Benjamin “There’s a saying…
...when you don’t remember where you are coming from, you won’t know where you are going’. So I remember where I came from.”
This saying is important to Benjamin, given the journey he has been on over the last few years. When we first met Benjamin in 2010, he had lost his father as a young boy and was selling eggs on the street to help support his family and only sporadically attending school. Through our partners Child Aid Uganda (CHAU) we’ve been supporting Benjamin and his family since then which has enabled him to stay in school. Benjamin now attends St John's Secondary School in Lyantonde, Uganda.
Back when he was selling eggs on the street Benjamin admits he never thought he would be able to go to school full time. “I didn’t know the importance of education…I just started it for the sake of attending. After starting school full time I enjoyed it because my performance increased.”
Benjamin also explained how his confidence was affected when he was only able to attend school occasionally. “Before attending school, I used to fear people, but when I attended school regularly, I got used to cooperating with different people. Now I am a leader at St John's. This is due to the quality of education I have got which was not the case before.”
After returning to school full time, Benjamin began to flourish. “I felt very happy. More than I even imagined at that time. Once I started at the boarding section and they provided scholastic materials, and school fees.”
Without the support to return to and stay in school, life would have been a very different story and taken a much more dangerous turn: “It is not a good way to make money. But due to the conditions that we are in, some things may force you to deal drugs. But because of you I was able to avoid those things.”
Now though, Benjamin has his sights set on becoming a lawyer or a judge. He is studying History, Economics and Divinity and would like to attend Kampala University after he finishes school. And if he can’t be a lawyer or a judge, he would like to be a teacher. “I want to help the students of Uganda and Uganda itself.”
Benjamin is just one of thousands of students that Lessons for Life support in Africa. We also supported his mother with a grant to set up her own shoe trading business so she is now able to pay for her other children to attend school.