by Jennifer Ostrowski, CARITAS For Children Intern
Some of the “original” CARITAS children, the very first to be sponsored who have been with the child sponsorship program for many years have now graduated from secondary school (high school) in Uganda. The sisters call these girls “the pioneers”. I had the opportunity to sit with some of these young women and discuss their plans for the future. Today’s post features my conversation with Joan, sponsored by Charbel D. Joan’s answers to my questions appear below in an interview format.Joan N.
Hometown: Katosi (near Nkokonjeru)
Jenny: How many years have you had a sponsor?
Joan: I had one sponsor from Primary 5 [fifth grade] to S2 [Senior 2], and a second sponsor from S2 to S4. I attended St. Peter’s Secondary School. My current sponsor has been helping me for two years.
Jenny: What were you expectations of the program?
Joan: To get a sponsor who can sponsor me to finish my studies.
Jenny: How have you benefitted from the CARITAS program?
Joan: Having a sponsor made me able to go to school.
Jenny: What challenges have you faced since you became sponsored?
Joan: Since I was sponsored I have not had to worry about school fees, but in school chemistry was very difficult.
Jenny: What advice do you have for younger students in the sponsorship program?
Joan: They must love studying and they must work very hard. They must have positive attitudes toward their careers and their futures.
Jenny: What do you think the CARITAS program should look like in the future?
Joan: They should keep helping Ugandans. [She says with a smile. Currently, relatives are helping pay the school fees for the other three children in her family who attend school (she also has two younger siblings who are not yet old enough to attend). She thinks that a sponsorship could help her siblings to go on in school.]
Jenny: If you had not had a sponsor, how would your life be different?
Joan: My life would be very difficult. My father died when I was in P2. My mother is just a farmer and cannot make much money. In my family, we are 4 girls and 2 boys. I am the oldest.
Jenny: Give some examples of how the sponsorship program has helped you.
Joan: It has made it possible for me to study, but has also helped me to be a good student, because I do not have to spend time worrying about acquiring books, pens, and uniforms for school.
Jenny: What are your favorite subjects?
Joan: Mathematics and history.
Jenny: What is your relationship with your sponsor?
Joan: We write letters. I would really like to have a photo of him.
Jenny: What are your plans for the future?
Joan: I hope to study nursing. I want to help people who are ill and suffering. I want to keep them from being disturbed in the hospitals.