Students in East Africa often find themselves caught in a dilemma where they have limited choices in the future of their education. Dreams remain dreams and career paths dissolve into family trades. This is most often due to a family’s financial circumstances but can also involve lack of encouragement or motivation. For these reasons students commonly drop out of school and rarely have the opportunity to return. However in some cases, hope is found when a sponsor enters a child’s life.
One beautiful example is Ketty. She recalls the time when her family was struggling. “My sponsors came in at a time when I was badly off. I was in Senior 4. There were no school fees, my dad was sick, and all that. So they gave me hope where there was no hope.” She explains the timing was all a blessing from God saying, “Thank God my sponsors came to my rescue.” When she finished her secondary education, she was humbled and honored that her sponsors offered to support her through university sponsorship. Ketty is in awe of what she has achieved since those difficult days.
Ketty is approaching the day of her graduation and will soon receive her degree in Adult Education from Makerere University in Uganda. Her dream is to help empower people as the manager of an animal farm. Following graduation she has big plans to realize this dream. She intends to begin volunteering for a position related to her chosen occupation in order to gain experience and be better prepared for her career. She giggles as she considers her future, “I am planning as I am learning about animals and people. I love helping people.” She believes that using her gifts and skills to manage a farm will be a productive way to help lots of people.
As a child, Ketty remembers her dream job was to become a lawyer. “That was my dream. But all in all, I still see my current study leading me on the right path. It has made me who I am and it is taking me to where I want to be.” She knows the huge impact sponsorship has had on her life and expresses her gratitude and appreciation for the program.
“My sponsors have helped me reach where I am. And where I had no hope, they gave me hope. Nothing has discouraged or prevented me from attending school since they started sponsoring me. Sponsorship has provided everything I need for university, so it has really helped me educationally and has also reduced stress factors.”
She smiles in amazement at the provision given to her through sponsorship and looks forward to one day blessing another child in the same way. “The little I get, I will give out to another child who is like I was. This is the promise I made to God.”
Ketty acknowledged the great need she sees in her village and similar communities. Her education has prepared her to initiate positive development in these places. “I hope my education will inspire more young people in our communities to bring positive change in our villages.”
Ketty took the opportunity of an internship through her school and found it to be very interesting and resourceful in composing her future calling. “I was working in Northern Uganda with the local government and a social work association. It gave me the motivation because I saw all the people that really need help. It gave me more hope to help them. This will happen if I excel in my dream. That is my prayer – to help people.”
With graduation this year, Ketty has high hopes for the days ahead. “I am really happy and my heart is really grateful. I know this is the effort I have worked for. I know that by graduating I will be inspired all the more. There is no way I can really express it. I cannot show it, but my heart can. I do not believe in a dim future. I believe in a bright one.” Ketty understands the importance of having dreams and goals and is striving to fulfill each one of them. “We have to dream big and that is what I’m aiming for.”
Ketty has asked for prayer for her job after graduation. She wants to begin saving and gaining experience to lead into her career path. She would also appreciate prayer for her family and God’s grace and favor in their lives.