Maureen has overcome the chains of abandonment and poverty to become a fantastic role model to girls in her village
Maureen’s childhood was full of bitterness. She hated her father for abandoning the family when she was a young girl; and she hated the fact that her mum went on to marry an abusive man.
As a teenager Maureen fell pregnant and was subsequently abandoned by her boyfriend. Her confidence plummeted and the pain of betrayal was hard to endure. ‘I started doing different jobs when I was pregnant to get the money for antenatal care,’ she explains. ‘It was never easy. By the time I got the opportunity to join Kira Farm I was very stressed and concerned about kind of future I could provide for my son.’
Being at Kira Farm Development Centre helped Maureen come to terms with her past. ‘Life on Kira helped me to release the anger I had held in my heart for a long time,’ she says. ‘I was overwhelmed by the loving environment and, learning who I was through the mentoring programme, I was not going to let my past hold me back.’
Maureen was grateful for the opportunity to interact with other young people with difficult backgrounds. ‘This helped me to stop crying about my past and focus on how I could provide a good future for myself and my son,’ she says. ‘By the time I left Kira I was so proud of myself and confident in the skills I had gained – not only to help me but also to help other youths living in desperate situations.’
From strength to strength
Maureen has returned home and her life is much improved. ‘I am enjoying a better life than I could have imagined,’ she smiles. Whilst at Kira, as part of her enterprise training, Maureen set up a doughnut making business. She has continued with the business back home and has managed to make a profit of £34 in three months. She has invested her profits in buying materials to set up a tailoring business. ‘With the two sources of income I managed to leave home and rent a room for myself and my son,’ she says. ‘I am so happy that I’ve been able to send my son to school and that I am able to provide for whatever he needs.’
Helping others change their lives
Maureen is grateful for learning how to do things on time and she is making time for others too. Not only occupied with her two businesses, she also spends time with other young people in her church. ‘Using my own progress, I encourage young girls that no matter what they are going through, there is still hope for them to make it through life,’ she says. ‘I’m so happy to be training two girls in tailoring skills and I am looking forward to seeing their lives changed,’ she beams. Maureen saves around £5 a week and plans to rent a larger place where she will run her business and also train more vulnerable young people. The future is bright!
Amigos Worldwide is a registered Charity/NGO both in the UK and Uganda.
Amigos Worldwide, Registered in England, Company Number 6122350, Registered Charity Number 1119450
Registered Office 7A Beech Grove, Pilton, Barnstaple, Devon. EX31 1PZ
(Amigos International and Amigos are working names of Amigos Worldwide)