Meet Rashidah, one of the bright young women working at Sseko Uganda during her gap year between high school and college. At the end of her 9-month employment at Sseko, she’ll receive a scholarship matching every dollar she’s saved. Because of this, she’ll be able to fulfill her dream of attending college! Hear from Rashidah herself…
I have a humble background. My father passed away when I was very young, and I was raised by a single mother. I am the third of five children. We moved many times. My oldest brother just graduated college, the second oldest brother is in college, and I am going to college this year. I am very assured that I will go to college because of the scholarship Sseko is providing for me.
My upbringing was not easy. We faced many challenges, but my mom is very hardworking and I learned from her how to be strong and courageous. She never had a permanent job but had different small jobs while she raised the five of us. My mother supports my dream of attending university, but there isn’t enough money. This is why I’m so thankful to be at Sseko.
When I found out I had been accepted to work at Sseko, I was so excited! I thought, “This is what I’ve been waiting for!” I remember calling my mother on the phone right away and she was so happy. She said, “Now I know you’ll get to go to college soon!”
I had never thought about going to college until I got into Cornerstone Leadership Academy (the high school whose graduates Sseko hires). Once I was there, I heard about the program that Sseko offered. I worked so hard and prayed that I would be chosen to be in Sseko’s program.
All my life it’s been a struggle to pay for tuition to continue my education, to pay for food, etc. But now I am so happy because Sseko pays me, and I have money to buy things to eat, save for college, and help support my mom.
Where I come from, not many girls go to college. I embrace my opportunity at Sseko because I’ve dreamt of going to college and Sseko is making that dream possible.
If I had one piece of advice or encouragement for women in the U.S. it would be to work hard, to be strong. For Sseko Fellows especially. The reason I am able to have my incredible opportunity at Sseko is because of the women who are selling our products, so I say sell more and more products so that Sseko can support more and more women in Uganda to go to college. It is because of Sseko Fellow selling our products them that we have hope for our futures.
I want people to remember me for being very strong and courageous. I want people to say that I rarely gave up and that I always pushed for things that I knew would make me achieve the best in life, that I always stood up for what I believed in.
Future Plans: Rashidah would love to continue her studies in the UK, and hopes to become a surveyor one day. She hopes to use her career to build a home where she can look out for needy people. It’s her way of giving back, as she recognizes that many people contributed to get her where she is today. She believes that your greatest discourager can be your own self, “so once you stand out, then you chase away discouragement.”
Want to be connected to Rashidah as your Sseko Sister and help more women like Rashidah have the opportunity to attend college? Become a Sseko Fellow!