-by Jared Morrison
This is Agnes (left) with our Ugandan Director, Cathy, at Pride College in Mpigi, Uganda. I’m glad I decided to travel with our team to Mpigi on this day because I got to meet Agnes and hear her story. Agnes, who is 17, had traveled 3.5 hours (over 120 miles) by herself in a taxi from a remote village in southern Uganda to start school at Pride. I thought that was pretty amazing in and of itself, but then Cathy told me ALL of her story.
Agnes and her two younger siblings were abandoned by both of their parents and left in the care of an aunt, who had several kids of her own. Up until now, Agnes has been going to the best school she could find in the village, all while acting as mom to her younger siblings.
After learning more of her story and seeing her amazing grades in primary and the first few years of secondary school, Cathy knew she needed to help Agnes get out of the village. If she stayed there, her talents and abilities would be lost, leaving Agnes and her siblings to perpetuate the cycle of desperate poverty in the village.
So Cathy took a chance, and was able to get Agnes enrolled last-minute at this amazing school, Pride College. When I first met Agnes, I thought she was shy and possibly nervous or scared because she wouldn’t say a word and kept looking around anxiously. I found out I was totally wrong. You see, kids from the village usually don’t get the opportunity to attend nice schools that set them up for university and beyond. Also, kids who are being cared for by a family member that isn’t their mom or dad are at even more of a disadvantage because the aunt or grandmother caring for them will give preferential treatment to their own kids, usually leaving the “adopted” kids to be stuck in the village and poverty forever.
After talking to Agnes, I realized she was quiet because she was in awe. In awe of the opportunity God had provided her with. In awe that she now has the chance to get a first-class education and a job that will not only sustain her, but help her care for her two siblings back in the village. She was also full of hope. Hope that one day she will, in her words, “become a successful accountant.”
There are so many more kids just like Agnes hoping and praying for a way out of the desperate poverty and hopelessness they’ve lived with for so many years. Your prayers and support help us to empower more and more of these kids every day. Agnes is eternally grateful for your support.