Our story actually begins already in 2013 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. This is where we met back then. During our Bachelor studies, both of us decided to do a semester abroad at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. The first evening we met at our student accommodation and we clicked immediately. We spent this half year together: studied, partied, and travelled through South Africa and Lesotho. Especially in Lesotho we were confronted with an immense lack of perspectives and poverty. But during this whole time we became very close friends.
After our political science Bachelors we specialised on the Third Sector (NGOs) in our Master studies and finally we both ended up living in Cologne, Germany.
In the course of her study program Sustainable Development Management Charlotte travelled to Uganda in November 2017 in order to collect qualitative research data. The aim of her research was to find out about future perspectives of young people in Uganda, especially in a poor rural area such as Bukedea District.
With the help of Glocal LifeLearn e.V. who had already established a sponsorship program together with the Lifeline schools in Bukedea District she was able to get in contact with students at Lifeline Senior Secondary school who participated in her focus group discussions and interviews. During her stay in Bukedea she also met Solomon, the founder of the organisation BUYOPA and the project Bukedea Vocational Skills Training Centre (BVC) and had the chance to get to know the young people doing a vocational training there.
Very soon she noticed that the students are following their education with an enthusiasm and engagement which impressed her immensely. Most of the students had dropped out of the formal education in primary school or early in secondary school. There are many reasons for dropping out of school, often they are difficult living conditions and poverty.
BVC offers the youth a second chance by providing vocational training which enables the young people to live a self-reliant life beyond poverty in future.
Through numerous conversations with the students as well as with Solomon (Executive Director, BUYOPA) and the founder of the Dutch Organisation Youganda, Charlotte developed the goal to establish a sponsorship program for those young people who cannot afford the tuition fees for the vocational training at BVC, due to their poor backgrounds and difficult living situations
Back home in Germany she first contacted the members of Glocal LifeLearn to tell them about her idea to start a sponsorship program together with the partners in Uganda. Since Glocal LifeLearn regards itself as an organisation which functions as platform for their members to realise their own projects I received a lot of support and encouragement.
Back in Cologne Theresa found out about the sponsorship program. She was fascinated and on board right away! Together we continued working on and founding the program step by step and today we are happy and proud to see the great result!