My name is Joan Arinawe from S W Uganda, one of the Mary Wood Trust sponsored girls. My studies weren’t easy for me due to the fact that I lost my father at the age of seven and this left my mother with eight children. I am the 2nd to last born. It was that year, 2003, when I started a tug of war at that age in primary two. My brothers couldn't help because they were jobless. Only my mother, who used to work very hard so that she could provide what we needed to survive each night. By that time fees in primary weren’t much but I could still be sent home from school every day because of non-payment. I was hope-less and so desperate but still I had no option because I was too young to get married.
Most of my friends at school were also helpless and got married early because of the same problem. I loved education but I felt I had no chance. But still I had hope that one day, one time, God would intervene. I had a strong belief. Most girls in Uganda love studying but due to the fact that many families are vulnerable, they can't afford the basic needs for their children, especially girl-child education.
It was 2010 when I finished Primary seven, but it wasn't easy for me. Joining secondary school still wasn't in my expectations because I knew money for secondary is even more than what I used to pay in primary. So, I decided to stay at home because even though I loved studying, the family had no money for the fees.
During my Primary seven vacation God sent his people who would extend my studies. I went to Nyakabungo Girls Secondary School in 2011 and that's where my happiness started from. My life started to go very well when the Mary Wood Trust stepped in to help finance my studies and rescue my life from the battle which I would have had. I studied for my O level and A levels at NGSS, with the help of the MWT, and now I am in my third year at Bishop Barham University, Uganda Christian University, studying for a Bachelor's degree in Public Administration and Management. I am so thankful for the MWT group because it has done much in my life. May God bless you.
When you teach a girl you have developed a Nation, because women are to be trusted much more than men, in both administration and finance. They are even entrusted with responsibilities in management, not only in the offices but also in their families. They raise well behaved children and brings stability in their homes.
Long live the Mary Wood Trust, long live girl child education and long live Uganda. Thank you above all to God.