Lisandra Kabagenyi (Lisa) is 23. She was the first recipient of university scholarship from the Brian Mutebi Dream Scholarship Fund. She was in 2015 awarded the scholarship to study Bachelor of Laws at Makerere University. She is a survivor of domestic violence. She lives with her mother, a single mum who struggled to take care of her and three of her siblings. Her father abandoned her and the mother in a rented house in a Kampala slum. He moved in with another woman in the house they built. “Knowing that my mother could not afford to pay for my university education, I looked for scholarships. There is no single scholarship I heard of that I did not apply for but all was in vain. I had lost all hope but then came The Brian Mutebi Dream Scholarship Fund. I have never been so excited,” she said. In 2020, Lisa will graduate from Makerere University School of Law. She wants to become a practicing advocate to defend justice especially for the poor.
Margaret Matovu is 18 in Senior Five at Mityana Secondary School studying History, Economics, Divinity and Sub Maths. She was at risk of being married off after she dropped out of school for lack of school fees. Her parents are peasants in rural Uganda, and her mother has been terminally ill for two years, which drained the small income the family used to earn from selling maize grown on a piece of land let from a neighbour. The piece of land on which they built a semi complete house is too small for the family to farm. Her three brothers dropped out of school too for lack of school fees. In the community where child marriage is at 40%, Margaret was soon becoming part of that poignant statistic. Against all hope, she hoped. She hoped one day a Good Samaritan will come and lift her hand up. We are glad we could support Margaret’s dream and be part of her journey. We believe every girl has dreams and potential to impact this world tremendously. That’s why we invest in girl’s education.
Sharon Ndagire is 17. She is in Senior Four at Bukomero Secondary School. She is a survivor of domestic violence. Her mother separated from her father because of constant fights in the home. She and her four siblings including a set of twins were left helpless. Sharon took on the role of cooking for and taking care of her siblings. Sharon and her siblings were at the verge of dropping out school. Their father is a peasant with hardly any incomes to sustain the large family of over 10 children. If we were able, we would have taken them on all. We took on Sharon, trusting that investing in her education will have a multiplier effect not only on her family but community and Uganda at large. Research tells us that investing in girls and women creates the ripple effects that yield multiple benefits, not only for individual women and girls, but for families, communities and countries. In 2020, Sharon will graduate to high school. She is excited just as we are.
Christine and MacNeil
Christine Nakakeeto, 14 and MacNeil Luswata 15, are in Senior One and Two respectively. Their life stories took a drastic turn when their mother tested HIV positive and her employers dismissed her form the job. She worked as a domestic casual labour for a firm in Kampala. She had separated from her husband. The consequences of losing her only source of livelihood caused her to be traumatized. Christine and MacNeil’s father has a mental health sickness. The children got traumatised too. They were left under the case of their 63-year old maternal grandmother who hardly had an income. Life in one of Kampala’s big slums became unbearable. They would go without food, left at the mercy of sympathizers. They dropped out of school. We know how HIV devastates lives and shatters dreams. We moved to support Christine and MacNeil. We seek to rescue the poor who cry out for help, the fatherless who had none to assist him. We dream that one day we will look back and say we ‘broke the fangs of the wicked and snatched the victims from their teeth.’