My dad died of AIDS when I was barely 16 and 8 years later mum followed. I was born the 3rd in a family of 11 children. By the time we became total orphans I was the only one who had completed university but with no job yet. My mother died six days after my final exams at university for my first degree and four days after my 24th birthday. I was broken and confused of how my life was going to turn out. Yet at the same time I knew I had to be determined and courageous and successful if the rest of my siblings were to make it in life.

I knew I had no other choice but to know how to use my skills to go for the challenges in life and not to always be disappointed when the outcomes turned out negative. It has been very amazing how I have always managed to look after my family with very minimal resources. One thing is that my mother was always encouraging and positive even on her death bed. So up to now, when faced with daunting tasks and situations I always hear her sweet solemn voice telling me, “I am proud of you and I know you will make it in life, you are truly a smart and nice girl”.

Currently, life is not perfect; but who said it should be in order for me to keep moving in line with my dreams and goals? I am a lecturer in one of the public universities in Uganda; I finished my Masters in Development Studies last December and I am finishing my research in Masters in Social Sector Planning by the end of this year. I am still paying school fees for three of my siblings and a young cousin and one of my sisters graduated early last year. I am still standing up with very colorful dreams and a wonderful future ahead no matter what the structural and situational challenges that may be standing in my way.

Take action! This post was submitted in response to My Story: Standing Up .

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