Women and girls in rural Uganda often experience injustice and inequality. EDUKID strives to provide equal rights and opportunity for every child, regardless of gender, background and ability. Jennifer’s story is one that continues to inspire us and demonstrates the strength of young women in rural Uganda who are passionately fighting for their right to education.
Jennifer’s mother and father had passed away, leaving her in the care of her uncle’s family. The barrier to education Jennifer faced was her uncle’s attitude. His belief saw educating females as pointless. On more than one occasion, he had informed her that she was to be married because nobody was willing to pay for her school fees.
Desperate to go to school and terrified of being married off, Jennifer started digging farmland for her neighbours for a small wage, enough to pay for her education. A typical day started at 4 a.m. when she would walk 8km to school. After walking 8km home again, she then had to do her chores, homework and work.
Our team in Uganda identified Jennifer as being at high risk of abuse, violence and child marriage and immediately intervened. EDUKID now support her; she boards at school, which means that she is safe and has more time to focus on her studies.
At the moment, Jennifer is sleeping on the floor of a classroom that is being used as a makeshift dormitory, but with the support of Kingsley School, we are currently building a dormitory for 40 girls, each of whom are at high risk of violence or abuse at home.
Sadly, Jennifer’s story is not unique. 33% of girls in rural Uganda are married by the age of 15 and 46% by the age of 18. We aim to protect the females we support and prevent them from being a part of these figures.
It is impossible to describe the incredible humility, strength and warmth that comes from Jennifer who has endured, fought and survived. Jennifer is now studying at school, studying hard and working to ensure she can achieve all of her dreams.