled to Gulu. All was well but hardly a month the rebels striked our school on 1st June 1987 and I was one of the many girls abducted. Some parents ran after us pleading with the rebels and some were released on the way. Some of us weren’t so lucky. After long walks and in the middle of nowhere I said I was thirsty and tired. I was told to sit down but one rebel refused and kept pushing me. Little did I know that if I had sat as I was told, that would have meant the end of my life? I would have been shot and left to rest for good.

When I succeeded to get out of captivity, I had to come back to the city and look for opportunities. There was a reverend sister who liked me so much and helped me with fees through Advanced level. After that I tried a diploma course but couldn’t afford paying so I had to leave. After a while, I did some computer training and slowly started progressing. When I got a stable job, I wanted very much then to start a family, unfortunately it didn’t work. The only option was to continue with books. I went for a Certificate course, then a diploma, a Bachelors degree and recently graduated with a Masters degree. In all these struggles, I was paying myself and my two daughters at School. I remember when my daughter was admitted to the University, I was admitted too. My elder brother wouldn’t hear of this, he came to warn me that he hoped I would not go asking any of them for assistance for fees. I simply told him to wait for me to ask and then that should be the time for him to complain which I never did.

Life has not been so easy for me but I thank God that sometimes He may change ones direction but never His promises. In Uganda and I believe everywhere else, many girls suffer because of making mistakes of becoming child mothers. I was lucky to have good friends to stand with me. My desire in life is to give those girls a second chance in life in the same way my brother is giving abandoned children a second chance in life through “Acres of Hope Uganda’. Acres of Hope as the name suggests, should surely become a place where girls and child mothers will in future have hope and a future.

Time and I again I have been telling my daughters that life is not smooth sailing, extra work and focus is needed. In order to succeed, one must remain focused and determined. My daughter is a lecturer in the same University where she studied from. I'm proud to have brought her up well despite my own failures. I will be more proud to see her walking down the aisle when the right man and the right time comes. With God nothing is impossible!

Maya Angelique once said, “You will face many defeats in your life, but never let yourself be defeated”

The two years spent in the University pursuing my Masters was riddled with doubts, Challenges, thoughts of defeats and at one point I felt like giving up the course. However, I started looking at the good side of every situation and did this by viewing my problems as opportunities to success. One can never have the successes without learning from failures. I believe that any experience can be transformed into something of value if done with determination and focus. Everything depends on the way one looks at the things. I want to stress to everyone that what are perceived as stumbling blocks and defeat can become stepping stones to victory if one remains focused and determined.

Remember: In all adversities lie the seeds of equivalent advantages. In every defeat there is a lesson showing how to win the next time. When it’s dark enough one can still see the stars.

What am I saying? Obstacles in life should never hinder us from achieving our dreams. I just did. I hope in future I will be able to mentor girls and change their mentality that a woman’s place is in the kitchen only.

“Whoever watches the wind will not plant, whoever looks at the clouds will not reap”. King Solomon

Girls Transform the World 2013

Comments 34

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Julie Collura
Apr 09, 2013
Apr 09, 2013

You should be very proud of your accomplishments. You are an inspiration to other women and girls.

keronga
Apr 11, 2013
Apr 11, 2013

Thanks dear. That's my dream and I know it will one day come true

LisaXi
Apr 11, 2013
Apr 11, 2013

What an amazing story of perseverance despite all odds. What lucky girls to have you as their mother and mentor. It's obvious that education has provided you many opportunities, and I have a feeling you're not done yet. Chase the stars.

keronga
Apr 11, 2013
Apr 11, 2013

Thank you so so much for appreciating me. Indeed my dream is to attain a PhD God wiiling and also be able to promote the education of girls who have been unfortunate in life like me.

Debbie Andres
Apr 12, 2013
Apr 12, 2013

What an inspiration you are to women and children all over the world! Not only did you overcome huge obstacles, you kept your faith in God strong and kept a very clear focus on what you needed to make a better life for your daughters! Now you're dedicating your life to helping others, the ultimate gift of giving back. You have a couple of quotes in your story and I love quotes so I want to share one of my favorites with you. I hope you find inspiring. It's by Sharon Salzberg, an American author and Buddhist meditation teacher: "It doesn't matter for how long the room has been dark; For a day, or a week, or a year, or for ten thousand years. The moment you bring in a candle, the darkness vanishes like it was never there. Similarly, it doesn't matter for how long we are stuck in a sense of our limitations. The moment you decide to break free, nothing will stop you." You have indeed broke free of the limitations that could have kept you down. Not only have you created the light of your life, I know you will continue to shine your light in the darkness, lighting the path for many others and lifting them to heights they never thought they could reach! Thank you for who you are and what you do. The world definitely needs more people like you!

keronga
Apr 12, 2013
Apr 12, 2013

Thank you so so much for your comments, I just wrote a little about my journey in life. I have been through a lot but in all these I kept a cool face. We get more stronger when we are weakest.

keronga
Apr 12, 2013
Apr 12, 2013

Thank you so so much for your comments, I just wrote a little about my journey in life. I have been through a lot but in all these I kept a cool face. We get more stronger when we are weakest. There is always a light at the end of a tunnel what is needed is perseverance and determination.

ikirimat
Apr 13, 2013
Apr 13, 2013

wow, Beatrice you are such an inspiration and testimony. Anyone who will hear your story will definitely not remain the same. I want to encourage you to share your testimony with especially the girls in the community. I invite you .Lets join hands and change the lives of women and girls in Uganda. I will inbox you later for further details.

Welcome aboard where women are changing lives.

keronga
Apr 13, 2013
Apr 13, 2013

Thanks Grace. We will keep in touch

Olutosin
Apr 14, 2013
Apr 14, 2013

I love your resillience and I THANK YOU FOR BEING WHO YOU ARE TODAY.

Pls make sure that you support other girls in this situation in your community and environs to do the same.

Things can only get better.

Thank You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

keronga
Apr 21, 2013
Apr 21, 2013

Thanks sister. Our God is an amazing God!

PeopleWeaver
Apr 17, 2013
Apr 17, 2013

Thank you.

My daughter and I learned algebra at the same time. She graduated from college two years before I did - but we both did.

I have a small project in Uganda.

Jeannewww.peopleweaver.org

keronga
Apr 21, 2013
Apr 21, 2013

Hi Jeanne, I'm so happy to connect with you. I hope we shall cultivate this relationship further. I have seen your project with the refugees in Kyangwale in Hoima District. Many years ago I was following the accountability of our project for that place. Please visit: www.acresofhopeuganda.orgIt is a project me and my brother initiated although I'm not a full time employee there. We support orphans and my dream is to give child mothers 2nd chance in life and it will still be under Acres of Hope Uganda. In my free time I do Tye and Dye which I think will also be good for your women. I could give them the skills Regards Beatrice

Lorraine Cook
Apr 21, 2013
Apr 21, 2013

To me, you communicate two really powerful ideas: "Everything depends on the way one looks at the things" and "what are perceived as stumbling blocks and defeat can become stepping stones to victory if one remains focused and determined." Your life is living proof of both. Great job!

I believe you will give many girls and women inspiration to meet their own stumbling blocks and keep going anyway until they can see that those blocks have turned into steps forward. Yours is a powerful story. Thank you for sharing it. Lorraine

keronga
Apr 21, 2013
Apr 21, 2013

Thanks for appreciating me. God will make a way for others too. What I have now is HOPE and I believe through hope we shall achieve our dreams of empowering young girls and women!

Mukut
Jun 07, 2013
Jun 07, 2013

Your story is so inspiring. You never gave up and i am sure your daughters will make you very proud ( they already are)

Keep it up dear !

Love,

keronga
Jun 08, 2013
Jun 08, 2013

Thanks Mukut, God has been faithful to me throughout my life and He still does. All the glory goes back to him.

Patricia Lindrio
Jun 07, 2013
Jun 07, 2013
keronga
Jun 08, 2013
Jun 08, 2013

Hi Patsy, Thanks and I'm happy for your mum. I'm writing a book about my life too and I hope it will inspire many who are at the verge of giving up. Thanks for sharing the link

Wendy Stebbins
Jun 08, 2013
Jun 08, 2013

Hi Keronga,

You are an amazing person and an outstanding role model, not only to your family but to the world, both male and female. It is like God put you on earth and sent you to EARTH SCHOOL to learn certain lessons that seemed like adversity at the time . He sent you here with a plan unknown to you. You had no idea that you were in earth school learning the highest lessons a person can learn. Then you graduated from earth school with your Ph.D. in humanity and now you are applying God's lessons that you learned to the people in your, home, your community and soon the world. You are on a path that could have only been destined by God. Your time is coming BIGTIME. You have so much value. You matter. You are necessary.

Ubuntu(I am who I am because of who we are together),

Wendy

What is also special about you is that he gave you a great brain. Do you know what I mean? So many are born with a brain that has been harmed or undeveloped because of malnutrition at birth or genetically and so there are limitiations no matter their desire. You are blessed. But you know that already.

keronga
Jun 08, 2013
Jun 08, 2013

Thanks Wendy. Our God is an awesome God. He never leaves us alone. All the glory goes back to him, I yet to do the PhD. I finished Masters. Thanks for appreciating me.

Wendy Stebbins
Jun 08, 2013
Jun 08, 2013

Hi

I was talking metaphorically about the Ph.D.

Ubuntu,

Wendy

Bint Zahra
Jun 09, 2013
Jun 09, 2013

I am very proud of you my sister, you are the face of the new African women. Women who are putting all of their focus on educating themselves and their daughters. I am inspired by your resilience and your determination to stand up, and lift yourself to achieve your dream no matter what. You go girl!! Love Deqa

Achieng Nas
Jun 09, 2013
Jun 09, 2013

Beatrice - my namesake!, you are a very powerful woman that girls in this generation need to look up to. I am so glad we will be meeting this weekend. You are one of those my girls must hear from! As you carry on with your dream, I wish you the very best. Love and respect.

Beatrice

Achieng Nas
Jun 12, 2013
Jun 12, 2013

We are meeting this weekend! I want to rub shoulders with you, Beatrice!!!! You are a power!!!!

Betty B. Ackah
Jun 10, 2013
Jun 10, 2013

This is so powerful! Do you know the poem OUR DEEPEST FEAR by Marianne Willamson? I'll post my favorite verses below,

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God."

It's almost as if she is speaking directly to a wonderfully inspirational and powerful woman called Beatrice Keronga! Keep being the light that God has made you become.

Nadz
Jun 11, 2013
Jun 11, 2013

There are so many lessons here, believing in yourself inspire of yourself, loving yourself even when you feel unloved, raising beautiful and successful children even when you were not raised to feel successful and beautiful and finding the courage to overcome even though it looked impossible. Continue your work, you are doing a fantastic job, you are a phenomenal woman.

Raeesa JAVED
Jun 11, 2013
Jun 11, 2013

thank you for sharing the experience of your life. May you arise with uplifting others lives, may you reach beyond the boundaries of Ugandan with light, and may God bless you to spread love and hope. God bless you Ma'am, we all honor you and love your spirit and efforts.

Yvette Warren
Jun 12, 2013
Jun 12, 2013

I would like to hear more about your second daughter.

Blessings to you and your community. Yvette

keronga
Jun 12, 2013
Jun 12, 2013

Hi, my second daughter this year is in Senior Four. She is a candidate preparing for exams to join advanced level of education next year. In the Uganda system of education, we have nursery, primary one to seven then one joins Ordinary level that is seniour one to senior four, then to Advanced level finally to University or any other higher institution of learning. She is only 15 years old and still has a long way to go. She is in the final class. With God nothing is impossible. Thanks for your interest in her and thanks for asking. God bless you

Yvette Warren
Jun 13, 2013
Jun 13, 2013

Dear Keronga, I often worry about children who are not the first born, especially where there is little or no family or community support.

You mentioned the circumstance and community support surrounding the birth of your first daughter, but very little about the second. I am so glad that she, too, is apparently on a success track.

I do believe that, with "God," nothing is impossible. I also believe that humans contain the physical manifestations of The Sacred Spirit on earth. Without sharing of The sacred Spirit, the earth and all in it die spiritually.

Blessings also to you and your beautiful family.

Airyn Lentija-Sloan
Jun 12, 2013
Jun 12, 2013

Hi Keronga,

Thanks for sharing such an inspiring story. God bless you always.

TinaN
Jun 13, 2013
Jun 13, 2013

Hi,Keronga,

What a story with a beautiful inspiring ending.Thank you for sharing your experience, i bet you are a real voice of a girl once hurt,a girl once broken but still became victorious. How so inspiring

Florence
Jun 14, 2013
Jun 14, 2013

I love this, this is expressing a true story of some forgotten African, or even better Ugandan girl child life, i share almost the same story with you Beatrice though in a different direction. I love your courage and determination. True where there is a will there will definitely be a way. Your story should be read by more Ugandan girls who give up quickly after facing similar challenges! Keep the light burning Bea!!!!!!!!!!