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Rose gets enrolled

In Uganda, nearly 1 in every 2 girls are married before the age of eighteen. But thanks to your support of the Because I am a Girl project, 15-year-old Rose isn’t one of them.

You helped enroll Rose and over 46,500 girls in school across Uganda, enabling them to defy the statistics and kickstart their own bright futures!

Here’s her story:

At the age of just 8 Rose lost both her parents, leaving her and her five orphaned siblings to live with their uncle.

Rose had big dreams, but her uncle struggled to support even the most basic needs of his nieces and nephews, and – unfortunately – didn’t see the value in schooling.

“He told me how useless education is and that I’m wasting my time going to school instead of getting married,” she shares.

Rose quickly found herself careening down a path with little control over her health, studies and direction in life.

“My uncle stopped supporting me with anything and told me I should look after my own needs like soap, sanitary pads and school materials,” she shares. While only in Grade 6, Rose was left with no choice but to drop out of school, exposing her to added risks like exploitation and early marriage.

“I started doing casual work like fetching water to earn some money, but eventually ended up dropping out of school because I could not sustain myself anymore,” she explains.

Rose poses happily in her school uniform, displaying books and pencils outside her classroom.
Rose shows-off some of the new school supplies you helped give her.

And that’s when you stepped in.

Thanks to your support of the Because I am a Girl project, you helped stop Rose from slipping through the cracks, instead opening up more promising options for a route ahead.

With your backing, community leaders, School Management Committees and Parent Teacher Association members became engaged through awareness campaigns, actively identifying out-of-school girls and promoting education throughout Rose’s community. Soon, they were reaching out to Rose to directly get involved.

Ms. Margret, a local Head Teacher who was also trained through gender sensitive, child-friendly sessions you make possible, acted as a true advocate for Rose – urging her to return to school with the assurance of added support for her studies.

Rose stands and proudly holds hands with her head teacher and fellow classmate

Hand-in-hand you’re empowering women like Ms. Margret to uplift girls like Rose.

“They counseled me to return to school, saying they would support me,” Rose recalls, smiling.

Additionally, after hearing Rose’s story and being sensitized on the importance of girls’ rights, a School Management Committee member was inspired to step in and act as Rose and her siblings guardian, extending a more secure, nurturing and positive environment for her to learn and grow.

Rose soon began to feel the benefits of a solid and effective support system at school, home and throughout her community – but it didn’t end there. She also knew that somebody countries away was in her corner, cheering her on.

Rose rises to the occasion

With your generous help, Rose was given a chance to start anew – stronger than ever. She received crucial financial aid, including a school bursary and supplies, and was officially re-enrolled in school, along with her siblings.

“I was taken on as one of the bursary beneficiaries and was given books, pens, pencils, a mathematical set and a uniform,” she says.

“All these supports drastically lifted my hope to keep pushing on. I want to complete my studies up to the university level,” she says, determined to succeed. And succeed she did.

Rose, her brother and her sister stand outside their home.
Rose and her siblings stand outside their home, ready to take on a new life, together.

Rose blossoms

Rose stands and smiles wither her head teacher and education advocate.

With your support, Rose’s leadership skills and confidence have skyrocketed. Now 15, this go-getting girl has become a powerful role model for her siblings and peers, pushing forward a new wave of female-driven change.

Recently, Rose was even elected as Chairperson of not just her school’s student council, but also the council representing the entire county’s students.

Proving that with your encouragement, girls like Rose won’t only reach new goals: they’ll RISE to surpass them.

“My dream is to become a good leader and a doctor in the future,” she says, now well on her way thanks to you and the true potential within her all along.

“I must extend my gratitude to my teachers and project sponsors for the support they have given to me and to my school,” she beams.

“I am so proud of what I am today.”

 


Thank you for being a vital member of our Because I am a Girl movement, and for believing that girls like Rose belong in the classroom, in their dream jobs and wherever they wish to go!

Check out how our International Day of the Girl celebrations recently gave more than 1,000 girls in 60 countries, including Canada, a chance to live their dream job for the day.

 

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