My name is Barack Juma. I wish to briefly express my appreciation to Umoja Project as I look back on how far I have come. Two years ago, my student life at St. Mary Goretti Oluowa Secondary School was characterized by irregularity in school attendance occasioned by chronic lack of school fees and big fee arrears. Being a total orphan with no means of assuring continued school fees support, my studies solely depended on how often I got small jobs in the village to earn some little money to buy a few study items and, wherever so possible, to pay some of the colossal school fees.
The day I heard of Umoja Project and was selected for support was my greatest day. Since that day I have been able to regularly attend school. I was glad when at the beginning of this year 2008, I not only had my school fees paid for but also got the examination registration fees paid for me! I have been honored by being regarded the first Umoja Project graduate and treated as a celebrity.
I am greatly humbled and realize just how lucky I have been and just how much I owe Umoja Project for seeing me through my high school studies. I am so grateful that many more boys and girls are beneficiaries of this blessing. I can only but count my blessings as my misery has been swept away by Umoja Project’s support.
I took my exams vowing to set a legacy for other students in academic excellence in appreciation of the privilege of being taken through school. I am yet to learn of my performance as the results will be released in February 2009. In my appreciation, I have indicated my willingness to serve Umoja Project for some time voluntarily though I would be glad to earn some money that I may save for my college tuition. It is my prayer that Umoja Project comes up with a way in which it will be possible to give hope to its graduates beyond high school. Long live the Umoja Project!