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 SolomonGirls Transform the World 2013