Meet Joseph, Lawrence, Harriet, and Molly — A Family Triumphant
Next month, Joseph, 13, and Lawrence, 12, will celebrate their graduation from Eaglets Academy, the local primary school they were sent to by Clover Foundation. It’s a very special occasion for them, and for us, as they’re part of the first class of Clover students to graduate primary school. As you can imagine, their journey was not an easy one, but one of which their whole family is certainly proud.
Meet Jaja, A Grandmother for All of Clover
In 2014, Molly Nabayunga began working at Clover Preschool as a groundskeeper. A warm and friendly personality, she was beloved by students who quickly took to calling her Jaja, Luganda for “grandmother.” A hard and diligent worker, it did not go unnoticed that she regularly asked to leave early. When asked why, she reluctantly shared that her young grandchildren were at home alone, and though a neighbor was looking in on them, she needed to get home to them as soon as possible.
When asked about the children’s mother, Molly disclosed that her daughter, Nansamba Harriet, lived in a small farming village where she worked as a day laborer. The work was hard, long, and unstable—feeding herself and her children was a question every day. They agreed that Molly could provide better for the children in the city, even though she worked too.
Clover Provides Structure, Direction, Support
When Clover Foundation became aware of the children’s situation, we enrolled them in the Clover Preschool. Unlike in the United States, public education is not free in Uganda, and preschool is a privilege that comes with many benefits beyond academics.
Education and social interaction are not the only issues Clover Preschool must tackle, and for Joseph and Lawrence, this was also the case. Both boys were battling uncomfortable skin conditions due to poor hygiene. Like many of our students, the family lacked money for soap and since the boys had few clothes, they often came to school with their shirts still damp due to handwashing and hang drying from the night before. We provided them with medical care for their skin and additional changes of clothing so that they would have clean, dry clothes to wear daily.
When first enrolled, both Joseph and Lawrence were reserved and quiet, but they quickly opened up and proved to be both bright and motivated. In just two years, they excelled in their studies and learned enough English to be accepted at Eaglets Academy.
Confident and bright, with big dreams for their future, and many close friends, they’ve become known for looking out for their fellow Clover students at Eaglets, making sure everyone feels included and cared for. They ask questions about their future, about secondary school, about career possibilities, and about giving back to their community. The brothers are excited to graduate in December, with Joseph hopeful to become a teacher and Lawrence dreaming of becoming a doctor.
Investing in a Brighter Future
Investing in just one child’s education and care makes a huge impact on a Clover Family and the Busega community. The fact that Clover was able to send both Joseph and Lawrence to preschool and primary school, provide meals, healthcare and clothing, meant that their mother was not only able to move on from day labor and invest time and money back into a family business, but also send her third child to school and help her mother retire, a future once unimaginable.
The investment Clover has made in Joseph and Lawrence goes well beyond the boys. It extends onto their family and into the community and its future, to which the boys will hopefully contribute as they continue to study and become successful professionals with strong ties to Busega.