Volume of 4 pages (1100 words)
Assignment type : Admission / Scholarship Essay
An overview of your educational and life experiences; 2. What you plan to do after completing your education; 3. Why you wish to return (or not return) to your home country; 4. Description of ways you have positively impacted your community
A review of my personal life induces a stimulus of continuous regrets. The exposure I have experienced may not sound pleasing but through devotion and dedication I managed to maneuver in various ways. The life from a polygamous family never seemed interesting as people may think. My father had two wives with my mum being unlucky getting no quantifiable support from the matrimonial relationship. With the two parents being illiterate and living poverty dominated lives, my exposure to life attributed a negative attitude. The situation called for immense scramble in the mission towards success of our family. Most were the times when I used to lack basic amenities and had to seek possible modalities in evading the pronounced poverty languishing conditions.
Flashing back to some of the past memories, I recall one day arriving at home from school only to find that my father had humiliated my mother. The situation hurt me tremendously since mum had lost physical stability through the brutality and abuse from her husband. My attempt to ask for the cause of the inhuman beating resulted in my father issuing threats to the family and nobody would dare report the matter. This was among the hard moments I faced in my life. Despite the numerous hospitalizations in seek for medical attention of my mother, she eventually passed away. The aspect contributed towards my growth being a replica of parentally deficit living making me lose credit to my father. The only applause I could give him was due to the fact that he supported my education to the extend he could. Nevertheless, this never brought happiness as he could occasionally beat me due to my low capability to tackle some of the class assignments he gave which were above my intellect.
My endeavors towards completing the secondary school education never bore fruits since financial stability was a great challenge to the family. Adverse climatic dynamics never gave hope to our family as farming and bricks making were the only paramount sources of cash. Together with my siblings we had to do any tasks available as a means of living since my father had less concern about the entire family. The bricks making exercise was shared between the two families and our half siblings could victimize our hard work earning more than they were working. The condition led to disintegration of the two families making each operate independently. This was a turning point as I and my siblings were hard working, we could manage to make bricks and get sufficient cash to cater for our education. We never lost focus but instead the intrinsic attitudes in our hearts motivated us significantly towards fighting hard to ensure full satisfaction of the basic needs. We could attend school in less than half of a term but due to the brilliance endowed in us score good grades. The exposures to this strenuous life status build our emotions and ability to purse goals without losing focus.
Growing up in illiterate and destitute polygamy family wasn’t easy, but it has always been my life. I feel like it’s a bleak to have come from this setup, but by virtue of creation it was God’s plan. The adage that you can’t serve two masters at a go is very well researched into. My father submitted, defended and favored his second family. Despite his difference with mother, I and my siblings were the factor uniting them together.
Besides a polygamous family, my parents are illiterate, they barely attended grade classes and don’t work or run any business. And for this reason, the family lives in destitution with little or no income generating activity. We live in northern Uganda, a region that has been badly affected by 20 years of civil unrest. This region got itself surviving on handouts provided by international relief agency. This was because no economic activity was conducted all through the unrest, and we found ourselves in internally displaced person’s camps. The unrest did not give any chance to the local populate to engage in their usual subsistence farming activities which is the only activity that the region is greatly depends on.
Though my family greatly depend on subsistence farming and bricks making to meet our expenses, these are seasonal economic activities due to changes in weather and aren’t reliable. However, my education solely depended on this and as a result, I had gaps due to financial difficulties. Every term after school, the first thing I do is run to the bricks site and help mum while I tell her how my term had been: if I got good grade on paper; if a teacher liked my comments in class; or if I did create some new friends. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case in second term of my final year since life hasn’t always gone as intended. I was placed in care at a pivotal point in my education, when mother suffered from considerable agony and mental illness “charm”. I rode her on a bicycle several times to church and pastor’s home seeking prayer help and spent sleepless nights attending to her. At this point I became the family head doing all the domestic work from cooking, washing clothes, collecting water, and bathing children as father took side to his second wife. This experience served to make me more independent, mature, and more determined to realize my potential.
Completion of high did not guarantee going to a University or college, where would an illiterate and poor family afford the tuition cost from? If high school cost was even a huge stumble. I couldn’t make it and I had a gap year through 2010. During this period, I reflected on my high school experience with the Red Cross Society club, where as the general secretary with the drive to gain experience as a leader, I mobilized fundraising from students to help meet uniform and scholastic materials costs for three vulnerable children who collected leftovers from school. This reference aided my volunteering with the Red Cross Society organization for five month, distributing temporary consumption support and clothes to orphans and vulnerable households during the gap year. I imagine my family in this situation, I would greatly appreciate if others showed such compassion and help.
I quit volunteering and joined a construction company as a potter in the wake of saving money for joining college the following year. It was exploitative working for the company from Monday through Saturday. However, I made savings which helped me employee four people in my bricks site during winter. Together with my employees, I raised $1,200 which was sufficient enough for the two years college cost. While at college, and as part of learning and gaining experience, I completed an internship training in a non-governmental organization where the management awarded my strong work desire with a token at the expense of my fellow interns in the same finance department. However, the same organization employed me immediately after completion of college as an account assistant. Here, I tapped on firsthand experience learning the essential accounting skills from creating, organizing, and maintaining financial records, to assessing financial data and analyzing financial statements. My responsibilities were to prepare monthly bank reconciliation, maintaining cash book, checking receipts, invoices, contracts, requisitions, cheques for accuracy including units, rates and totals, preparing income and expenditure accounts periodically, supporting preparation of monthly, quarterly, biannual and annual financial report and supporting audit process by providing files and answering audit queries. Going forward, I participated in a job interview requiring a degree holder for finance assistant position in an international organization World Education Inc. and I emerged the best candidate with my diploma. This was down to my strong work ethic, hard work, perseverance and the drive to succeed, I learnt to develop strong work ethic, ability to prioritize, attention to details and time focus. Being a culturally sensitive organization, it has strengthen my relationship with international individuals and professional tapping on experiences on how to integrate in a culturally diverse environment. This job has been very vital to me since it is very rear in my country to find a diploma holder in such a position am serving, this seems like a dream however, it’s true and am proud of this opportunity because it has helped pay my sister’s tuition cost and she is graduating this year as a teacher.
Working in a finance sector of non-governmental organizations and gaining field experiences has left my understanding with concerns that require dedication and hard work to address issues within disadvantaged communities. I feel sorry looking at child mothers, child headed households, school going age dropping off, orphans and destitute families living hopelessly. Several innocent children are born and are either damped or the child mother can’t look after them. Thank God we have Ngeta baby’s home in my district and on many occasions I visited and supported this institution with in-kind donation of sugar, soap and posho. Despite my situation, it has become my habit to show care and compassion to the less privileged since am victim of such circumstance.
This experiences all together informed my intuition to hone my skills and knowledge that can be beneficial to the general public. I have spent my professional skills working in NGOs and I find it pretty amazing to work with the disadvantaged for you get to learn and appreciate the hardship they go through. I personally have grater hope and drive to establish an NGO that supports and advocate for the vulnerable.
NGOs have the role of controlling and pressuring the government and the state (and, for instance, highlighting corruption) in developing countries as it is done in developed countries, in the context of civil society. I think, the main difference is that in developing countries we are often more vulnerable and subject to repression – given to not fully formalized state structures. An enlightened public participation in the form of NGOs and civic groups therefore is necessary to bring in pore transparency and accountability through reformations, and it’s against this back ground that I seek further studies to expand the realm of my knowledge that will enhance my capacity to build and manage a nongovernmental organization that work towards realization of accountability and transparency for the common benefit of the local populate.
Here you can think of why would a poor boy who worked in an NGO since his career with the less privileged want to establish and NGO. I know the NGO setup and how they have been helpful to the community and it’s my dream that after completion of studies would come back and start the NGO that works to helping the vulnerable.
Also consider the below guidance from friend who did review my work before this version have presented you.
This is one way of doing it that I think could work:
• Tell them about who you are and what you are doing now. What does your job involve? What are your responsibilities? Where do you live? Tell them a small amount about the place where you are – mention that it is an area being reconstructed after being badly affected by war – they won’t know this.
• Tell them how you got to this point – here is where you can make it clear that it wasn’t easy. But don’t follow the temptation to tell a long chronological story. Instead write down a list of all the obstacles that got in the way of your education. Then make a paragraph or two putting in all these things. Then do a similar process for your achievements – how you overcame the obstacles. Outline the route you took to get to your present job.
• Tell them what you want to do in the future – base this around ways in which you want to help your community (encouraging e-commerce? Setting up you own NGO? Moving up in the national NGO world – why? What do you want to do?) – try to have one or two firm goals – maybe link this back to yourself as a young man and helping out people in a similar position?
• Tell them how this course will help you to do that – be precise – how will accounting help you do these things – what skills will you gain – how will you use these skills in the future?
• Tell them how this course will help – why their course and not another university? Reference syllabus – show you are not just sending identical applications to every college
This way you are presenting your success rather than presenting yourself as a victim of circumstances. You have made a successful life against huge odds – how many people end up with a good job in an NGO when they are from a poor background? Almost no-one! It is worth stressing that jobs lie yours are very few in a place like Lira. If you ‘start at the end’ then that gives your story somewhere to go – you are giving background to a situation rather than trying to cover everything on your journey to now.
Remember that your university is very probably looking for a story about a student who went back to Uganda and made a big contribution to his community. This is something the university can then take credit for as ‘helping Africa’ rather than just one person. This is a very common way of looking at studentships for African young people; I think that it can reflect a narrow/stereotypical way of thinking about Africa and Africans, and it could well seem a bit patronising (look at us helping poor African communities- aren’t we great!) – but I’m fairly sure this is how most entrance boards are likely to approach these awards. It is best to assume that this is how they see things. Tell them a story they like. Don’t go into massive detail about your youth – just give them the main points. Be direct. None of this ‘I’m not sure if I can really tell my story…’. You can. Tell them in clear sentences – avoid any translations of idiomatic expressions. This is not creative writing. The clearer you can be the better. Imagine you are writing an essay with the title “why Boniface should get a place on this course’. Make arguments rather than telling them a story.