Success Stories

Success Stories

Changed Lives in Kumi

Children Deserve Hope

“Keep trying, because the destiny God has purposed for you is in God’s hands…”

In her own words Annet tells her story, of how with the support of her sponsorship from Seeds of Hope she was able to over come her incredibly difficult childhood circumstances to accomplish her dream of attending University…

“I am Akomolot Annet Mary, my mother is Tabingwa Agnes and my father is Okello Philip. My mother works in Seeds of Hope as a cook and my father does not have a job. I have three siblings; the first born is Caro, then Moses, Emma and I am the last born. Since my childhood I have been living with my mother since our father abandoned us. My health was not all that bad, except I had attacks from malaria and typhoid.

When I was a child, I found life difficult since my father had abandoned us when I was 2 years old. They chased us from our own land and my father sold all the land that belonged to us. So we moved to town with our mother who was jobless, we had to gamble with life. My mother started work as a cook in a restaurant in order to raise some money for our feeding, paying rent and to cater for the scholastic materials for my other siblings before I joined school. I was so sickly and getting treatment was not easy, we did not have enough food and some days we could sleep hungry. I lacked clothes since my mother did not have a well-paying job to cater for everything in the family.

When I started school, life was difficult in that I lacked the scholastic materials and studies did not move on well. For my primary level I studied in a government school until I completed primary level. My mother got another job as a cook in Kumi Child Development Centre under PAG KUMI. So she is the one who got a connection to Seeds of Hope where I got the sponsorship when I was in the secondary level, senior two. I was 14 years old, in 2012, in Bishop Maraka College.

When I got the sponsorship, what they did for me was great, they provided my tuition, provided the scholastic materials and I also got clothse. This time I found academics easy because they could provide me with everything that I needed while at school. Through the help I got from Seeds of Hope, it helped me to concentrate on studies since I had all the scholastic materials needed and I managed to pass very well from the ordinary level that is senior four and I proceeded to the higher secondary level that is senior five and six, whereby I also managed to pass very well and got a government sponsorship to go to the university where I am now.

I am still at school at Gulu University where I am pursuing a bachelors degree in arts education (English Literature). I have hope that after school life will not be the same again as before. The advice I have for other children in difficult situa-tions is that however difficult the situation is, they should believe in God as being the source of everything, who knows their situations and the one to bring a change in their lives in different ways. They should not stop studying, they should keep trying because the destiny God has pur-posed for them is in God’s hands. My plan for the future is that after school, I get a job and do something that can change the situation in our family.

I end by saying that I thank Seeds of Hope so much for the help rendered to me through my secondary school education and laying a very good foundation for me because the level I have reached now I have confidence that my life will not remain the same in years to come. My prayer is that God bless you so much and the work of your hands as you continue your charity work.”

“I love my sponsors so much, I thank God for their support”

Martha had just started secondary school when she fell pregnant, forcing her to stop her studies. Upon hearing the news her unborn child’s father quickly disassociated himself from her and left the country, never to be heard from again and leaving Martha to face her situation alone.

Martha delivered her son, Bobby, when she was 17. She left school to live back home with her parents and become a full time mother. However, even with their support there was very little money available and she would often worry about how to look after Bobby, especially as he frequently fell sick.

That was until Seeds of Hope stepped in and offered Martha financial support for Bobby’s health care and sponsorship for herself to allow her to return to her studies and train as a tailor and a hairdresser.

After qualifying, Martha is able to support both herself and Bobby as she works freelancing as a hair dressing, whilst also using her tailoring knowledge to make clothes for them both and her family.

Now Martha is 24, and her son Bobby is 6 years old. Martha has a lovely relationship with her sponsors, whom she exchanged letters and photographs with during her sponsorship. Once Martha has finished her education, her Seeds of Hope sponsors decided to continue supporting her by sponsoring her son, Bobby, to enable him to start school.

“I love (my sponsors) Mummy and Daddy so much, I thank God for their support, they have really helped me and now they are supporting my son which I can’t thank them enough for.”

“I teach Bobby that education is key, without it there is no success. I thank Seeds of Hope for all they have done for us both.”

“It was my dream to make my own money”

Samuel was too young to remember the death of his parents, which left him and his 4 older siblings as orphans.

Unable to look after themselves, they were split up as a family and taken care of by several different relatives, who struggled to afford the extra food, clothing and school fees. Thinking back to his life then, Samuel explains it was a hard life with no money to buy things.

Samuel remembers when Seeds of Hope came into his life as a time that allowed him to go to school for the first time without worrying about not being able to afford his school fees or not having school uniform. He enjoyed writing letters to his sponsor from the UK to update them on his progress, and it was a weight off his mind knowing that there was somebody looking out for him to make sure he remained in education.

Samuel was able to successfully complete primary school, at which point he chose to train in a skill. Now aged 15, Samuel is finishing his welding training and is starting to earn his own money from small jobs with help from his tutor. He has ambitions to save up the money he is making to buy his own tools and eventually open up his own workshop.

“It was my dream to make my own money,” says Samuel, “now life is good as I have money to buy things.”

He now lives back in his village with his two older brothers and their wives, where he hopes to one day have a family of his own.
Samuel is grateful to Seeds of Hope for supporting him as he studied and trained in a skill he will be able to earn a living from, which in turn has allowed him to be reunited with his family.

“Now I can buy the things I could never afford before”

Emmanuel was orphaned before he even reached secondary school. His father died when he was just 3 years old, leaving him to live alone with his mother. Life was difficult as she did not have a job, relying on harvesting crops in their village instead to provide their lively hood as they struggled for money.

Despite it being a struggle to pay his school fees on time, Emmanuel progressed in primary school, advancing up to P4 before someone told him about Seeds of Hope.

Once Emmanuel’s situation became known to Seeds of Hope help quickly arrived. They were able to pay his school fees and provide the scho-lastic materials he needed, and made sure he had anything else he needed to make sure he could stay in education.

Tragically, his mother then fell ill during his final year of primary school and later died in hospital, meaning Emmanuel had to depend on the help of family friends at just 11 years old. He was placed into a boarding school so he could complete a three year course in carpentry and joinery.

That was 10 years ago and Emmanuel is now 21, working two jobs and living on his own in Kumi town. As well as working as a carpenter for a local workshop, he also takes shifts working for Pepsi which allow him to live independently. In his spare time he enjoys playing foot-ball for local team Kumi United as a midfielder.

“I want to show my appreciation to Seeds of Hope. It was always really nice to receive letters from my spon-sor Wrote letters to his sponsor very nice to receive
I thank them for getting me to where I am. I enjoy my job as a carpenter, it allows me to buy the things I could never afford before”

Emmanuel wanted to pass on his story to other children in difficult situations.

“I always tell them going to school is very good, learn-ing to read and write is so important as you would get lost without those skills”

“Seeds of Hope rescued me and my family”

Life was hard for Charles, as he grew up with out his parents. He does not know how old he was when his father died, but he remembers having to look after his mother who was sick with HIV until she also died when he was still young. When his older step-sister moved away to marry, he was left behind in the village with his four brothers to look after themselves.

The boys had to work twice as hard as their peers. As well as attending school they had to return to their village to grow and sell crops in order to raise the money to pay for school fees. Selling the crops they harvested meant there was often very little food left over for the family to eat themselves.

“Seeds of Hope rescued me and my family,” says Charles as he recalls the time Seeds of Hope arrived and everything changed. “I was in P5 and suddenly we did not have to worry about our school fees being paid in time, or having money left over to buy uniform and scholastics.”

“Seeds of Hope rescued me and my family,” says Charles as he recalls the time Seeds of Hope arrived and everything changed. “I was in P5 and suddenly we did not have to worry about our school fees being paid in time, or having money left over to buy uniform and scholastics.”

After finishing P7, Charles chose to study mechanics in a nearby college. Once he had completed his three year course he began to look around for employment and soon found himself a job working in a workshop in Kachumbale, a job he has remained in for the past 5 years.

Charles explains how grateful he is to Seeds of Hope for supporting him and his brothers and for ensuring they were able to become independent. He enjoys his work as a mechanic, and says what a difference it makes having an income and not having to worry so much about money anymore.

Now 21, Charles stands proudly in his home with his wife and their 7 month year old son, Ochuli Cosma. Over the years he has been able to extend and build more huts to provide accommodation for three of his brothers, so that they can all live together comfortably in their village.

Charles has many hopes for the future. He met his wife when they were still in school together and is determined to save up the money to pay for his wife’s dowry, so they can celebrate their marriage with an official ceremony. He also hopes to extend his family one day and wants to make sure there will be enough money to send his children to school, as he recognises the importance of education and the impact working hard at school and training in a skill has had on his life.

“Be patient, God will find a way for you”

Franics recalls his early childhood as being very hard. His father died very abruptly, closely followed by his mother who suffered from AIDS, leaving him behind with his elder sister and four younger brothers.

Initially they lived together with his sister, until she got married and moved away leaving Francis responsible for his brothers. Distant family members helped out initially, however there was very little money or support to provide the resources needed to ensure the boys remained in education.

Francis describes the support of Seeds of Hope as ‘life changing’. Having a sponsor allowed him to complete his primary school education and allowed him to then choose to train as a tailor, providing him with a practical skill to earn a living from.

After finishing his tailoring course, his sponsorship also provided start up materials and a bicycle to help with his commute from his village into the nearest town, Kachumbale.

That was three years ago and now, aged 20, Francis’ life is completely different. After working hard as a tailor he has been able to save and start up his own tailoring business in Kachumbale, moving into his own premises with a central location in the town. He also got married two years ago and now lives in his village with his wife and his brothers who also live with them.

“I am very happy now, I want to thank Seeds of Hope for supporting me to get to where I am today. I would say to other children in difficult situations to work hard for your own future, and to be patient as God will find a way for you.”

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