You may have heard about the Cotton On Foundation’s child sponsorship program, Kirabo Education. Founded back in 2010, we wanted to give our team members a way to connect with our work in Uganda and really make a difference in someone’s life. If you ask Cotton On team member who has been over to visit our projects, they’ll probably tell you that their most memorable moment was meeting their sponsor child. It really is an incredible journey for both the student, who is now able to access quality education, and the sponsor.
There have been so many success stories that we can attribute to this wonderful program, in fact, just last year we had 31 students graduate from Mannya Secondary School, all of which were supported through Kirabo Education.
Recently, however, we heard one story that really touched our hearts, about a young girl named Noeline with a big dream! Noeline grew up in Kibaale village right next to Mannya. When she reached Senior Three, her parents told her that they could no longer afford school fees and that she must drop out. Sadly this is a common story for many young students in Southern Uganda.
Using her own initiative, Noeline approached the Cotton On Foundation herself seeking financial support, knowing that without attaining a certain level of study her dreams of becoming a nurse were simply not a reality. Once sponsored through the Kirabo Education program, Noeilne passionately continued her final three years of secondary schooling and was accepted in to the Rakai School of Comprehensive Nursing.
Now 24, Noeline has completed two and half years of further education and completed a Certificate in Nursing. “I am now a nurse, you don’t know how happy that makes me, I am so grateful for the sponsorship. I am now able to support myself and when I get a job, I will support my siblings to go to school.”
Family and community are so important in Uganda, Noeline says that being the first born in her family, she hopes to be an inspiration to her younger siblings.
Noeline’s fierce ambition continues to grow and she plans to continue working as a nurse and then upgrade to a Diploma in Nursing. Her ultimate goal is to run a Primary Health Care Program in Mannya village and the wider region and work to improve the health of community members.