|Second Chance Education Candidates:
Mary Nandala, Nuru Nandutu, Justin Makhame, Shamim Kakayi
Profile: Shamim Kakai
Shamim, aged 25, is from Shikhuyu Village in the Bududa
district in Uganda. She is from a family of six siblings,
two girls and four boys. She has a five year old son named
Bashir Karamaga, and currently lives with her parents.
Shamim’s mother wanted to give her an opportunity that
she didn’t have, so she left the family to work in Nairobi,
Kenya as a domestic worker in order to afford school fees.
But her efforts were not enough. Due to the family’s
financial hardship, her parents decided to pay school fees for
her older brothers. Although Shamim had already completed
tenth grade, she stayed home and saw her dreams of
becoming a doctor come to an end. In desperation she
chose the only way out that was available to her — marrying
a man who promised to send her back to school. This didn’t
happen. Her spouse married another wife and sent her
away. She returned to live at home with her parents but
again fell prey to another man who promised to pay for her
schooling. She enrolled in a nursing program, but the man
began assaulting her, and Shamim once again returned
to live with her parents.
Shamim was determined to change her life and came to
PDI to seek help. After learning of her plight and her
potential, they offered her a volunteer position as an office
assistant to regain her self-esteem. The Second Chance
Education Project is giving Shamim an opportunity to start
rebuilding her life, offering her an education free from
dependency on exploitative men.
Shamim is studying to be a nurse, with the goal of
opening her own clinic or pharmacy to help others in
In the Bududa District of Eastern Uganda, the average woman has nine children and conceives her first child at 14 years of age. If a girl who is fortunate enough to go to school gets pregnant, her education usually ends there.The likelihood for teenage pregnancy is high due to socio-economic and cultural factors,
yet the support a girl needs to continue in school is low. Parents who are disappointed after a teen
pregnancy are often unwilling to use their meager resources on educating their young daughter.
As a result of teen pregnancy, and the general view that it is not worth investing in girls’ education, there
are large numbers of girls who drop out of school after attaining some secondary education schooling.
These girls are literate, as the parents have often invested over seven years in their education. But they
have no certifiable qualification to either seek employment or further their education. As a result, they end
up getting married at an early age and becoming dependent on their husbands who are often abusive.
Alternatively, they depart for cities to work as domestic workers, consequently exposing themselves to all
the societal vulnerabilities that affect uneducated, poor women. Yet, if these girls had an opportunity to
complete post-secondary education and acquire vocational training, they would be able to earn a living and
change their lives, the lives of their children, and the community at large.
To break this cycle, Forgirlsake is partnering with Pathways Development Initiative (PDI), a community-based
organization in Bududa that is dedicated to equipping girls with skills to build sustainable livelihoods.
Forgirlsake will be contributing $20,000 over the next three years to launch The Second Chance Scholarship
Project, a program that puts bright, motivated, girls back in school — girls who still have their whole lives
ahead of them! To support this project, please click on the link below!
The Second Chance Scholarship Project is designed to respond to the needs of girls who dropped
out of school after seventh grade because their parents were unable to afford school fees or were unwilling
to support their daughter due to pregnancy. With Forgirlsake’s scholarship funds and PDI’s nurturing support,
they will continue their studies in high school, college, or vocational programs such as teaching or
In addition to supporting them in their studies, PDI will work with the young women on an income
generating project such as pig or chicken rearing, so that they are able to contribute to their living expenses,
which are not included in the proposed grant. In this way, the young women will become more independent
and confident. They will learn business and financial skills and start to take ownership of their lives.
For more information on Pathways Development Initiative, please visit http://pdiuganda.org.