Happy (belated) New Year to all of our generous donors! Here is a story about one of our scholars who has also gained valauble life lesson through attending CHATS.
Lucy is a 17 year-old AGE Africa scholar who comes from Namadingo village. She is 7th of 9 children, who all live with their mother, and attends Nsondole Community Day Secondary School (CDSS).
While the school fees at Nsondole CDSS are not as lofty as other secondary schools, it wasn’t easy for her mother to provide Lucy her school fees in addition to providing basic needs for the family. Lucy struggled in her first year in secondary school. She spent most her time out of school doing piece-meal work with her mother to save enough for her own school fees. She was constantly tired from juggling school work, chores at home and any piece-meal work she could get, so her performance in school suffered more and more as the year progressed.
Late into the second half of her first year, Lucy was shortlisted as an AGE Africa scholarship recipient. She says, “I cried when I was told that AGE Africa has rescued me from my burden raising and working for my own school fees.”
Not only did Lucy benefit from an AGE Africa scholarship, she has also benefited as a member of CHATS. She started attending CHATS sessions when she was in form one, before she ever received a scholarship. “Before joining CHATS I was shy,” Lucy says. “I couldn’t speak in public, but now I have self-confidence and I am able to speak up and present herself properly in public.”
Through CHATS, Lucy and her classmates engage in a variety of projects. The sessions that she says have changed her life are the sessions where the group does community service. Because of having to hustle to raise her own school fess, Lucy was accustomed to charging her neighbors and community members for any work she did, even those that has no money to pay her. She confessed she lacked regard for others’ situations and was aggressive to every person. “But AGE Africa has taught me to make others smile through helping them, just as AGE Africa made me smile and supports me,” Lucy says. “I know my future is bright, and AGE Africa’s scholarship and CHATS Girls Club will help me to achieve in life beyond secondary school.”
There are many other scholars (now 220, in fact!) that have stories much like Lucy's. Your support helps AGE Africa continue to make a difference in the lives of girls like Lucy and, for that, we are so grateful.