Ik zag opeens dat ik het ZELF kon doen!

Sarah Garagabe Tuhaise

My name is Sarah. I’m married and have two children. One is seven years old, the other one reaches two.

I work for the local government and I’m also a businesswoman selling shoes. Not the ordinary shoes you can find at the market, but quality shoes that can last for over a year. It’s not an easy market, but I find my way. I loved business since I was in campus. I saw as a young girl that businesspeople are richer then people working inoffice. So I started selling shoes to have some income. After I graduated I got this office-work. But it wasn’t enough as a full income. So I registered my company in order to do business.

My schoolcarreer was not an easy one. Although I ended up doing a course in community psychology and I managed to finish my A-level in secondary school, I almost dropped out of school.

I lost my father when I was young. That became a big barrier for me, since I had to live with my stepmother and relatives. In order to be accepted I lived a 'perfect life', afraid to make mistakes. Besides my own high standards that I raised upon me, I also had to deal with an uncle that was physically abusive. That situation affected me so much and I was living under high pressure. So I couldn’t manage to go to school anymore. I was just suffering so much due to these circumstances. So in S5 I stopped attending school. After a while I got in touch with FORUM, an organisation that helps woman to finish education. They gave me the extra push to go back to school. Because they offered me a scholarship I could attend a secondary school of good quality in Kampala. That gave me the push to keep on focussing on positive thoughts and focussing on my future instead of focussing on my past. Because of my good performances and serious approach of my study, my family gained confidence in my abilities and they started sponsoring me to do a course at the university.

During my studies I got recruited for the job I have. It seems I was someone they liked to have as an employee.

In my life I have always asked myself the question “what can I do for my community, especially for the woman in my community, even if it is in a small way". So we started a community based organisation that is focussing on skills development like handcraft. That CBO (community based organisation) still exist.

It was at the start of the MM2M training that I learned something in particular that helped me a lot in taking steps towards my own goals.

When Marije told her story how she started this whole training only with one idea, one thought, a thought that was only hers and that she just other people to join in or support that idea, I realised I had to face my own challenge. I was too insecure to take my own decisions. So I was always working in groups and adjusting my opinion or ideas to the common ground of the group. Now I understood that it is also possible to have my own idea and start of exploring it and see how I can live my own dream. That is when I wanted to start my own NGO in healthcare. The goals that I set for this NGO are:

  • skills development

  • advising in reproductive health

  • cultural awareness

I knew I had to start with saving money to be able to invest in my NGO. Although it was little, I manage to do that. Furthermore I learned to use the available resources I had. So I asked people in my network who were experienced in the field of NGO’s how to start my NGO. So they explained about the necessary documents. I also got the support of my husband. But I knew I was afraid to tell my family about my plans, since most of the time people can be very critical about ideas of others to start something new. So I kept quiet until I realised my NGO. So that’s how I start renting in my own village with a small office and a room for the medical staff. I know I have to be patient and let it grow step by step. I learned from the MM2M that sometimes you have to pause, or take a step back in order to continue on the right path, instead of taking big leaps or jump to another opportunity that isn’t in line of what I want to reach.

I even started my own small vegetable plantation in sacks, just like one of the role-models in the training was doing. So I got so many ideas out of the MM2M training!

I realised I was one of the participants in the training with high expectations of ‘getting some financial benefit’ from the training, like a financial aid or a start-up-kit. I think many of them come with that idea to be honest. But during the training I realised I changed my own view towards that idea and that it’s all about creating your own chances and change your own perception.

I’m very proud of what I’ve reached up till now. I grew up in a humble background and I learned to keep focussing on a positive future. My life wasn’t a bed of roses. And all of us will have to struggle to reach where you want to be. I know now everything I do, I have to do it for myself. And now I know I can do it ON my OWN.

So I would like to share the lesson I’ve learned so far:

Be positive about everything. The destiny is in your won hands. It is YOU who have to take action and chase your dream. Nothing is impossible.

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