Dear friends of WeSeeHope,
My name is Ahaisibwe Kwirikagira Innocent. I am 28 years old and from Mirambi in the Kyenjojo district of western Uganda.
I have known WeSeeHope and their partner, RIDE, since I was 15 because of a Child Rights Club they set up in my community. It was through this club and with their support that I found my way back to school and I have progressed step-by-step with my education.
I have one brother called Busobozi who is seven years younger than me. We lost our father when I was nine and our mother when I was 12.
We remained with our grandmother but when she was unwell, I would miss school to care for her. My friends from the Kitaihuka Child Rights Club came to discuss why I had been absent for so long and offered to support me with books, pens and fees so I was able to return.
But Busobozi and I were left on our own after she died when I was 19. We had no food and would go to class with an empty stomach. We could not afford to both go to school so Busobozi dropped out to pave a way for me to continue studying.
This was when WeSeeHope and RIDE helped us to start a piggery project. Selling piglets covered our basic needs and meant I could complete high school and get Busobozi back to school. I also saved some income in the Mubaki savings and loans group set up through WeSeeHope’s Village Investors Programme (VIP) and other members assisted with our education through the Orphan Fund.
During this time, I worked as a secretary for the Child Rights Club and in my last term was elected as a councillor and speaker at sub-county level. It was through these engagements that my interest in leadership was raised and I learnt more about what makes a good leader.
I remained focused and determined to aim higher. No matter what, I prioritised my education as the problem solver for my family.
WeSeeHope and RIDE supported me through university from 2017 to 2019 where I completed a Public Administration and Management diploma, learning communication skills, administrative ethics, research and advocacy. Busobozi also finished a mechanics course through WeSeeHope’s Vocational Training Programme.
When I graduated, I carried out a work placement with RIDE where I was engaged in field activities, including monitoring the Child Rights Clubs and other child headed households. I learnt a lot of things that have helped me in my career.
I am now employed by the Kyenjojo local government as a Parish Chief. If all goes well, I plan to complete my education with a bachelor’s degree so that I can be a Community Development Officer.
I have faced many challenges because of the poverty my family has experienced and the negative attitudes people have had about my background. This has limited my progress in the past and weakened my belief that I could be someone.
But I want my experience and impact to be felt on the ground in communities. Since I have been a victim of many circumstances, I will make sure affected children benefit from investments, like WeSeeHope and RIDE invested in me.
Now I am ready and feel I can serve accordingly. I am becoming a role-model in my community.
Busobozi sacrificed himself so that I could continue studying, so in all my endeavours I prioritise him. We support each other through everything. He is a talented, responsible person and now does building work, roofing and mechanics.
My main ambition is to run the best vocational training institute in our community with Busobozi, where needy boys and girls can acquire skills and knowledge for self-employment and resilience. I also look forward to having my own family and living as an example to others.
I extend my many thanks to RIDE for having prepared me for all kinds of challenges. I am now just implementing exactly what I learnt from them.
Thank you so much to you, friends of WeSeeHope, for the big support you have given me since I started schooling. Blessed is the hand that gives than the one that receives. I will never forget what you did for me.