Sara was born and raised in the Mukono district of Central Uganda. Like most in her community, the family had little expendable income, especially with eight people living under one roof.
Sara’s father paid for her to go to primary school but struggled to provide for the rest of his children. Sadly, when Sara reached secondary school her father died leaving the family destitute. Just a few years later her mother, who was suffering from AIDS, died as well. With no parents, Sara and her siblings moved in with her grandmother.
Although the children now had a caregiver, Sara’s grandmother was aging and unable to generate enough income for school fees. As a result, Sara stopped going to school so she could get a job and support her family. Sara began working in a restaurant. She would walk the long distance from her home to work every day, hoping to earn enough income to buy necessities like soap.
One day when Sara was walking back home after dark, she was approached by a man who attempted to attack her. Luckily, Sara’s shouts and calls for help brought out a group of people in the town who chased the man away before he could harm her. Although the townspeople walked her home to safety, Sara was frightened to return to work.
Sara and her grandmother decided it was too unsafe for her to continue working so far away from home. But with few other employment opportunities, Sara was unable to find a job within safe distance of her home. She began to stay home each day digging in the fields for whatever little crops she could find. Unable to go to school or earn a suitable income, she watched the family’s funds slowly waste away.
Nevertheless, the family saw a glimmer of hope after Sara’s grandmother joined ROTOM. The organization started out as a support group for grandmothers affected by AIDS. They now partner with Beautiful World to provide scholarships to the granddaughters of members. Sara was one such granddaughter. With the help of Beautiful World and ROTOM, Sara was able to go back to school.
She now has a focus on entrepreneurship and business, hoping one day to open her own cosmetology business. With the money she makes, Sara wants to give her grandmother a happy life to make up for the sacrifices she made to help Sara.
Sara also hopes to open a large business enterprise so that more girls in her village can see a success story up close. In doing so, girls all over her community will gain an interest in continuing their education and create goals for them to strive for.
Sara believes: “education is very important because when you get a family you will be able to look after them…If you are not educated you suffer a lot.”