Attended: Makerere University
Studied: Social Development
Mary is Sseko pioneer, one of our first three Sseko employees. We met with her to chat about what she was up to these days and what she has accomplished since her time at Sseko. Mary is a bit timid at first, and cute as a button. As she warms up, her playful and silly personality shines through and she has us all laughing. A part of Sseko from the beginning, Mary says that although the work was tiresome, she had a lot of fun. “We worked hard, but we had social interaction. All three of us were from different places, but we all loved each other.” Mary tells us how thankful she is for her opportunity with Sseko, and that the money she made helped pay for her first year of university so she did not have to borrow any money.
Mary graduated from university this January (2013)! She is the first person in her village to have graduated from university and is an amazing role model in her community. We are thrilled by her tenacity and determination to achieve such a respectable goal. “I liked university because I am social,” she says. “It was hard from the beginning and I am happy that it is a step behind. I learned communication skills, guidance counseling, project planning and management tactics.” Mary explains that through her time at university she developed her skills in counseling and she believes her competence in this area could lead her to a job as a counselor. Mary’s friends often seek her out for advice and encouragement, and she enjoys listening to their challenges and advising them.
Mary has many dreams and aspirations. Her current goal is to find a job. “It is very hard these days as the job seekers are more than the job creators in Uganda.” Mary says that finding a job is all about making connections. She has spent time volunteering with different companies and organizations. She believes that by showing them her skill set and working hard, they will consider her for any positions that open up in the future. Mary also dreams of marrying a ‘good, stable and loving’ man, and have two children. Someday she would like to build her own home as well.
“You know, I want to be able to drive a car! Walking from sunrise to sunset is exhausting. I want to be able to drive my kids to school in my car with my husband.” We say, Mary you go girl!
Mary is from a large family, and although she is the only one of her siblings that has not yet married, she is not deterred. “I have reached the most education of all of them, so I feel good about it. I am proud of myself.”