THE INTRODUCTION OF THE HOPE FOR KABINGO FRIENDS INTO MY LIFE CHANGED MY SORROWS INTO A MELODY OF JOY AND THANKS GIVING.
By Rittah Nakasawe
I started the decade 2010-2020 in a pool of sorrow when I was fighting to overcome the identity crisis after being discontinued from formation for religious life. I spent most of my day immersed deeply in thoughts and felt emotionally broken and to avoid this destructive behavior, I resorted to ‘workaholism’. Having come from a very humble background, I had no hope of going back to school to further my education and opted for casual labor so that I could raise some money to support my family. I used to pack fruits in disposable containers and hawked them in the taxi park and gladly received UG Shs 5,000 and equivalent of $1.30 on a daily basis. The small business was not able to provide lunch and transport to its staff and this made me go through tough times but I felt blessed to at least have a job. During this time, I went home by walking the biggest portion and took a taxi only when I felt too tired to walk any longer. In the morning, I woke up at 4am and made sure I boarded the early risers’ taxi which left Kajjansi at 4:45am and charged us between UG Shs 500 – UG Shs 800 (US equivalent 0 .15 -.20 cents) to take us to Kampala City Centre, by so doing, I was able to save almost 70% of my daily earning.
My birth into the HFK family
One fateful evening, I received a call from a long lost friend inviting me to Kyotera to support the hospitality team while he hosted a team of volunteers who were on the Hope for Kabingo trip of 2010. I was delighted to get on board and get busy but above all, I was excited about the offer of UG Shs 100,000 and equivalent of $30 which he said he would pay me for the work I was going to do, little did I know that this was going to be my turning point for a brighter future.
I met nice people and the working conditions were not as bad as where I was before. And, after the 2 weeks Fr. Richard supported me to get admitted into a University to further my studies through the loving kindness of my two heaven sent mothers Jackie M. and Sue P. During my stay at the University, these two ladies provided for me and catered for every single requirement, I was able to study and complete in 3 years. In 2013, I graduated from the University with a bachelor’s degree of Arts with Education majoring in Economics and Information Communication Technology.
My first duty station was St. Josephine Bakhita Kabingo were I served for one year, from there I worked with the Princess Gardens bar and restaurant, Mukono, where I served for two years as a manager, I later joined Biogas Solutions Uganda where I served as a customer core advisor / assistant finance and admin manager for two years and it was from there that I joined the Institution of Surveyors of Uganda as a programs development officer and this is where I am still to date.
Achievements of my schooling
During all these years, I have been able to support two of my siblings, one niece and one nephew to further their education. In 2017, I felt the need to further my education so that with a bigger qualification I would be able to attract a bigger salary since my dependents’ school requirements were growing bigger as they advanced to higher classes. I opted to do a Masters in Information Communication Technology as a private self-sponsored student. I should have graduated in November 2019 but for the challenges of striking a balance between work and school, I was unable to complete in time, I have hope that 2020 will be my year of completion by the grace of God.
Having failed to graduate, I told myself that, "the Rittah in me tried her best and needed to be congratulated with a gift despite the fact that she was not able to graduate." With this self-motivational attitude, I walked to the bonded and utilized my 7 years savings to gift myself with a brand new Toyota Wish.
1) During my stay at the University (2012) I joined the Rotaract club where I met fellow charitable hearts thereby quenching my personal thirst for charity and this fraternity through its goal of promoting professional and leadership skills helped me to regain my self-esteem.
2) In the year 2017, I transition from Rotaract to Rotary and I was inducted a member of the Rotary club of Kajjansi and this membership has exposed me to participate in projects of maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, community and economic empowerment, peace and conflict resolution, water, sanitation and environmental conservation.
3) I journeyed with Maria through her introduction and wedding ceremonies; personally, this gave me great satisfaction that I was able to be there for one of the persons I met in this Hope for Kabingo family and we became not just friends but sisters.
All credit for the above goes to God who in His wisdom planned my life before I was born, in a special way, I will forever be grateful to Rev. Fr. Richard Kyankaaga, my mothers Sue P. and Jackie M. for accepting to be used by God as His humble and selfless instruments to cause a change and give an extreme makeover of my life.
To others I met during this decade… the list is long; thank you for loving us without even knowing us.