Well, I wrote this some time back but decided today that I should share with you guys. (#August post- letter)
THE JOURNEY- MY STORY
MY NAME IS AKELLO NANCY ONGOM and this is a brief story of my journey so far.
They often say that the sky is the limit but that is not true because you have to keep working hard until you fulfill your goals and I believe that even after graduating with a law degree my journey has just started.
I was born on October 20th 1993 from Palenga IDP Camp (Internally displaced persons camp) in Gulu district now Omoro in the northern part of Uganda with seven siblings and a few distant relatives since most of my relatives died during the war.
Life was not easy for me and my family living in the camp and we have to survive on the food provided by world food program. But my parents were hard working and did some retail business to support us. The war was still on so not much of garden work was done, I remember some of my class mates were arrested in between the year 2000 and 2003 and I never heard from them again.
I don’t have a lot of relatives, just a few distant relatives since most of my relatives died before I was born during the war period. My dad was called Mr. Ongom Martin and died in 2007 and my Mom Akello Margret who died in 2009. They left 8 children and I am the fifth born.
Our first born is called Lanyero Susan she is a Nursery teacher and doesn’t really earn much to support my education and she is currently a single mother of four children.
Our second born is Ajok evelyn who has been managing the family after the death of my parents. She is very hard working and has been doing casual jobs while studying. Her O-level was sponsored by Pece Municipal Council, A-level by invisible children Uganda and university by Gulu district NGO Forum where she did earned a degree in education and is a teacher now.
Our third and fourth born were not able to reach the university level and are now casual workers (both boys), one is working as a boda boda man and one as a conductor. And I am hoping to be their future by opening for them a good business in the future.
I am the fifth born and my follower is currently married for a year now, with no child yet. She stopped in senior two and did a certificate course in catering and now about to finished a certificate in tailoring with the help of her husband.
Our last born were triplets (all girls) but unfortunately one died three weeks after birth from the hospital. Since our parents died when they were still young, the two girls were taken to an orphanage centre where they are currently staying and studying called ‘Restoration Gateway in Karuma- Kiryandongo District. One is in senior two and the other a p.7 candidate.
My school journey;
I started school in the year 2000 at the age of 7 at Palenga primary school and I was performing very well so in 2004 my father decided to shift me to take me to town where he was working and I joined Layibi central primary school where I was able to complete my primary education and was awarded with the primary leaving examination certificate.
Unfortunately, my dad passed away in 2007 January before our primary results were released and all hopes of joining secondary school was gone since we didn’t have enough money and my father was the only person contributing.
I decided not to give up, so I went and got an admission at Gulu parent’s comprehensive college and was admitted under the needy students where we would work in the school in turn for tuition. My sister Evelyn was very hardworking and supportive since the very beginning and she would do small jobs while studying to help me eat at school.
When I was in senior two, Windle Trust took me under the Acholi bursary scheme and I was very happy but then another disaster happened when my mom passed away, she died in 2009 when I was in senior 3 and it really affected me both mentally and physically and I had to undergo through some counseling sponsored by Windle Trust with VIVO Africa for some months.
I was later on shifted to a better school- Gulu central High school where I finished my O-level and was awarded my O-level certificate (Uganda Certificate of Education- UCE) in 2010.
In 2011, the Acholi Bursary scheme was coming to an end and I thought my journey had come to an end but God was on my side and Windle Trust decided to take me in again with a few other students and we were taken to Pope John Paul II College Gulu.
After my A-level things were difficult and the hope of joining the university was gone again but I was able to get admission to for a law degree at Uganda Christian University Mukono. Starting the first semester was not easy and Windle trust was still looking for funding but they were able to contribute some money to help me start the semester and with some contribution from my sister Evelyn as well as tuition transfer from two other students, I was able to successfully register for my first semester.
In my second semester of first year 2013, I was able to enter the work and study program at the University where I would mob and clean class rooms and in the end I was paid 250,000/= Uganda shillings. That same semester my sponsorship became stable and Windle Trust was able to pay for my tuition till fourth year where I completed successfully and was awarded a Bachelor of law degree on 7th July 2017.
My plans for the future;
I am currently applying to the law development centre for a post graduate diploma in legal practice which takes a year and once admitted I plan on working hard so as earn a practicing certificate that will help me give back to the community.
Get a job in law related areas, I love working with the children, women and the rural community. So getting a job with organization that supports children education, children’s rights or deals with domestic violence, gender and other related field will be a dream come true.
I have a passion for furthering my studies so that I get a good job that will in turn enable me to help others in need. I would love to pursue masters of law if possible. I have always been interested in the fields of international Human Rights Law and was able to get a B+ (78) at the degree level and would love to specialize in it.
Other areas that have been of great concern to me are; international criminal justice and I also did my dissertation in this area. It inspires me a lot because it concerns the aspects justice to victims of gross human rights violations like war crime victims which I have seen and witnessed while growing up. The last field is International law in general and commercial law.
First of all, I would like to thank the almighty father for having brought me this far for it wouldn’t have been possible without you and I pray that you continue providing for the journey a head.
Secondly, I would like to thank Windle Trust Uganda for their support and continued support I wouldn’t have reached where I am today if not because of your contributions both financially and in other ways like paying for guidance and counseling. I pray that God should continue blessing the organization so that they should be able to assist many students like me achieve their dreams.
Thirdly I would like to send my sincere gratitude to the staffs and former staffs of Windle trust who have been supporting me right from Acholi Bursary scheme, I would never forget your parental love and care and all the advice that you gave me. In particular, Mama Hellen, Mama Joyce, Charles and Executive director James; not forgetting the new staffs- Eunice, Johnson and the rest thank you all for being a wonderful family may God bless you abundantly and hope that you will still continue to support me in the journey a head.
AKELLO Nancy ongom