Joyce Mary: From a school dropout to a community leader

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Joyce Mary: From a school dropout to a community leader

My name is Joyce. I am 35 years and I want to thank God for what He has done for me through Share An Opportunity Uganda (SAO U). I dropped out of school in Senior One because my parents could not afford the school fees payments. I immediately got married and produced children. Now, I have six of them, and life has been challenging. With barely any money-making skills, I would have to wait for my husband to provide. My children were living a sad life with limited meals and a lack of access to health services whenever they fell sick.

When SAO Uganda came to my community in Abim in 2017, they told us about the benefits of community groups. I decided to join one of the groups as a member and was later selected by the community to become a community volunteer. SAO U trained us about leadership and in 2021 when our village was upgraded to a parish status, I was elected by the community to represent them at the sub-county council.

I am so grateful and happy now because I never knew that I could become a leader since I am not educated like other people in the community, but because of SAO U, I have become a leader.

I can now talk about the needs of children in my community and the mothers and these usually get addressed. Through such kind of advocacy, my children have also benefited in the long run because health services have been brought close to the community.

My dream is to see that all children in my community are educated. I also want to be a role model for other young women in this community that even with little education you can still serve your community.

I want to encourage all young girls who have dropped out of school not to lose hope but to trust God and continue to serve people so that God can lift them up like me.

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