How a GPFD Academic Scholarship Advanced My Dreams Forward

By Nasasira Hope

My name is Nasasira Hope, a 28-year-old female Ugandan and Munyankole by tribe. From the time I was born, I have lived with my grandmother, Mrs. Bamwangiraki Feredasi, since my mother wasn’t able to take care of me. My mother didn’t know what having a child meant after conceiving when she was 16 years of age. 

My grandmother loved me. She was such a sweetheart to my life, a best friend, a sister, brother, mother and a father even to this day. She protected, trained, and counseled me to be a woman of great substance. Despite the love she had for me, she never spared me from learning African duties like digging, organizing a home, caring for visitors, and having a polite talk with people. Above all, she taught me religion, and indeed, God has guided me through. She taught me the beauty of abstaining from early sex and demerits as well as having multiple sexual partners. It’s the best information that all youth, both boys and girls, need to know as they are growing.

How I Got to Know About EWIDA and Global Partners

EWIDA, or Executive Women in Development Association, is a Community Based Organization (CBO) that works to fight poverty through girl’s education in Uganda. I first learned about EWIDA and its partnership with Global Partners for Development after I had accomplished my primary education. At the time, my grandmother toiled selling bananas, sweet potatoes, and millet, among other things to raise my school fees. 

With no hope of joining secondary education, my grandmother heard an announcement on the radio of EWIDA looking for young girls who were orphans and unable to afford education. She moved mile after mile, one office after the other, in the town of Rukungiri looking for EWIDA’s location until a well-wisher directed her to Rev. Rauben Tusingwire and his wife Mrs. Flavia Tusingwire’s home. It was then that they warmly welcomed my grandmother and allowed me to join for my secondary level education. 

To be sincere, my grandmother was more excited about the scholarship than me because she knew I was going to be educated and the public wouldn’t see me as a failure. It was after seeing my fellow girls in the village not going to school that I realized the goodness that Global Partners and EWIDA had in my life.

Benefits from the Scholarship Offered by Global Partners and EWIDA

First and foremost, I have benefited from the scholarship for 10 years. I have managed to study and complete my secondary education, both Ordinary and Advanced level, with all the required certificates. All scholastic materials like sanitary pads, bed sheets, books, pens, knickers, pocket money were covered, with school fees being paid a month or two prior to reporting to school. All expenses that my grandmother would not have been able to afford otherwise. 

As a little girl, I managed to uplift my talent in various sport activities like netball, my favorite sport, as well as football and basketball. I  also participated in debating and won a certificate for the Best 6th Speaker in the Kigezi Debating School’s competitions. As I grew up I always had a dream and passion to save people’s lives. Global Partners, through EWIDA, helped me achieve a diploma in Clinical Medicine and Community Health. I graduated,  fully registered, and received a license from the Ministry of Health as a practicing Medical Clinical Officer (MCO). I am currently working with Vienna Medical Centre Adjumani in the West Nile.

Other Benefits After Scholarship

Thanks to my education, I am in a position to pay my grandmother’s hospital bills when she falls sick and support her with money for upkeep among other necessities, which makes her happy and proud of me. I have learned to make liquid soap, shampoo, and other skills that have allowed me to earn some income and advance my financial independence. Currently, I work with my mentor Mrs. Rukundo Naome. 

I provide counseling to the youth, especially girls, about the dangers of early sex, the advantage of staying in school, and being a hard worker. I have been an inspiration to many women and girls because of my profession and conduct when working on them in the different health facilities. I have worked to an extent that some mothers have named their children after my name.

FUTURE PLANS

Despite being a health worker, I wish to retire as an anesthetist, a medical specialist who administers anesthesia before surgery. I also hope to construct a hospital in Uganda which specializes in surgeries since we don’t have any in our country and I will be glad since I will have pursued my masters in Anesthesia.

I thank God for the gift of life and the scholarship that I had never thought of receiving in my life. In a humble way I am grateful to Global Partners and EWIDA for supporting, loving me, and uplifting me as a young girl. Education is the best empowerment for any little girl. What I am today is because of you. 

Learn more about GPFD’s educational and women empowerment programs here!

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