In 1987, I was 6 years old, when war erupted in the village where I was born in the then Sudan. The fighting, which fitted the Government forces and the then rebels from the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army (SPLA) was very intense, which resulted into the destruction of entire communities, displacement of people and the death of many people, who mostly were civilians. We luckily survived and fled the country to Uganda, where it was relatively safer. That opened the chapter of my life as a refugee, which was to last for 15 years. Life in refuge meant living in refugee camps and being dependent on the support of aid agencies for basically everything including food, health, protection, Education among other things.
As children, it was not a bed of roses, as we were also expected to contribute in activities that can earn bread on the table at the end of the day and in most cases, we only had one meal a day. Education opportunities existed as aid agencies support the opening of schools for children. However, many children of school going age failed to benefit from the opportunity as they were a source of labor in the family. In most cases, children who insisted on going to school were labelled as lazy because going going to school was then seen as an excuse for dodging work. It reached a level where those children who insisted on going to school were being called names not only by adults but also by their fellow children who had given up on going to school. I think, I was among the few fortunate children, because my parents never interfered with my going to school. With the support of the aid agencies, I went through primary school successfully and was admitted to a Government Secondary School on scholarship. That marked a turning point in my life, which was to later in my life play a role in my career decisions.
I went through Secondary school and went to College, where I trained as a teacher. My entire Education cycle from Primary to College, rested on the support of aid agencies. After graduating from College, I took a moment to reflect on my life in terms of what I have become and the people who made it possible. I realized that, I owe all the success in my life to the aid agencies that supported my education right from the beginning to where I stood. I also looked at what I can do as appreciation or payback for the support I received. I agreed within myself that, no amount of money or material resources is enough or worth the support I received, other than to position myself in a role where I can be of help to people who are in a situation similar to the one I was in. I therefore took a decision to work in the non profit as a way of giving back to society what I received.!