Miriam looks towards a better future despite a devastating past

A few years ago, MCC changed their education model from individual child sponsorship to community/project sponsorship.  Instead of asking donors to sponsor an individual child, donors are able to sponsor an entire school or community.  The hope is that the entire school community can benefit from this model, instead of just the individual children who receive sponsorship.

As a means of keeping donors informed about their projects, twice each year we highlight a student from each of our education projects and share their story.  Rosemary, our MCC Uganda education coordinator typically does these stories, but since we were driving past Stella Matutina on our way to Gulu (Northern Uganda) last week, I was the one who did the interview and wrote the story.  I was very inspired by the student I interviewed, so I decided to share her story here as well:


Miriam posing on the grounds of Stella Matutina


When we arrived at Stella Matutina, Lakot Miriam greeted us with a handshake and a shy smile.  As we began to talk, she shared with us her story of great loss and overcoming adversity to struggle for a better future.  Miriam is the last born in a family of four children.  She grew up in Gulu, in Northern Uganda, at the height of the 20 year war.   After her father was killed in the war, her mother fled from Gulu in 2003 with her children to seek refuge in the refugee camp in Kiryandongo, just a few kilometers from Stella Matutina.
When they settled in Kiryandongo, the oldest children were able to find work to help support the family.  Although the family still struggled financially at times, they were able to provide their basic needs and send the youngest children to school.  In 2010, a great tragedy struck the family when all three of Miriam’s siblings were killed in a road accident as they were returning home after the Christmas holiday.  Since that time, Miriam’s mother has struggled greatly to ensure that her daughter will get an education, and she claims that now Miriam is her only hope for a brighter future.  She earns very little money by planting and selling crops on a small plot of land, and has sacrificed a lot to be able to send her daughter to school.  MCC’s sponsorship at Stella Matutina provides full and partial scholarships to the most vulnerable students, and Miriam is a beneficiary of one of these MCC scholarships.
Miriam is a disciplined and talented student, and is very committed to succeeding in her studies so that she can help her mother.  She is now a senior four student and is in her last year at Stella Matutina.  Her dream is to become a doctor because she loves science and would like to help many people.  She is also a gifted athlete, and one of the school’s best football (soccer) and netball players.  She is also a gifted runner and hopes to compete at the District level this year in running.


Catherine, another student at Stella, getting water from the borehole. It’s dry season at Stella which means there is no water left in the tanks in the buildings, so the students and staff must get all of their water from the school borehole.


I also tried out the borehole – it’s hard work!


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