Opening Doors to a Bright Future
A day of celebration as 30 vulnerable girls are awarded scholarships
It’s finally happened! Thirty young out of school girls received their scholastic materials, registration details, and more so that they can return to school this month – thanks to the generosity of the Soroptimist International (UK) President’s Appeal of 2022-23.
By Douglas Mubiru, Journalist @New Vision
Feb 08, 2023
Soroptimist International, a global volunteer movement headquartered in Cambridge, UK, accorded the sponsorship to the thirty vulnerable girls. Meanwhile, the programme is being implemented by Rose Academies Uganda, a non-profit organization.
For the last two years, Faith Isenyi, 16, has been in and out of school, adding she dropped out of Primary six last year. Isenyi, a resident of Amodolam village, Gweri Sub County in Soroti district says her grandmother, who is physically disabled was no longer able to pay her school fees, forcing her to drop out of school.
“I had lost hope after spending two years without schooling, things have really been hard for me and my grandmother, but I’m now happy and grateful that I am back in class to fulfil my dream,” she said.
However, Isenyi, whose best subject is Mathematics, and dreams to become a teacher, is now hopeful after she and twenty-nine other girls got a full-year sponsorship to complete their primary seven education.
Clare Ainomugisha (R), Rose Academies-Uganda’s Program Director, hands over scholastic materials to one of the beneficiaries at Dokolo Township Primary School, Gweri Sub-county in Soroti district.
Handing over scholastic materials to the beneficiaries on Tuesday at Dokolo Township Primary School, Gweri Sub-county in Soroti district, Clare Ainomugisha, Rose Academies-Uganda’s Program Director lauded Soroptimist International for collaborating with them to uplift the girl child.
Ainomugisha stressed that they went through a lengthy selection process from 491 families in six different parishes of Gweri Sub-county in Soroti district, and after several weeks of scrutiny, they selected 30 girls they felt most deserving for the exceptional opportunity.
“Our primary goal is to empower impoverished girls with knowledge so that they not only complete primary grades, but also be inspired to pursue academic achievement well beyond primary and secondary levels. So, we want to give these children hope again, It has been very hard for them and we are revising means to see how those with babies will be accorded time to breastfeed their young ones,” Ainomugisha said.
DEO cautions parents against demoralizing children
Presiding over the official handover of scholastics to the thirty beneficiaries, the Soroti deputy District Education Officer, Jennifer Ilenyot, urged parents to have a positive attitude towards their children.
“We know some of these children have babies, but I call upon you parents to not mistreat these children’s babies they have left behind. As parents, let us have a positive attitude and keep on guiding these girls. Endeavour to provide sanitary pads after all the burden of school fees has been taken off from you, let nothing distract these girls as they embark on completing their primary level,” insisted Ilenyot.
Ilenyot also urged the teachers to embark on teaching children life skills, adding, “And please, do routine counselling and don’t mistreat them.” In his remarks, the school head teacher, David Livingstone Opedu, promised to work hard with his staff to ensure that children pass well.
“What I can promise is that we are going to ensure these children get the best education to enable them to excel, and we are also looking forward to getting a secret place for those breastfeeding to always breastfeed their children without their colleagues’ notice,” Opedu said.
Ready to study, change life
Speaking to New Vision, Jerusha Akello, 11, said she was happy to be among those who had acquired the scholarship, insisting that her dream is to become a doctor.
Here Jerusha receives her scholastic materials of pens, pencils, books, mathematical sets, rulers and paper that each student is required to have before they can attend the private primary school.
Anna Asege,17, said, “Though I sat home for two years without schooling, I’m now hopeful that my dream of becoming a doctor is likely to become true, and I pray that God blesses our sponsors and grants me wisdom to understand all they I will study.”
Thanks to the generous support of the Soroptimist International President’s Appeal, these girls now have the opportunity to work towards their hopes and dreams of a bright future.