My name is Penina Nanozi, and I am 18 years old. I am in my second year (S2) at God Cares High School. I am very privileged to be in school because most of my friends in my village at home are school dropouts and others are not in school because their parents cannot afford their education. In my family, we are eight children, and I am the fourth born. I have a dad who is a drunkard, having many wives, but he does not care about his children.
My mother used to do everything to ensure that my siblings and I got all the basic needs that a child needs for living, and she saw to it that we were back to school each year. Unfortunately, she passed away on the 18th of July this year. What made me sadder was that my dad did not appear at the ceremony on the day of the burial. We soon discovered he had brought another woman, my stepmother, into the house. We knew we would all have had to get used to it because we were just children; he was our father, but more was about to happen.
After the burial, we returned home, but our father didn’t want us to stay at his house anymore. He threw my siblings and me out of his house, discouraging us not to go back to school and saying that we should go marry or find work to do instead. We had nowhere to stay until my elder brother called my maternal uncle, who came to our rescue. My siblings and I had to move to our uncle’s place.
After my mother passed away, I lost hope. I thought I would not be going to school anymore, despite being a Buyamba-sponsored child. I felt that since my hope, “my mother,” was no more, no one would care what and who I would become. But I thank God that despite all that was going on and being thrown out of our father’s house, Buyamba social workers kept checking on us until they ensured that we were back to school. My sister Racheal and I returned and finished the second term of school and completed our end-of-term exams. With the right people (the Buyamba family) by our side, I am confident and sure that my future is bright!