Walk in the shoes of Goretti

For a girl growing up in Uganda, life isn't easy. This photo series follows one of School for Life's first students - the sweet and shy Goretti. Goretti's story is typical to many Ugandan girls who live in poverty-stricken areas of Uganda. 

Goretti starts her day early, waking around 5am and walks for over an hour to fetch water before walking to school.  

Goretti starts her day early, waking around 5am and walks for over an hour to fetch water before walking to school.  

At 13 years-old Goretti would most likely be in High school in Australia, but at School for Life she's currently in Grade 5. This is common for a lot of students in Uganda due to them starting their education late because prior to School for Life opening there wasn't a school suitable for Goretti to attend. Sadly, for many girls in Uganda, education is not a priority, and educating boys in a family takes precedence. Girls usually stay at home to work, and early pregnancies around the age of 14 is common. The average Ugandan girl has six children by the time she is 25. 

At 13 years-old Goretti would most likely be in High school in Australia, but at School for Life she's currently in Grade 5. This is common for a lot of students in Uganda due to them starting their education late because prior to School for Life opening there wasn't a school suitable for Goretti to attend. Sadly, for many girls in Uganda, education is not a priority, and educating boys in a family takes precedence. Girls usually stay at home to work, and early pregnancies around the age of 14 is common. The average Ugandan girl has six children by the time she is 25. 

Goretti's favourite subject at school is social studies. She hopes to one day be a pilot in Uganda - a dream which can only be reached with a good education and the support of the School for Life community.

Goretti's favourite subject at school is social studies. She hopes to one day be a pilot in Uganda - a dream which can only be reached with a good education and the support of the School for Life community.

At School for Life Goretti enjoys lessons from teachers of the highest quality, who are attracted to School for Life because we provide them with training, accommodation and three meals a day. Our cook's specialties include posho (maize bread) and beans, matooke (cooked banana mash) and ground nuts, or rice and peas. Goretti also had access to high quality healthcare via a nurse we have at school to treat common illnesses such as typhoid, malaria and diarrhea. 

At School for Life Goretti enjoys lessons from teachers of the highest quality, who are attracted to School for Life because we provide them with training, accommodation and three meals a day. Our cook's specialties include posho (maize bread) and beans, matooke (cooked banana mash) and ground nuts, or rice and peas. Goretti also had access to high quality healthcare via a nurse we have at school to treat common illnesses such as typhoid, malaria and diarrhea. 

After a busy day at school Goretti starts the long journey home, sharing stories from her day with her fellow School for Life friends.

After a busy day at school Goretti starts the long journey home, sharing stories from her day with her fellow School for Life friends.

Goretti lives with her aunt, uncle and cousins in a small house with four rooms. Goretti has one brother who doesn't live with her. When Goretti was younger she moved in with her Aunt and Uncle, because her parents could no longer look after her. 

Goretti lives with her aunt, uncle and cousins in a small house with four rooms. Goretti has one brother who doesn't live with her. When Goretti was younger she moved in with her Aunt and Uncle, because her parents could no longer look after her. 

Goretti's aunt prepares all the meals for her big family from this small outdoor hut. On the day we visited she was cooking beans and cassava for dinner, a staple meal for Ugandans.

Goretti's aunt prepares all the meals for her big family from this small outdoor hut. On the day we visited she was cooking beans and cassava for dinner, a staple meal for Ugandans.

Goretti's uncle is a farmer. He keeps two cows and two goats on a small paddock next to his house, where he also grows crops which he sells in the local village to make a small income for his family.

Goretti's uncle is a farmer. He keeps two cows and two goats on a small paddock next to his house, where he also grows crops which he sells in the local village to make a small income for his family.

Goretti's home is a simple structure surrounded by her uncle's crops. The yellow containers behind are a constant sight in rural Uganda as they're used to carry water from a well. This can be a long journey for many children to carry many litres of water on their backs each day.

Goretti's home is a simple structure surrounded by her uncle's crops. The yellow containers behind are a constant sight in rural Uganda as they're used to carry water from a well. This can be a long journey for many children to carry many litres of water on their backs each day.

Goretti changes out of her school uniform once she returns home. This is the room Goretti and her cousins sleep in.

Goretti changes out of her school uniform once she returns home. This is the room Goretti and her cousins sleep in.

Goretti on the bed she shares with her cousins each night.

Goretti on the bed she shares with her cousins each night.

Chores begin after school when Goretti herds her uncle's cows and goats to be closer to home for the evening.

Chores begin after school when Goretti herds her uncle's cows and goats to be closer to home for the evening.

Sometimes the walk to find the cattle is long, and very tiring after a long day at school.

Sometimes the walk to find the cattle is long, and very tiring after a long day at school.

Goretti and her neighbours smile for the camera as they go out to collect water from their local well. The children - boys and girls - keep their hair cut short to stop worms, ticks and lice. 

Goretti and her neighbours smile for the camera as they go out to collect water from their local well. The children - boys and girls - keep their hair cut short to stop worms, ticks and lice. 

Goretti's favourite thing is her Teddy called Laeticia. She carries the raggedy teddy around with pride as it is her only possession. Her only toy. After Goretti finishes her chores she heads home to eat the dinner her aunt has prepared and start her homework by candlelight.

Goretti's favourite thing is her Teddy called Laeticia. She carries the raggedy teddy around with pride as it is her only possession. Her only toy. After Goretti finishes her chores she heads home to eat the dinner her aunt has prepared and start her homework by candlelight.

Goretti's family believe education is a priority, and without School for Life and the support of our donors Goretti would not have the freedom and opportunity that education brings. School for Life will encourage and support Goretti on her path to becoming a pilot. In Uganda 70% of children won't finish their primary education, but thanks to the generous School for Life community Goretti is not included in this statistic. 

Please give generously this Christmas to help us educate 160 more students just like Goretti.

All images by Sumy Sadurni