Phionah grew up in Masaka, a town in central Uganda. She is the youngest of 4 children. Her father died when she was just 2 years old. Phionah’s mother was unable to afford food, clothing and school fees for any of her children following the death of her husband. She sold off the little land that they owned and took the children to live with their grandmother.

Along the way to Phionah’s grandmother’s house, the family was robbed by a group of thieves. All of the money that had been generated from the sale of land was stolen. When the family arrived at Phionah’s grandmother’s house, Phionah’s mother had a breakdown and when the family awoke the next morning, they discoverd that she had disappeared during the night. Phionah has never heard from her mother since. Following her mother’s disappearance, Phionah and her siblings were taken to live with their uncle.

Phionah’s uncle did his best to enable her to complete secondary school, but with 11 children of his own to take care of, he could not afford to help her with university tuition. Having almost given up hope, she reached out to the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE-U), a non-profit organization in Uganda. FAWE-U passed along her application to Beautiful World. Phionah’s exceptional academic performance made her a perfect candidate for Beautiful World’s post-secondary scholarship program, run in partnership with FAWE-U. She is now pursuing a degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology.