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My name is Ashia Namirembe. I live in the village with my mom and sister, and I am ten years old. My sister, Alima, is nine. I don’t remember my father because he left us when I was a baby. My mom says she doesn’t know where he is or if he is still alive. My family and I used to sell doughnuts, but people stopped buying them, so now I work in the garden with my sister, and my mom digs on a sugar plantation seven miles away. Because my mom walks back and forth from the plantation each day, she leaves before I wake up and returns after I fall asleep. I wish I could see my mom during the day, aside from weekends. My mom wishes that too, but she says that working on the plantation is the only reliable way to earn money just enough for food and basic needs.

I also wish I had more than two dresses. People think I don’t wash because I don’t want to, but the reason I wash my clothes only twice a month is because they would fall apart if I scrubbed them daily. When I was little, I got really sick, and since then I have been mute. I am very happy to be going to the Circle of Peace School because I want to learn to speak without my hands and because everyone here is so happy, and I want to be happy, too. When I grow up, I want to be a nurse to help children like me. Thank you for giving me the gift of an education. I promise to work hard in school.

Note: Circle of Peace School is a private school serving orphans and other children unable to afford the costs of attending public schools. As such, it receives no funding from public resources. Located in a suburb of Uganda’s capital city Kampala, the school is in a highly urban setting and must pay for water and sanitation services as well as teacher salaries and facilities. School Supplies include a school uniform, other clothing (underwear and after school clothing), hygiene items (soap, toothpaste, laundry soap, haircuts, etc) medical care, transportation, and entertainment (sports equipment, musical instruments). Educational materials include text books, lights for studying at night, pencils, paper, etc. Room and board includes bedding, three meals a day seven days a week, and 24/7 adult supervision.


  • Update from Ashia