Juliet is a caring, driven 18 year old girl who lives in the slum of Namuwongo, Uganda. She lives with her brothers and sisters and her mother. Juliet’s father passed away when she was younger, which meant that she had to help her mother earn money when she was younger to provide for her family.
From her early teens, she would sell mangos in the market and clean houses up in town. Although she worked incredibly hard most days she would struggle to earn more than 50p a day and struggled to make ends meet. But as the eldest in her family, she felt a responsibility to support her family, and as a result education was never a priority.
This is the all too common reality for so many children living in Namuwongo. Juliet describes how many children she knows have ended up “stealing, collecting scraps of plastic and metal as this is the only way to make any money. Others, like me, clean houses and even find themselves in the rubbish pit finding food to eat."
Juliet is one of the children from Namuwongo who Hope for Children support through our Walk to School programme, which provides children with the uniform and school books they require to attend school. We also provide practical support at home like rent payments or emergency medical bills to ease the strain on parents, particularly mothers, who can’t work because they have to care for their younger children.
Since starting school, Juliet has become a model student. She is in B6 which is the equivalent of Year 11 and is studying hard to become a journalist. When she is older, she wants to go down this path so that she can raise awareness of girls’ rights issues in Uganda and has experienced the practical implications of this first hand.
Her older sister was married in her early teens and fell pregnant so education was never an option for her. Juliet doesn’t believe this is the life she is destined for, and is extremely driven to become a voice for women’s rights in her community, and her country.