In this month’s Stories of Hope, we celebrate International Women’s Day.
Today we are sharing how, thanks to your support, the I AM GIRL programme is tackling barriers to education and giving young mothers like Mary the opportunity to go back to school.
“My name is Mary, I am 17 years old and in Primary Seven.
Throughout my academic journey, I was a bright girl well-known by teachers. Unfortunately, I lost my parents when I was young, and the situation at home was not favourable for me since my guardians were unwilling to provide for my needs. I started working in people’s gardens when I was 14 to get money for my books, clothes and other items.
Due to the difficult environment at home, I was forced by my guardians to get married at age 15. I became pregnant and gave birth. The marriage, however, was very hard for me since I was still young. I ran away and came back home. I pleaded with my guardians to take me back to school, but they were hesitant since they did not want to take responsibility for my baby and me. Then I went to our village leader, who gave me money to buy three books and one pen.
At this point, Fields of Life started the I AM GIRL Project in my former school to mobilise teenage mothers to return to school. My teachers thought about me and brought the good news home. I received books, pens, pencils, a school bag and a geometry set to help me return to school. Today I am glad that I have resumed my academic journey. I want to be a nurse when I finish school.”
Thanks to the support of people like you, the I AM GIRL programme is reaching out to some of the most vulnerable young girls in Uganda giving them the opportunity to reach their potential.