In 2008, there was a global financial crisis. Things were very difficult. I was in S.6 and missed many classes, including mock exams because of school fees. However, I didn’t give up. With dad retired and his pension not forthcoming, we had to sell goats and simsim to sort out the fees.
I passed and had to apply to university, irrespective of the situation. I didn’t have money to take the application form and had to download it, fill it and send it using a taxi to Gulu, and my cousin helped me take it to Gulu University. I was later admitted. With no money at home, we sold an old cow (cheaply) and off I went to university, with only money to pay for the hostel (grass-thatched house) and keep me for a few days. I had decided to go to university. To me, it was better to apply, get admitted, go and start studies and be chased away due to fees, than stay home. After 3 days at Gulu University, I saw an advert for a scholarship on one of the university noticeboards. I promptly applied and as they say, the rest is history.
That experience made me start helping students to apply, not just for higher education but other opportunities as well. You see, to apply is to show intent, courage, and desire to change your life. Same thing with asking questions. To ask means you are interested in learning more, understanding more and seeing more. Together with my team at CSI, we work to make sure that young people are assisted to "apply" and "ask", with the belief that they can take some steps to fix their own lives.
The Careers Assistance Programme, now in its 7th year, will continue to help thousands of students in Lango subregion and wider northern Uganda access higher education.