The mere mention of 2012 brings a sudden thrill over me and I am immediately filled with a leap of joy. I will always look back to this year because this is when I won a scholarship from one of ACFODE’s partners, The Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), a German political foundation working to promote democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and solidarity around the world.
To me, this opportunity was indeed history in the making, given the kind of momentum that the call for scholarships had gathered. Out of 90 applicants, only 11 were shortlisted from Uganda and Sudan and I must say I was privileged to be among the successful. I felt like I was in heaven for this is what I had always wanted in life!!!
Sooner than later I would enroll in one of the country’s prestigious universities, Uganda Martyr’s University-Nkozi and offer a Master’s degree in Human rights and local governance. Hmmm… it was a dream come true.
While at Nkozi, I really enjoyed my time, forget about congestion; we had all the facilities we needed for conducive learning. You would not walk in a lecture theatre and miss out on a seat, talk of the well-stocked library, and the neatly-tended to greenery in various quadrangles which provided us with wonderful shelter and fresh air during discussions, as well as the warm lecturers who were scout like.
They really reminded me of Baden Powell and his boy scouts and girl guides whom he groomed under the motto, “Be prepared”. I would be very unfair not to mention that the staff was always prepared, available for consultations, committed and supportive whenever needed.
Nevertheless, it was a very demanding program that required one to know what they wanted. Call it personal ambition, vision, and goals perhaps. I believe it is this that drove me way up the ladder of success during my study time. Look at it this way, it was a distance learning course we would appear in class once a year for three weeks; one week was dedicated to classwork, second week-introduction of new models and third week preparation for week. Only a zealous student would cope with such kind of schedule.
Being a mother of three, I know what it means bringing forth a life on this earth. This therefore prompted me to coin a topic along that line;
“Assessing factors affecting maternal health in Uganda; A case study of Kabwoohe Health Centre IV”
Kabwohe Health Centre IV is located in Sheema District and the study revealed that the facility is overwhelmed by patients, poor transport facilities, lack of health equipment, and insufficient quality of staff that hinders the delivery of maternal health service.
Studies about maternal health in Uganda point out that the maternal health of rural women constitutes 80% and there is still a gap in accessing maternal health services.
Specifically, the study examined how social, economic and cultural factors among rural women influence accessibility to maternal health services, obstacles leading to constant increase of maternal issues among health workers and also sought possible solutions to the problems.
The study recommended that government and stake holders ensure recruitment and training of more health workers, improve on the transport systems and generally equip the health facilities in order to uplift the health services so that maternal health services are greatly implemented.
Right from the kick off stage it was not easy since the process for approving one’s proposal is a lengthy one. Eventually I managed to jump that hurdle and moved on to data collection which was yet another insult to injury. Respondents were not comfortable disclosing particular information due to reasons best known to them yet I felt this would make my research more credible and I had to employ four research assistants which was very expensive.
In regards to women rights I envision putting an end to women rights violation since it is my focal area of intervention, women need to join hands for this cause.
I am highly indebted to ACFODE staff and the Executive Director, Ms. Regina Bafaki who stood with me during this time when I was furthering my studies. It was not easy at all juggling work and studies since one has to deliver on both ends and believe me anybody who has been there knows what it is like. Assignments were usually online so I had to spare time off office and accomplish my class tasks lest I get a retake. Moreover when joining I vowed to myself that I had to work hard and avoid all kinds of incompetence at school so as to manifests value for money.
Amidst all this, my family stood firm with me and greatly encouraged me to keep going. With this kind of assurance there was no way I was going to shame them come that day when I am nowhere to be seen on the graduation grounds.
In March 2017, I was awarded a Master’s Degree in Human rights and local governance from the East African school of Diplomacy-Nkozi.
I would like to thank the Almighty God who enabled me through this since I had always admired such an achievement in life. I look forward to more upgrades in education so as to foster my career.
Much gratitude to KAS and ACFODE!
On graduation day
As told by;
Human Rights and Governance Department,
Action For Development .
Happy can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org