Transforming The World One Girl At A Time: Joeria’s Story

Joeria is one of our extraordinary “Mandela Scholars” — girls who are individually sponsored through high school by generous donors. If you’ve dreamed of Transforming The World One Girl At A Time, you can find out more about this highly successful program by clicking here.

Meet Joeria! The Just Like My Child Foundation team first met her in 2016 at her primary school while facilitating Girl Power Project workshops. Joeria always stood out among her classroom of 50 girls by giving intelligent arguments on key topics and by always putting her best foot forward. We did not know much about her family, except for the fact that she lived with both of her grandparents. At the end of her primary school exams, she had outperformed most of her class. However, even with all of her confidence and potential, she had no hopes of joining high school, not because she did not want to,  but because she did not have the resources required to cover tuition.

What we came to learn is that Joeria was born to very young parents after her mother dropped out of school due to early pregnancy. Joeria was living with her grandmother before her first birthday, because her father was out of the picture and her mother was simply too young and lacked the resources to take care of her. It was at this point that Joeria’s grandfather had vowed to never put a girl child in school again. He had some resources, but simply felt it was a poor investment since his own daughter chose to get pregnant while in school. Joeria was only able to attend primary school because her grandmother scrimped and saved. 

Because of what she learned in the Girl Power Project, Joeria never listened to all of the discouragements she would get from her grandfather. Instead she applied for JLMC’s Mandela Sponsorship program and was selected due to being so bright and full of potential, but lacking in resources to continue her education.  Joeria entered high school with determination, and has always performed exceptionally well. She has continued to live a determined and well-behaved life, both at home and around her community. This has made her a role model to others. Getting a sponsorship was a very big milestone in Joeria’s life, but it has also hugely impacted her family who was once hesitant to invest in her future.

Janat Nakigudde
Program Coordinator, Girl Power Project & Mandela Project

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