Meet Rona Mbabazi, a girl with a dream!
In 2016, Rona Mbabazi, at age 12, applied for a high school scholarship. She knew that to achieve her dream of becoming a nurse, her first step was to go to private school. AWAGO was impressed with her goals and her potential, and awarded her a 6-year scholarship to attend Ideal Girls High School.
In Uganda, one of the greatest challenges for girls is that they do not always have the same educational opportunities as boys, and teachers traditionally have lower expectations and biases against female students. As well, the poverty rate in Uganda is highest among women, so the challenge for girls to finish school is high.
“My dream has been to become a nurse and I know I’ll make it! AWAGO has made sure no matter the situation, that we have the best, best education.” Rona Mbabazi
Covid19 has not impacted her drive and she attributes her success to her regular practice of Transcendental Meditation. With TM, Rona and her classmates have grown in self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-love, and they are doing so well in their studies. Research studies on TM in education show increased graduation rates and decreased drop out rates in secondary school.
AWAGO is proud to be able to offer scholarships to these 82 unique, vulnerable girls eager to make a positive impact on their communities. Like so many schools in Uganda and around the world, Covid 19 negatively impacted our partner school, Ideal Girls High School that was forced to close in response to the viral outbreak. Most of these scholarship girls are orphans and were sent to live in foster homes. Recognizing this serious disruption to learning, AWAGO actively responded by creating ‘Education Hubs’ staffed by teachers. Foster families received food, blankets, mattresses, and medicine to ensure that the girls were safe. AWAGO’s goal was to ensure that Rona and her classmates were able to continue to learn, grow and achieve.
“For me and the rest of the girls, our lives have been impacted so positively. I learned TM four years ago and it has changed my life and that has been extremely fulfilling. With TM I have become calm, happy, peaceful, and so energetic…and it’s too perfect,” says Rona.
“We are happy to provide scholarships to these exceptional girls. Our Education Hubs allowed us to provide them with the opportunity to grow to be so strong in themselves. Rona is a special student who despite Covid 19 has focused on her goal of becoming a nurse. She is not only smart academically, but she is aware of the importance of managing her stress and meditates regularly,” explains Judith Nassali, AWAGO’s Executive Director.