– 7 February 2018
In her own words: Sanyu’s story
For Sanyu* in Uganda, life has not been easy. Helping her mother to earn enough income to get by meant she missed out on part of her education. Now she is back in school and dreams of becoming a doctor.
I did not spend a lot of time with my father. He left when I was a little girl and my siblings were even younger. I don’t know why he left, but my mother always says I am too young to understand ‘these things’.
Growing up with my mum only has not been easy. I remember us living in a refugee camp in Gulu. It was easier to get food there because many aid organisations would bring it to us. After sometime, we were forced to leave the camp, prompting my mother to ask the local government to give us a piece of land to build our home. Her wish was granted; so we put up our house which is where we live today.
I have spent most of my life helping my mum weed other people’s farms for money. With the income she would pay for our school needs and provide for the family. When the funds were not enough I would skip school to give my siblings a chance; that is why I am 13 years old and in primary four. My age mates are in primary seven.
This year  I got lucky. My family was registered to receive support from the SOS family strengthening programme. With the assistance, I am able go to school these days without interruption, and this makes me very happy. My school fees and school requirements are always provided on time. The burden is no longer too much for my mother, because she only meets the school needs of my younger siblings.
Meanwhile, I will continue enjoying my studies. I came position 10 out of 119 pupils in my class last term. Science is my favourite subject. I want to be a doctor when I grow up.
*Name changed for privacy protection
Photo: Will Boase
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