By Gloria Namuyombya
Back in 2017, when I had lost all hope, when it felt like my academic life had come to an end, I got a phone call that changed everything, and made me hopeful of the future.
It was at that moment that I believed I still had a chance to make it in life and ever since that eventful day of the phone call, my life has never been the same again.
Apart from the fact that I am pursuing an undergraduate degree, there has been a lot of progress within my family as a whole. Before benefiting from the scholarship, my family and I lived in a slum, in a house built from mud and wattle. Coming from a family of seven, we all had to fit in the one-room house which also acted as the kitchen, living space as well as sleeping area.
With the monthly stipend I receive as part of my scholarship benefit, I was able to purchase a new piece of land (50*100 ft) in Kakiri-Wakiso District where we are currently constructing a decent home.
I’m also glad to note that the new home has four bedrooms, a living room and dining space. It feels awesome to know that my family and I now have a decent place that we call home. A few years ago, this was something unimaginable.
I also enrolled my little sister to a boarding school. Growing up in a slum, I saw many girls fail to make it to secondary school level because of teenage pregnancies. I didn’t want my sister to end up in the same trap.
Apart from taking care of my sister’s educational needs, including her tuition, I also support my other siblings by providing them with school requirements (before schools were shut down to prevent COVID-19).
Thanks to the scholarship, none of my siblings was ever sent home due to failure to pay school fees or the lack of scholastic materials.
I have also enrolled one of my brothers to a car mechanics training. Being busy at the garage also means he is able to keep away from peer pressure and bad influence. So far, he has gained skills that I believe he will use to earn an income long after completing his formal studies.
Before benefiting from the scholarship, we rarely managed to afford two meals a day as my mother did not have the finances to do so. But now with additional income coming in through the scholarship, we can afford two meals a day, including breakfast.
The business my mother engages in has seasonal market. That means when she has low or no sales, I am able to step in and provide for the family.
This is how we have been able to sustain ourselves.
I am grateful to MasterCard Foundation/RUFORUM for the opportunity offered to me to be able to impact my family in a positive way. All this wouldn’t have been possible without your generous and continued support.
I will continue on the path of transforming not only my family, but the community as well.