From primary school dropout to community role model – Lydia’s story of transformation   

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Lydia’s* life was completely transformed through the support she received from our ministry partner in Uganda and now she’s determined to do the same for others in her community.

“After my parents separated, I was taken in and raised by my grandmother. She was a subsistence farmer and looking after nine children at that time. So, life was not easy as she could not afford to provide us with all the basic needs.”

One of the things her grandmother couldn’t afford was school fees for Lydia, “I was always being sent home from school because we couldn’t pay [the fees]. This hurt because I liked school, I liked seeing friends, and [when I was able to go] I did well in my results.”

Around that time, Lydia was also dealing with ongoing health challenges. “My grandmother could not afford to take me to the nearby clinic for care or medication, so she would just take me to the drug shop and buy me painkillers.”

Lydia’s sister was also dealing with ongoing health issues and, tragically, right around Lydia’s ninth birthday, her sister passed away. “I remember after my sister died, a pastor from [one of our partners in Uganda] came to visit our church and comforted my grandmother. At that time, he also informed her about the opportunity for me to be supported.”

Lydia joined the program shortly after and so out of tragedy began change. “I was provided with what I needed most in life, which was school fees and materials, and also proper medical support.”

But it was the ‘less essential’ support that really made an impact on Lydia. “I also received love and care through the home visitations, they would often come to my home to see me and my grandmother, which made me very happy. I also felt good whenever they came to school to check on me… and lastly, I received birthday gifts, this was something I never expected to receive, and for someone to celebrate my birthday really made me feel very special.”

And the transformation also went far deeper than just practical concerns. “My whole life changed, I started having hope and expecting big things in the future… I became confident in my studies, knowing that I always had support. This confidence made me aim higher in my studies and now am completing my course in nursing this year!”

And the transformation Lydia has experienced from this support is inspiring her to do the same for others. “I thank God for the support I received… that I am now able to complete a course in nursing… that once I finish my course, I will be able to put what I have learnt into practice to sustain myself, my family and also help others in my community.”

“Already, girls in my community see me as a role model, and my hope in the future is to go on and become a doctor so I can even further help and inspire others.”

*Names are changed to protect those we serve.   

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