Everyone knows the inspirational story of Susan and her courage, and we are so proud of her, as she is not just an awesome project leader in Kampala, and a big "mama", taking care of the community and our children in Acholi quarter, but she is also committed to constantly learn new skills to be able to help us and the community even more.
Our project leader in Kampala is a phenomenal woman, who once again has proven that nothing is impossible, if you have big dreams and motivation. Her story is quite remarkable, as Susan is a survivor of cancer and tuberculosis, and she is HIV positive. At the age of 13, Susan became pregnant with her first child, and had three children since. But none of these obstacles stopped her! When she became too weak (due to her deteriorating health) to crush stones in the quarry with her children, she started making jewellery. Aidah and Stella (who together with Susan began the Foundation 22STARS) were her first customers back in 2009.
With the money Susan earned selling jewellery, she went back to school! She learned English and when she met Stella again in 2012, she asked her to help her set up a webshop for her jewellery (22stars) to sell abroad. A couple of years later, the Foundation started and soon became the project manager in Kampala.
However, this new position didn't stop her from continuing to improve herself to be able to expand her impact in the community. For this reason, in March 2022 she decided to go back to study, and she signed up for a course in "Public Administration and management" at the MTAC (Management Training and Advisory Center) in Kampala, that has a duration of 2.5 years.
When Susan expressed her desire to go back to school, we asked what motivated her, and her answer was very moving.
"It is simple: education saved my life. It is especially important for me, as I grew up as an illiterate girl, and because of my lack of education it took me a long time to understand new situations, and each time I would not understand something, or someone would take advantage of me not being literate, I would feel sad and helpless, as I would not have the tools to communicate properly or defend myself.
On one side, I made a lot of mistakes in life because no one taught me about disease prevention or that child marriage was wrong, and on the other side I was always being dependent on others to support my children, and people would take advantage of my lack of skills, and pay me very little for my work. Because of this, my sense of self-worth was very low and I felt I could not defend myself because I was illiterate. Education gave me a second chance in life, and I am committed to improve everyday more, to create a bigger impact to the Foundation and our community at Acholi quarter, where I am now a point of reference. To conclude, the biggest motivation that took me back to school is to improve my administration and communication skills to improve my work every day."
Susan chose to enrol into the course of "Public Administration and Management" at MTAC because it covers most subjects she is interested in learning to improve her work at the Foundation 22STARS and with our beneficiaries.
Among the main subjects that she will be studying during the course there are: project proposal writing, communication, book keeping , record management, public administration, administrative law, public policy management, good governance, public partnership policies, basic management.
During the first few months since the course started she has already learnt a lot about the various type of communication, such as verbal communication, interpersonal communication, small groups communication. She is currently learning more about book-keeping and record keeping. We are incredibly proud of our super-woman Susan, and we wish her luck for the successful continuation of this course.