Meet Rona Mbabazi, a girl with a dream!
Rona joined Ideal Girls High School four years ago as one of AWAGO’s first scholarship students. Last year she successfully completed her Ordinary Level (O level) exams with very good grades, especially in science subjects. She says: “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 is currently applying to attend a nursing college.
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.
Rona is the daughter of one of the mothers from UWOPED, one of AWAGO’s charitable partners offering skills training and other programs for single, illiterate mothers and their children in Kampala. Her mother was among the first group of 60 mothers at UWOPED who learned Transcendental Meditation (TM) eight years ago. With TM her life improved so much, it was her deepest wish for her daughter to also learn. Rona had that opportunity when she went to Ideal Girls High School in Mbale.
IGHS provides a safe and enriching environment for girls’ education, allowing them to thrive in their academics, as well as providing TM for their health and mental wellbeing. This educational opportunity has had a great impact on Rona and her classmates: “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.
With TM these girls 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. [Amanda, please link this to the education research on our website]. The TM technique enhances brain coherence and brain functioning, as well as decreasing stress and anxiety. We see these benefits in our IGHS girls who are excelling in their studies.
AWAGO is proud to be able to offer scholarships to 82 girls to attend this special school that gives them an important edge for success, which is especially important for these girls who come from poor families. We are happy to provide them with the opportunity to grow to be so strong in themselves. Rona says: “Even during the Covid-19 era, we have changed so much, and we appreciate everything—the food provided for our families, our TM, our special opportunity to continue with our education, everything.”
And all of us at AWAGO appreciate you Rona and wish you all success in your continued studies and in your life. AWAGO is very proud to see such a girl, with a sharp, keen mind, and the motivation to make such good progress in her studies and reach for her dreams. We know that every girl has dreams, and we are so proud to see you fulfilling yours!!!!