It’s that time of year when many high school seniors are donning their caps and gowns and walking down the aisle to receive their diplomas, making the transition from high school kid to college young adult. Anticipation filled with hope and excitement and also sprinkled with some nervousness abounds. Soon, these kids who have so worked hard in high school to achieve access to higher level education will see their visions for their futures unfold. Education is a gift. Education is the ticket to freedom.
In the Ewata village of rural Uganda, girls are reluctant to dream about a future that involves opportunities that are practically out of their reach. For the girls there, life as a subsistence farmer or day laborer is what lies ahead. Why dream about something that is absolutely impossible to plan for? This only leads to more disappointment and heartbreak. Many times even public elementary and secondary education is not a choice when income from farming doesn’t leave much room for finances beyond meager food and shelter for families.
When someone else steps in and helps by providing sponsorships and financial support for our Taproot girls, they can begin to awaken their dreams. And anticipation of graduation from high school and admittance to college becomes a shared experience for the teenagers of rural Uganda and our teenagers here at home.
When Elizabeth Pimer began her sponsorship program for secondary school three years ago, she started dreaming of becoming a fashion designer. Thanks to her generous sponsor, her creativity and desire to think outside the box was rewarded. Elizabeth is now studying at New Millennium Tailoring School in Buziga, Uganda. Elizabeth is one of our first two high school graduates and is in her first term of a two-year program.
During a recent trip to Arua, I was able to meet with her and the other girls in our program. Among the many clothing items she has already learned to sew, she expressed excitement at learning to make a child’s bathing suit. Imagine that! She showed us what she has made already, and she clearly is pursuing something she is very talented at doing. I cannot express what an encouragement this was to her younger peers. Seeing their old classmate pursuing the dream she deeply desired and seeing it come to life was one of the most impactful moments of my trip. There was palpable enthusiasm among the girls, and discussions of life at college ensued for the rest of the time we had together.
Education has been Elizabeth’s ticket to freedom from a life which was not using her full potential and would have trapped her in an endless cycle of hardship. She is on her way to a life that she was afraid to even dream up because it was not going to be her reality. The decision that her sponsor made to affect just one life across the globe has changed this young lady’s life forever. And because of the relationship that developed between Elizabeth and her sponsor, her sponsor’s life was forever changed as well.
Tune in to hear more about Elizabeth’s progress in future months. College is more expensive than high school, and we are looking for more sponsors to come on board to help Elizabeth succeed. If you would like to be a part of her achieving her college degree, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sara Messer, Founder