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How Ugandan youth creatively use their education – lessons from Gumkit Ann Parlaker

After My Senior Six vacation in 2018, I was admitted to study clinical medicine at Gulu School of Clinical Officers and the excitement was much. Unfortunately, it did not happen as per my expectations. So, that year, I never went back to school, life wasn’t easy. My ambition was to get a job. In my mind I knew I can only get one by being active. I just needed to be on the streets.

Luckily, I got my first job with MultiChoice as a sales person. Payment was commission based. The goal was to sell 20 Gotv Decorders a month for Ushs. 150,000. Failure to meet the target, no pay. It was result oriented so you have to produce results. l worked real hard so as to get the Ushs.150,000 monthly. After five months, I had achieved my goal so I left.

With my savings, I opened up a mobile money business and life started there. I joined Lira University for my studies for a bachelors degree, on the weekend program. Even then, I started to search for sponsorship to fund my education, because it is expensive and mobile money business alone couldn’t sustain.

It was then that I came a cross adverts from CPAR Uganda, through a friend from Lira University, seeking for young people to mentor. In my mind I thought it was a scholarship. A day to the deadline I applied and submitted. Every day I kept praying to God and it was not in vain. In December 2019, I received a call from unknown contact, who introduced herself as the Managing Director of CPAR Uganda. And quickly I was interviewed on phone and that call gave me hope.

Early January 2020, after a week’s stay in Gulu for a trade show business where me and my younger sister sold soft drinks in an attempt to expand the little money we had, I received another call on my way from Gulu to Lira. And this time around calling me for a training with CPAR Uganda in Lira. First day is not always easy. I was really scared, because I realized I was the youngest and mixing with others was not easy, but I over came finally. The training was about understanding poverty in rural Uganda. After 21 days, I was awarded certificate of completion.

I went back home and again bumped in to an opportunity by the Electoral Commission, they needed people to assist in the verification of the national voters’ register. For about two weeks I did that and after that, Covid-19 hit and boom the lockdown During lockdown, however, I got the chance to participate in the indoor residual spray activity.

By Gumkit Ann Parlaker, Innovator

2 responses to “How Ugandan youth creatively use their education – lessons from Gumkit Ann Parlaker”

  1. In life, nothing comes from a silver plate! Even the Bible supports people who took and are hardworking “Proverbs 14:23. In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty”. Let’s work hard always with determination.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Story is touching,thanks for being hard headed and refusing to giveup, a lot of youth out there just give in to failure when they try one or two things and fails to work and for us ladies a lot would have opted for marriage after failing to join the university

    Liked by 2 people

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