By Yasiri J. Kasango
In 2017, when Hope Kyomugisha got admitted to Uganda Christian University (UCU), she was not sure how she would pay her tuition fees. With hope and a prayer, she made the trip to the university to pick up her admission letter.
To her surprise, she did not return home with only the admission letter. While at the university campus, Kyomugisha learned of a scholarship available through the Uganda Partners, a USA-based organization that seeks material and spiritual support for UCU students through sponsorship.
Kyomugisha was fortunate enough to get the grant, which enabled her to pursue her Bachelors of Nursing Science course.
The 24-year-old was among the 25 students who received a Bachelor of Nursing Science at UCU’s 22nd graduation ceremony on October 22, 2021.
“This degree means a lot to me and my family because I am now going to get employment to be able to support myself and them,” Kyomugisha says. “I badly needed the scholarship because the tuition fee was high and my parents had other children they were paying tuition for.”
Her excellent performance earlier in her education journey, she says, played a key role in her winning the Uganda Partners scholarship. Partners took the responsibility of paying sh2,104,000/= (about $590) for her tuition and sh1,200,000/= ($338) for her hostel fees, during the four years of her study at UCU.
The 24-year-old says she was deliberate about her choice of the university. Since Kyomugisha said she was looking for an institution that was offering Christian-centered learning and building a good character of the students, UCU was the natural choice.
She says UCU is a good learning environment. “The atmosphere offers a favourable environment for concentration and learning,” she says.
Kyomugisha’s elder sister, Deborah Namanya, also is a nurse. It is Namanya who inspired Kyomugisha to pursue the nursing course. The UCU graduate says she would always admire the grace with which Namanya and her classmates carried themselves at the Mulago School of Nursing and Midwifery in Kampala.
Kyomugisha dreams of becoming a nursing educator so she can train more people into the profession. However, before she achieves that dream, she hopes to first pursue a diploma course in health management and leadership, to make her more formidable in health administration.
Kyomugisha hopes to devote part of her energies in advocating the rights of expectant mothers in Uganda because she feels not all of them receive the recommended adequate care.
Kyomugisha’s entrance into medical practice was somewhat a baptism of fire. At the height of the spread of the coronavirus in Uganda, Kyomugisha, who had just started her internship as a nursing trainee, came face to face with what it meant to treat patients who had contracted Covid-19.
She says the experience was so terrifying to her and her parents, especially given the fact that the country was also losing medical practitioners to the pandemic.
Kyomugisha is the second of six children of Boaz and Agatha Natumanya. She was born and raised in Sheema district, western Uganda. Kyomugisha went to Ishaka Town School for her primary education and then Bweranyangi Girls School for secondary education. From Senior One to Six, Kyomugisha studied on a half bursary at Bweranyangi Girls School. She says the school offered her the bursary because of her impressive academic performance.