Sunday, December 5, 2010

ASSET Leadership Symposium 2010

This December, the ASSET team will be holding its inaugural leadership symposium in Kampala, Uganda. All ASSET beneficiaries will be invited to attend this daylong event packed with activities designed to enhance their leadership, academic and career success. We came up with the idea of a leadership symposium because several people involved with ASSET, including donors, board members and staff, shared a concern about the difficulty many students face finding jobs after graduation. Although ASSET already plays an active role in mentoring and providing career guidance to our beneficiaries, this symposium will give us a chance to work directly with the beneficiaries to develop skills and practices that will enable them to be effective leaders not just in the remainder of their academic lives but also in the workplace and in their daily lives. We’ll post more blog entries and photos from this exciting event after it takes place in late December!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

New ASSET Logo

If you are a regular visitor to our blog, you will notice a change in our logo. We have redesigned it to have a more professional look and feel; one that reflects the way we go about pursuing our mission. In the process, we also changed our tag line. The beneficiaries we work with are not just given assistance to finish their studies; we endeavor to provide mentorship and career guidance to increase their chances of success not just in school but in the work place.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New ASSET Beneficiary – Moses N

We are glad to have as the newest addition to our beneficiaries, a young man called Moses. We recently sat down with Moses for a chat and this is what he had to say:

ASSET: Tell me about your family and upbringing.

Moses: I am from a family of 13 children currently 9 and I am the 6th with all parents who are peasants that have managed to up bring the 9 children however at a low level of education as I am the first to step in High school.

ASSET: How far have you gone in your education?

Moses: HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL (form five)

ASSET: Describe the circumstances that have caused you to need assistance?

Moses: Poor economic back ground

ASSET: Describe your educational goals.

Moses: A Bachelors degree followed by Law School.

ASSET: Describe your career goals.

Moses: I would like to go into the field of Law.

ASSET: How do you think this scholarship will help you achieve these goals?

Moses: Through provision of school fees and other scholastic materials

ASSET: Why do you think you are a good candidate for an ASSET scholarship?

Moses: I am a hard working student but I am needy. I require support.

ASSET: What other financial support do you receive for your studies?

Moses: Personal support through casual works

ASSET: Describe a challenge that you have faced in the past and what you did to overcome it.

Moses: Missed school for fours, gone for casual work and saved to complete O LEVEL in 2009

ASSET: What are your interests? What do you do in your free time?

Moses: Bible reading, praying football, visiting Elders and attending gardens

Sunday, August 22, 2010

ASSET Beneficiary Sylvia N

Our newest beneficiary is Sylvia. We sat down with Sylvia to talk about her background. Here is what she had to say.

ASSET: Tell me about your family and upbringing.

Sylvia: I come from a polygamous family and I have three brothers and five sisters. My parents divorced when I was a baby and my father married another wife who bore him two boys and two girls. When my father deserted my mother, she had five children comprising one boy, my oldest brother, and 4 girls, me being the youngest among the five. My mother had a job in a textile factory where she earned the money to pay school fees for my sisters and I. My father owned a butchery but he was only willing to pay tuition for the boys claiming that girls were supposed to stay at home waiting to be married off.

Unfortunately my father died when our oldest brother was in senior-four. My mother struggled to get money to send him to an institute were he could study plumbing. With her job she was also able to keep my sisters plus me in school, though it was not easy because we were always being chased away from school for lack of school fees. Her salary was small and the responsibility of running a home without the help of our dad was big. She worked harder and managed to get some private people she would sew for at home after work. However she started getting constant headaches and one time it got so intense that she could not even understand what she was doing. The doctor said she had got a mental problem due too much stress, depression and not getting enough sleep. He gave her some drugs, which had some side effects in that it would make her so weak. With these complications she was forced to leave her job and hasn’t worked up to now. It is a slow recovery and we are hoping that she gets back to being herself because once she stops her medication she becomes ill again and goes out of control.

My older brother had not yet got a job but used to do odd jobs to get us food and meet mum’s medication bills since the situation at home was so bad and mum I was not in position to meet their school dues, my 3 big sisters quit school one after the other and got married. currently they are housewives except for one whose husband set up a hair saloon for.

I am currently staying with my mother plus her two grand children.

ASSET: How far have you gone in your education?

Sylvia: I completed my Advanced Level degree in 2008 and was admitted in Makerere University where I am pursuing a degree in computer science. Although I attend lectures, I am not officially registered because I have not cleared tuition, which is an essential if you are to register and be considered a legal university student.

ASSET: Describe the circumstances that have caused you to need assistance

Sylvia: My mother’s health status; due to the fact that my mother can not work because of her mental problems it is impossible for her to get money to keep me in school.
My elder brother who is the family’s bread earner gets a small pay and considering that he has a family of his own now he is not in position to provide for both families and pay for my tuition too.
I got a job that I am doing right now in a stationary shop during day since I study in the evening because I had got some computer skills from my secondary school but the salary I get is what I use for transport to and from the university plus meeting my basic needs like buying university hand outs, printing my course work etc.

ASSET: Describe your educational goals.

Sylvia: I want to attain a degree in computer science after which I plan to master in hardware and software development, I also plan to go for a short course in networking (cisco), web designing and counseling.

ASSET: Describe your career goals.

Sylvia: Considering the fact that we are in a technology era where technology works almost everywhere I also want to play a part in the technology development. I plan to attain this after I have graduated and in position to work as data base administrator and designer, who manages data, designing data base for large organizations.

ASSET: How do you think this scholarship will help you achieve these goals?

Sylvia: If am helped to attain a degree I will make sure I work so hard to attain excellent results that can get me a government scholarship for a master’s degree or I can get a good job with a good pay so that I am in position to sponsor myself for a master’s degree in computer science and also be able sponsor myself for the short courses I that want to pursue.

ASSET: Why do you think you are a good candidate for an ASSET scholarship?

Sylvia: I think am a good candidate because I have a strong passion for education, I have defined goals which I have worked so hard from the past to achieve, am a hard working young lady who knows how to prioritize my wants and is willing to give the best in my studies and am also a kind person if helped I will be more than ready to do the same for the many people who are going through similar situations like mine, I will be in position to get counseling materials like encouraging books that would help in my counseling sessions and by so doing become a useful person not only to my family but to the entire community .

ASSET: What other financial support do you receive for your studies?

Sylvia: I receive some financial help from my elder brother plus the monthly salary of 60,000/= that I get from my job.

ASSET: Describe a challenge that you have faced in the past and what you did to overcome it.

Sylvia: After I had completed my Ordinary Level, it was so hard for me to join Advanced Level especially due to the fact that I was offered a science combination which required a lot of requirements which were expensive for example dissecting kit , scientific calculator etc., considering the situation at home some people advised me to offer an arts combination which was cheaper but that could not lead me to my goal, so I did not take up the advice, other people advised me to quit school and either get married or look for a job some where but I was not willing to end up like my big sisters who are going through a hard time due to having dropped out of school and got married when they are so young I wanted to be a better person since I had big dreams and I wanted to see them come to pass ,I had hope that one day I will be the first graduate at home and set a good example for my young step siblings, nephews, nieces, friends, plus everyone who is going through a hard situation never to give up but strive to reach their desired goals of course with the help of God

I managed to overcome that challenge by:
I went and talked to my headmaster who gave me a small piece of land at the school farm so after classes and during holidays I would dig vegetables like carrots and cabbage and egg plant which the school could buy from me and prepare for students’ meals in this way I got some money which brother could top up on and in that way I managed to complete the two years of my advanced level.

ASSET: What are your interests? What do you do in your free time?

Sylvia: I like counseling, volunteering, reading inspirational books, singing, interacting with people and playing netball.I am only free during weekends and during that time I attend bible lessons, I also volunteer as a youth counselor and sing in the choir at church.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Doing Business as ASSET

After the Board passed a resolution on where to have the organization’s bank account, it was hard not to think of how tedious it would be to have to write out the entire name “Allied Solutions for Sustainable Education & Trust” every time somebody wrote us a check. The check writing is not yet happening as often as we would like but the thought crossed our minds just the same. That concern was recently remedied; now our organization can be referred to as ASSET on all official documentation and checks can be written out to ASSET. So for all those who were holding back on account of this one impediment, go ahead and open up your check books. We have several students who have been vetted and are simply waiting for us to find the resources to help them get back to school. It has been our policy not to post any profiles of students who haven’t been funded yet as that raises hopes without any concrete promise in place. As always thank you for your interest and support.

Friday, June 25, 2010

ASSET Updates – A letter from Monicah N

I started receiving assistance from Asset at the beginning of my second year of study. Currently, I am in second semester of the same year and still benefiting from it.My over all evaluation of the previous semester is that it was a fair; not too good and not too bad. It wasn’t too good because I joined my colleagues after a lot had been covered; catching up with them was not easy since it necessitated me to sacrifice so as to bridge that gap. I had five course units to take up among them were; understanding worldviews, Ugandan Economy, intermediate micro Economics, management of Organizations and Quantitative methods for Economists. I scored a GPA of 4.30 showing a decline compared to the previous semester.In addition to the above, I also carried out some business field work Education during my holiday. The university required each one of us to look for a particular organization to enable us practice what we had been studying theoretically. I took my placement letter to some organizations like the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Orient Bank and Kawempe Division headquarters but I did not succeed. I ended up applying to a primary school where I was placed in the office of the school bursar. This was a very great experience outside the class room work.Further more, during the previous semester, I faced the problem of late registration where I received tuition past the deadline and this was during the last week of grace where each one of us that pays in that week is required to pay fine shillings 50,000. Getting that money was a tag of war because I did not have it and neither did my parents since they are not financially stable. I solved this by sharing with one of my course mates who lent me that fee and I later repaid it.This semester, I reported a little bit early, that is after two weeks of study, and managed to catch up. The biggest challenge faced so far was how to raise the hostel fee since the management had some problems. During my field work, my agency supervisor was so pleased with my work so she had given me an appreciation of shillings 200,000. This amount helped to pay half the hostel fee and used the rest to shop for school supplies. The land Lord had refused but later he accepted and gave me two weeks to clear, good enough I received shillings 100,000 from Asset and cleared.In conclusion, although I have faced many challenges during the course of my study, I am grateful to the Almighty God for having created a way through ASSET. This has given me great hope for the future knowing that I have people who not only provide assistance but also believe in me. Thank you very much and long live ASSET.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

ASSET Updates: A letter from Julius K

I am so thankful to ASSET for the continued support that has enabled me to achieve my educational goals and for recommending strategies for reaching my long term career goals. It’s been a lot of hard work the last couple of months, studying for exams and writing my research papers. I have relied upon unrelenting focus to help me thrive and stay on track.
I have successfully completed my final exams and am set to undertake my internship with Sembabule District Headquarters as a logistics assistant for six weeks. I will be ready for graduation thereafter.
ASSET has helped me gain perspective on available job opportunities and has provided encouragement and a strong foundation for my future. None of these opportunities would have been available had it not been for the support of ASSET. I truly appreciate the support.
Julius K
Kampala, Uganda

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Successful Beneficiaries

It has been a while since we updated you on activities at ASSET. As always we appreciate your support and interest. There is indeed a lot to fill you in on.
Since our last update ASSET has continued to support old and new beneficiaries. Two of these beneficiaries, Julius K and Chris M, recently completed their undergraduate degree programs. Both Julius and Chris have been pursuing degrees in Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Julius however was enrolled in Kyambogo University while Chris was enrolled in Makerere University Business School.
Needless to say, the team at ASSET is very proud of these two fine young men who must now embark on the task of finding employment. Luckily we provide career guidance as well.
For each beneficiary, it has costs about $500 per semester in tuition and related scholastic materials (these differ between institutions). For Julius and Chris, the annual fees were as follows:

Julius K
Total = $1,117.02
Tuition = $452 per semester (x2) = $904
Research and housing per year = $213.02

Chris M
Tuition = $491.40 per semester (x2) = $982.80
Research per year = $81.03