Joan lived with her parents and five siblings in the Mbale District of Eastern Uganda until a fire destroyed their home in 2001. Joan’s father and one sibling died in the fire. Joan and her siblings were badly burned but recovered. The family struggled to survive after this loss, resulting in Joan’s mother leaving the family and Joan and her siblings living on their own on the streets of Mbale after a brief stay with her paternal grandmother.
Joan connected with C.R.O. in 2009 and was resettled with her grandmother in Busamaga, a suburb in Mbale town. Through CRO’s support, Joan completed her primary and secondary level studies. Joan is very athletic, enjoying both football and netball. She was a football captain for six years and received national football certificates in 2012 and 2015. Beyond sports, Joan has participated in the C.R.O. Peer Educators Club and was a Gender and Welfare Student leader at her school. C.R.O. staff describe Joan as a very industrious, hardworking, focused and talented young girl. She exhibited strong leadership skills by organizing a group of girls to make sanitary pads to distribute to other needy girls after learning this skill on a Peer Educator Learning Visit. She also was able to intervene with an abandoned young street girl who refused to talk to C.R.O. staff. Joan was able to build up enough trust so that the girl allowed C.R.O. staff to help her.
Joan always dreamt of a medical career and she chose midwifery because of the high rate of mothers dying in childbirth due to lack of medical facilities and staff. Her goal is to ‘help save the mothers of her country’. She understands the need to get practical experience in addition to academic work and the important role of internships in obtaining employment. Joan was accepted as a CROSO Scholar in 2017 and is now pursuing a certificate in midwifery at the Mbale School of Nursing and Midwifery. She is expected to graduate in 2019.