I am Ritah Naluwagga a CGC beneficiary. I am also a "big Sister", the CGC Alumni working and work with Capital Shoppers Limited in Kampala currently. I grew up as a total orphan and was brought up by a maternal uncle since i was 2 years old. By the time my parents passed, i was living with my grandmother before my uncle took me to his home. Of course life was not easy especially because i lived in the village in Bushenyi. I was sick most of the time, i did not go to school and all this came to an end when my Uncle brought me to his home in Kampala.
I attended Masajja Academy Primary School, a wooden structured school and in 2001 i was taken to Kwagalakwe Primary School where i attended Primary 3 - Primary 7. During this period, i faced too many challenges as school fees was sometimes not sufficient and i had to sit at home until it was raised and i suffered low self esteem. While at primary school, i participated in the music, dance and drama activities.
In primary Six tuition became a big problem yet i really loved to study. I did not loose hope and i kept believing and become more focussed. I always admired Doctors and wanted to become one when i was young. I was later promoted to Primary Seven. While in Primary Seven, my uncle took me to live with my Parternal Auntie where life totally changed for the worst. Despite the difficult life, i managed to attain fair results that eventually got me to Senior One at Kalinabiri Secondary School.Along the way Concern for the Girl Child approached the school i was Senior selected to join the programme. When i look back at the hopelessness, confusion, trauma i am very pleased to tell the story. My Auntie got to know that i was a beneficiary of Concern for the Girl Child and was not happy about this. She kept insinuating that i should go and stay at CGC since they are sponsoring me. One day one of the CGC staff members came home for a home visit and my auntie was not amused at all. She sent me away from home. Life was so hard for me as i had to live in a terrible area called Katanga - a slum in Kampala, where i stayed with some of my aunties. Here it was a matter of survival for the fittest as i had to fend entirely for myself. I sometimes went without food, water, soap and yet in two months i had to write my Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) Examinations but still stood firm in this situation because CGC had provided the school fees. I passed my UCE exams fairly but not too well and had to go for a certifcate course in Counseling and Guidance at YMCA. Here my dreams came alive again. At the School, i became the Speaker on the guild council of YMCA, a counseling and psychology representative, an enterprenuership founder all at one go. I was further appointed as a Home Base Care Officer of Seeta Region under Baylor Uganda which also gave me experience and exposure hence building my career profile. I managed to accomplish all my duties in the different above capacities without a certificate but because of a high self esteem i had acquired through different life skills trainings and affirmation from the CGC staff.
I also passed my exams very well with an upper class certificate. I further worked with Namirembe Church of Uganda Hospital as a head of the HIV Care Department. This was a big challenge as it required lots of my time. I acquired skills in Data management, counseling and guidance to clients, Pre-post counseling, collecting HIV Clients results as well as testing clients. The above skills exposed me so much and i was encouraged to pursue more. Surprisingly i only had a certificate in the above but was able to supervise students of UCU Mukono, Kyambogo University and St. Lawrence University who were pursuing Degrees in various courses but lacked HIV knowledge. This gave me grate confidence. Later after the three month duration of the work at Namirembe Church of Uganda Hospital, i got a job at Capital Shoppers Limited where i am looking towards upgrading my career in Counseling and Psychology.
I will always remember CGC as a wonderful mentor, guide and encourager. To the readers, life is filled with ups and downs but you can stand and use them as your ladder to achieve your future goals. Always make sure that you keep smiling so as to overcome problems. The Bible says; A Happy Soul is good medicine but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22).