John five years on
Sometimes its hard to explain what Awamu does – education – skills – sexual reproductive health - community food gardens. What links this all together is an attempt to give children someone to turn to and the confidence and skills to make choices about their lives.
In 2014, when we started our first training vegetables growing John was one of our first graduates. He told us he wanted to be ‘the best farmer’ and it is an ambition he is now making a reality.
Thank you for helping to make this possible.
“I came to Kampala after my grandmother died, she had been taking care of me in the village. My parents passed some years before my grandmother and my only relatives are my uncle and his wife. But they never liked me. They used to treat me badly because they know I was born with HIV.
They refused to send me to school and I was told to do the housework when all the other children in the family would play and go to school. I felt very sad and lonely then.
Rukia, (One of our Community Volunteers) got to know about me and asked the family to allow them to support me to go back to school.
When Awamu took over my education in 2013, I joined primary two. I still remembering the feeling I had on my first day back at school. I was so happy and I made a good friend. When I woke everyday I wished it is a school day.
When I was in school I took part in a training from Awamu. I learnt how to make gardens and grow vegetables. I loved learning how to take a tiny seed and looking after it until it became a vegetable.
The training really affected me, I told the team then ‘I want to be the best farmer’ and this is something I still wish to be.
I had no one to look after me, so growing vegetables then meant I could earn a little money to look after myself.
But when I had to leave my uncles place I decided that I needed to focus on growing more I managed to get more space and I now take my vegetables to Nakasero Market .
I’m proud to say that this is how I pay my rent, buy food and clothes and look after myself. I also have some savings and my plan is to get a bigger piece of land by 2021 and expand by business.
I’m very thankful because I also enjoy it – it makes me feel free.