I have a hope

Harriet Gwokyalya

Silver Award participant Harriet Gwokyalya takes part in the Award through SOS Children's Villages in Uganda. Here she describes her journey to hope through the Award.

“Before joining the SOS Children’s Village I was living with my grandmother because my mum died. In my family we have five people and I’m the only girl. I had to fetch firewood, look for food, take care of my brothers. I’m one of the youngest but I had to do that because I’m a girl. Before entering SOS I was not going to school because my grandmother couldn’t afford the school fees.

I was hopeless

I never had anything. Like I was hopeless. I never even had that hope of becoming someone important in life. I thought my life was to be in the village only. That was it. I never thought of any big occupation.

At the SOS Children’s Village I was inspired by a group of youths and my youth leader – Comfort – to join the Award. I was inspired by the determination of those youths: the way they were working, the way they were helping the people in the community. So I had to join the Award. And when I joined it, I decided to take up bakery and poetry as my Skills. Then for Physical Recreation I took up skipping a rope, and I took up leadership, in my family house and at school, as my Service.

I can speak without shivering

I want to be a psychiatrist, because I want to help people who have problemsnin their brain and I can see them – there are so many here in Uganda – you can see they don’t have that help and that care, so I want to help them when I grow up.

The Award has brought confidence to me, and even creativity, because before joining the Award I could not speak in front of people, but [now] I can speak without shivering, without crying. So the Award has really done something good because before I think there was no one to tell me, to inspire me to do it, to air out my views, but from the time they introduced the Award I think there is change in my life… I’m no longer hopeless. I have a hope."

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