Tuesday January 23 2018

Bright but disadvantaged



L-R: Nampa, Isabirye and Okumu

L-R: Nampa, Isabirye and Okumu 

Despite Aggregate 7, Nampa has no hope for S1

Having lost both her parents in 2005 and 2006 , Mackline Nampa, 14, years is currently under the care of her aunt Kellen Turinawe, a resident of Kihunda, Kagango, Sheema District. She had been studying with the aid of a local NGO from Primary One until she was dropped in Primary Five.
But her aunt started aiding her while she attended Ngoma Primary School until 2016 when she was granted a partial scholarship at Rwebiita Preparatory school in Sheema District.
Nampa scored Aggregate Seven in the recently released Primary Leaving Examination and was the best in her pioneer class.
She wants to become a lawyer after her studies so that she can help fight injustice in society. Despite her good performance, Nampa has no hope of joining Senior One because she sees no source of school fees.
“I was helped by my Aunt to complete primary school but now she says she will not be able to pay for my secondary school education. I am waiting on God’s mercy,” she says. (By Zadock Amanyisa)

He fetched water to pay fees and scored 8

Although Charles Okumu of Goodways Primary School in Tororo rural counted himself among the unfortunate, his creativity made him stay at school and at the end of the day earned him Aggregate 8.
When he joined Primary Seven, Okumu had no hope of completing his primary school but decided to volunteer his labour to the school in exchange for school fees.
Being that he was bright, the school bought his idea and asked him to fetch water for the school.
“When I started my friends would laugh at me but after a while some of them started admiring my courage as they would be sent away from school for defaulting on school fees,’’ he narrates.
Okumu says he would wake up at 4am to go to the nearby borehole and fetch 20 jerrycans of water but made sure that by 6:30am he was in class. He was only relieved during the rainy seasons as he would tap water from the roof.
Despite all the hassle, Okumu’s dream is to become a pilot.
He attributes his success in Primary Leaving Examinations to hard work, guidance from his teachers and prayers. (By Joseph Omollo)

Isabirye is hopeful that God will make a way

“I am so grateful that I have managed to study under very unfavourable conditions and turned out with good results. My mother (Irene Nabanda) used to struggle with getting school fees for me. She is a peasant who does not earn big,” said Denis Isabirye. Isabirye says he would move from school to school because of fees but settled when he joined Bridge Academy in Bugiri. That first term after joining the school, I became one of the best students in class. It was my one target and thus I earned myself a scholarship. This became relief to my mother who valued education that sometimes we would go without food for her to spare money for books. That’s why I had to work hard to make sure I pass in first grade. I was happy that I scored Aggregate 11. But through all this, I have learned the benefits of studying. Though I currently do not know how I will manage through secondary school, I have hope.
I encourage students who might be in the same living conditions like me, that no matter where you are, your family background, you can win, you can be successful, you can make it. You just need to purpose to do it. (By Desire Mbabaali)

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