In conjunction with the Occidental Social Enterprise class under the direction of Professor Sherry Simpson Dean RMF presents the Dream Free campaign which aims to share the stories and dreams of refugee students at Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement in Uganda. This is the second of several stories to follow.

From Eastern Equatoria State in South Sudan, Moli Turko Village, Poni Vicky Paul was born to Mr. Paul Anduga and Mrs. Maria Marila Kide. Poni was born 18 years ago but does not know her date and month of birth. Poni tells her story: “My parents ran away from early wars of South Sudan in early 1990s, I was born in Uganda, in Adjumani, in northern Uganda. My mother died when I was still young. I lived with my father who was a teacher in Bor in South Sudan. When South Sudan was peaceful a little, my father opted to repatriate with a family of six of us, me as the oldest child. In South Sudan, we started a new life again, my father was teaching very far away from where we were living. He would go early Monday and came back Friday evening. In December 2013, when he went, he did not come back. We did not know the school where he was teaching so that we could look for him. After 3 weeks, one of his friends told us, he was dead. It was hard for us to take care of ourselves especially getting food and other basic needs. A friend told us that there were camps in Uganda where we could get free food, so we had to foot up to the boarder where we were taken to reach Kiryadongo Camp. All of us in the home we are all needy persons, we not only need food and water but also education, scholastic materials, clothing, etc. With food and health we survive in the camp. We are traumatized especially my young brothers and sisters. I was wounded but the wound has kept increasing, I am not sure whether the wound is turning into cancer. I went to Panyadoli Health Centre III several times but they cannot see the cause of the wound yet it continues increasing. I am now seeking referral to national Hospital Mulago for further check up. I am just in love with education, despite the pain of the wound and absence of school fees and books, I always go to school. Sometimes, I am sent back home, sometimes I am left to study”.

Poni Vicky Paul aims at being a nurse one day as it is her dream to treat people from all sickness having herself experienced the queue and lines at the health centers with people being ill.

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