Several students will graduate from their vocational training this year with the help from Fontes Foundation’s Scholarship Programme. One student shares his experience and hopes for the future.
(Caption above: Students of the Scholarship Programme when they were all still in secondary school. From top left is Abdul Karim, Vincent, Isaac, Nicholas, Justus, Cleophas, Justine, Gloria, Zarika and Sharon.)
Nelson Mandela once said that ”Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” This quote accurately illustrates Fontes Foundation’s motivation behind its Scholarship Programme. When Fontes Foundation installed its first safe water project in Katunguru-Rubirizi, Uganda, in 2004, the organization realized that the children in the area were not attending school. The majority of the parents were too poor to afford their children’s education – others would stop sending their children to school, as there were no prospects of continuing their studies. Therefore, Fontes started a scholarship program to help the ones who are not able to pay for the education themselves.
The programme is meant to support four years of secondary school (O-level) and two years of vocational training, which provides skills that are needed in the otherwise tough Ugandan job market.
This year, Fontes has started to integrate the scholarship students into Potentiam Youth Centre, where the goal is to improve their personal skills and to help them gain confidence. One Scholarship Programme student, Abdul Karim, is currently attending the Core Course in Applied Business Skills. Abdul Karim has completed his O-level and will continue his vocational training at Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) Comprehensive Institute in Kampala after he has graduated from the Youth Centre.
Fontes currently supports 18 students through the Scholarship Programme. Five students are doing their vocational training at YMCA. Vincent, Gloria and Justine will graduate this August and Justus and Cleophas want to write an additional engineering exam. Zarika will also graduate this year, with a Certificate in Nursing. We wish all the students good luck!
My Story – by Vincent Tibetumira
Living a hopeless life is a painful experience. I was born and raised in Kisenyi fishing village in western Uganda. In this village, fishing is the only reasonable source of income. Otherwise, people spend their time drinking. Parents have no money to take their children to school and the majority of parents do not understand the importance of education.
I have been raised from a family without love, care and little knowledge about the importance of education. My father left my mother when I was very young and ever since, my mother has worked so hard to maintain the needs of my siblings and I. She has taken good care of me.
When I finished Primary School, my mother could not afford a good secondary school. I lost hope of ever going back to school, but fortunately Fontes Foundation decided to grant me a scholarship because of my great performance at primary level. Through Fontes, my donors have supplied all my needs. I have never lacked anything. Last week I received a laptop that I am going to use in my business and I am so excited. Thank you so much Fontes! I would never have made it here without your help.
I completed my O-levels and joined YMCA in Kampala a year ago. Now, I am looking forward to complete my Certificate in Electrical Installation this year. If I manage to get enough startup capital, I plan on starting my own business and to be my own boss.