There is so much to say about Nancy that it will take more than one blog entry. After my first visit in 2005, I started emailing Ugandan friends and found out that there was a young woman who had done so well in secondary school that she had received a scholarship to Makerere University. Makerere is the most prestigious university in all of eastern Africa. The problem was that Nancy could not afford living in Kampala. She had no means of supporting herself even for the basics of food, shelter and school supplies. That is when our newly formed charity, Children Up stepped in. I am pleased to report that as I write, Nancy has completed her Bachelor’s degree.
A bit of background: Nancy lost both parents due to A.I.D.S. when she was only five years old. Her grandmother raised her. In Uganda it is common that extended families help when there is a need. Since she was a star pupil in primary school, she was readily accepted into high school. Though primary school is free, secondary school can be quite expensive. Besides receiving some help from a Ugandan group, she and her grandmother managed to raise small amounts of money to help with her education by working in a stone quarry. This meant back-breaking work with sledge hammers and carrying cans of gravel so that they could earn money from road crews. On our website http://www.childrenup.org you can see pictures of Nancy and her grandmother working in the quarry.
On each my visits, I manage to see Nancy either at the university in Kampala or in the northern city of Gulu. In 2010, I was also able to visit Nancy at her family compound outside of Gulu and had the opportunity to meet some her extended family at that time.