Sharon is a quiet and reserved student who tends to stand back and observe rather than jumping into the mix of activity like her younger, more outgoing sister, Topista. As one of the pioneer students of the Clover Foundation, Sharon will be one of our first graduates of the Eaglets Primary School and she has big hopes and dreams to become a doctor, dreams that not too many years prior, would have seemed an unlikely possibility.
Sharon’s family came to us when our Program Director, Esther, ran into Sharon and her siblings near her home in Kampala. Upon chatting with the girls, she discovered they were neighbors and also that the girls’ mother, Specioza, was away selling used clothes to support the family, leaving the eldest child in charge. Esther asked where the girls attended school and upon hearing that they weren’t enrolled anywhere, she asked that they have their mother come speak with her when she returned.
A Childhood Lost
Esther and Specioza had a great talk and, in 2013, the eldest daughter was enrolled in the Eaglets Academy primary school while Sharon started attending the Clover Preschool and was soon followed by Topista. Though somewhat reserved, Sharon was quite the leader among her peers, encouraging good behavior and encouraging participation in activities, showing a maturity well beyond her age. And while it was wonderful to see these budding leadership qualities, it also saddened us to know that these skills came from Sharon having spent days at a time on her own or in charge of her younger sister while her mother was away working to support the family. These hard financial choices forced these girls into roles of maturity and responsibility at a very young age, not allowing them the freedom to enjoy their childhood.
A Childhood Reclaimed
Sharon spent 3 years at the preschool, and though she never lost her reserved personality, she gained the safety and the confidence to play freely with friends; to be a child. After preschool, Sharon moved on to Eaglets Primary School where she flourished academically. Her favorite subject is math and when she’s not studying, she loves to sing and braid hair. When asked what she’d like to do when she finishes school, Sharon says she’d like to be a doctor.
A Better Life for All
In the meantime, Specioza became a part of Kisaboka Nano Finance Initiative and started selling plantains at the local market. This not only made it possible for her to come home to her family every day, she also increased her income enough to move them into a larger home and be able to financially provide for Sharon’s secondary school tuition.
“I’m so happy with the quality of education my children have received thanks to the Clover Foundation and am grateful to be a part of the program,” says Specioza. “Without the support of the Clover community, I would not have been able to provide this kind of educational experience for them. I feel so happy to see how they’re performing and have a lot of hope for their future.”
Everyone in this family is ambitious and working hard toward fulfilling their dreams. Every year we see an improvement in some aspect of their lives. Seeing the direct impact Clover Foundation has made on this entire family is so gratifying and watching them spread that joy and word of the program to others in the community is a true testament to the value of what we can do together.