Since childhood, Brenda Mercy Awori’s life has been full of challenges, but this is the reason she is working hard to change tomorrow.
Born to peasants, Misanga Eriya and Namulunde Milly, residents of Lukone Village in Lugolole parish Mayuge district, the 17-year-old is the 7th child in a family of 9 (5 boys and 4 girls). She decided to help her father make bricks to raise her own school fees.
“When I saw my father struggling to raise my school fees through this business, I decided to join him and I am determined to see that I make enough to raise my school fees.”
Brenda, a student of senior five at Kololo SS doing Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics (BCM) feels she is on track to realize her dream of becoming a medical doctor.
“All I dream about is becoming a medical doctor and I am so optimistic that it will come to pass. It is one of my biggest motivators to do my best in what I do.” she smilingly remarks.
One of the challenges Brenda has been faced with is capital to buy firewood to burn her bricks.
“An average tree now costs around six hundred thousand shillings (600,000) which has made it hard for to burn all the bricks as you can see”.
Brenda makes 500 bricks in a single day but this has not come without challenges,
“One of the challenges I face is that the soil is sandy and full of sharp things like broken bottles and the likes, they end up cutting my hands and legs. And since it a manual job I feel so tired in the evenings,” she says,
“I also get many people mocking me and saying am sticking to a job meant for men but I don’t really care about what they say.”
Despite the challenges, however, Brenda is determined to keep on with her work.
“There is no job without challenges, the most important part is that I joined this work with passion and I still have it. So I will keep on and maybe in future get money to start a crafts shop where I will also teach fellow girls to make mats and ropes.”
She got her Inspiration to make bricks from the men her father hired to help in making more bricks
“When I saw men making bricks I felt I could also do the same. It is not something very hard to learn so I taught my self with minimum supervision and made 250 bricks on my first day.”
Brenda advises young people to utilize the lockdown to do constructive work that will add value on their lives
” I know there are so many students out there doing nothing during the lockdown, it is not a good thing. If you are idle, you will not only miss out on earning some money but you will open your life to a lot of challenges. As girls, we are always dealing with men and boys who try to sway us off the track. I think nothing-doers have made themselves vulnerable to such especially when they have needs they can’t meet.”