In the second term of their first year of the Educate! program, while they are in Senior Five, the scholars learn about Tough Talk, how to make Win-Win arguments and Advocacy Writing. To test their comprehension and implementation of the taught principles, the mentors run an essay competition among all the scholars.
The 2010 winning essay comes from Mount Masaba High School in the Mbale Cluster and it was written by Nandudu Rita.
Nandudu Rita at the Mbale Cluster Retreat
Who I Really Am
Very many children in the world die each and every day due to sickness; AIDS mostly and many other complicated illnesses. Street children wander without any hope. I wish I could find a way. I’m Nandudu Rita, born in Mbale District (Eastern Uganda). In my life, I’ve always dreamt and tried to help people and I think it’s what I was created for. Believe me, we are living in a world of AIDS, a world of corruption, a world where people kill each other each and every day. But faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible. I have faith in God and I believe that with him all things are possible.
I’m more than willing to change the lives of people who are judged yet they are innocent, the lives of street children, the lives of orphans and widows. The power is in God’s hands and the ability is in my hands: if changing lives is my dream, then I should stay focused on my job and not on my immediate problems. I live because I have a goal to fulfill and that’s changing lives.
In life, challenges are not there to paralyze me but are there to help me discover who I really am. I know that justice is not easily got, but we’ve got to fight for it. There is too much corruption in courts of law, innocent people are judged, and sentenced, due to lack of money. Sometimes I feel if only I could become a lawyer and save the lives of innocent people and create justice. Other times, I feel I should chose medicine and treat children and people with complicated illnesses. But I know that one of my biggest goals is to build the biggest camp in Africa and take care of all the needy people.
I should announce my goals and disguise my achievements. Today, people in the world should know that lives can be changed. We must become the change we want to see. To laugh at someone else’s misfortune is like displaying your own ignorance. Let’s empower others to empower others so that we can make a change.
Success comes from ‘cans’ not from ‘cant’s’.
We shouldn’t allow anything to be an obstacle. We should see everything as a stepping stone to victory. I know that life is not easy, especially when situations become more difficult. Many people wish they were never born, some even curse the day they were born, others even feel like committing suicide. I say this out of experience; I was born to a very poor family. I thought that my life was going to remain the same until I died but since Educate! came into my life it has never been the same. It (Educate!) gave me much more hope that you can imagine, it taught me to stop blaming others and to take responsibility for every area of my life.
We should all learn that even if we don’t have much we should give 100 percent of the little we have and God will make up the difference.
Mount Masaba Senior 5 students on the plot of land they are developing