“As I was growing up in my country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it never occurred to me that I would one day become a refugee.  We knew that other people from other countries sometimes had to flee and become refugees, but I didn’t think that it would ever happen to me.  I was only about 11 years old when the rebels attacked our village.  My father was traveling at the time and we were staying with my uncle.  The soldiers killed him and took him away.  We were all afraid that we would be next to die.  My mother decided that it was no longer safe to stay in our home village. We packed up a few clothes and along with a number of our neighbors, made our way across the border into Uganda and began a new life as refugees. 

If someone were to ask me what it is like to be a refugee, I would first of all want to tell them that it is not a crime to be a refugee.  I would never have chosen to be a refugee.  It was not a decision that we made.  We were forced into our situation because of the war.  But, it has not been all bad.  The government of Uganda has been very good to us.  It is very peaceful here.  The United Nations and ADRA have also been very helpful.  They have made sure that we have food and provided this school for my education. 

ADRA encourages us all to study hard so we can have a better future. They help us with solar lamps so we can study at night.  For the girls, ADRA has given us a lot of advice on the importance of staying in school. They have given us sanitary pads that allow us to keep going to class even during our time of menstruation.  The sanitary pads they distributed are reusable and are a lot better than the disposable ones.

I am very thankful for how ADRA has helped me with my education.  I really believe in education.  It is something that will not only be good for me, but it will enable me to take care of my mother, my brothers and sisters, and become a good citizen.  I one day hope to become a lawyer so that I can help people who are facing difficulties in their life like I have.”

YES, I WANT TO HELP GIRLS STAY IN SCHOOL.