Annabella was determined to go to school, despite having lost her mother at six months and her father at ten years old and living with her grandmother, who could barely afford food, let alone school fees. Grit and determination could only get her so far, and continuing with her education seemed hopeless until MCM entered her life, bringing not only aid, but the love and support of her sponsor and the directors – and hope.
Things were very hard with me living without parents. I would go hungry to school and school fees were also on my neck, because Dad had left a debt at primary [school] so they would force me to leave school property every now and then. I used to cry and cry regretting why I was born. I would go to do cultivation [farm work] for others so that I could get money during weekends to pay for weekly exams.
My dream was at least to finish primary [school] and step at the gate of secondary [school]. I lost hope as I didn’t know what would follow after, there was no one to plan for me as well as going to secondary [school] was concerned. Grandma would tell me that “now there is no school fees maybe you need to stop from here.” She used to give me hopeless future, but I loved schooling very much.
I had bought the uniform myself and [a kind couple in the community] promised to give us part of the money for school fees. I was blessed to be wise at school and to have good morals as well during my stay at Kihanga, and so they could give me half [tuition scholarship] for academics and this eased on my fees, but still it was a struggle as I [still was] in debt at school.
Before sponsorship March 2014
After graduating University October 2019
[A friend] directed me to [MCM director] Uncle Ivan who welcomed [and interviewed me]. In March 2013 I visited Uncle Ivan once again to see the results [of my “O” (ordinary) level exams]. [These results qualified me for “A” (advanced) level education.] I was surprised when he told me that a sponsor had chosen me, “Mummy” Ellen!
This was amazing!!!! Uncle Ivan gave me money to pay for a uniform before going to school, which I had not experienced before. I was so much humbled and happy. I found [all my school supplies] packed well in a metallic case, and he told me to immediately go to the boarding [school] section. Everyone at school was amazed to see me smarty dressed in full uniform with even shoes and a neck tie! He had even cleared [my former] school fees. I started learning how to laugh!!!!
I started feeling myself to be heading for a better future – this was 2014. I was cared for for the whole of my advanced education in 2015. MCM and “Mummy” Ellen worked hand in hand for the betterment of my future. They nurtured me spiritually, socially, oh my!!! I cannot tell it all. I could fall sick and be taken to good hospitals which I never knew, was given scholastic materials which I needed up to the end of my “A” level [schooling]. [In 2016] I joined Uganda Christian University Bishop Barham Kabale for a Bachelors Degree in Arts with Education and History. I graduated in 2019.
I thank the Lord so much for using such an organization to make me who I am and to pave the way for my career. Right now I am a teacher by profession with my certificates, and am a computer wizard, a mentor and a counselor also. In my family I am the first one to hold a degree.
“I will sing for you O Lord because you have been good to me.”
— Annabella Abeireho.
* English is Annabella’s second language
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