A Grandmother's love.

Desperation filled the eyes of a loving grandmother.

Desperation filled the eyes of a loving grandmother as her granddaughter explained that she felt she had no choice but to leave her education and wed at the age of 14.

Committed to the pathway of early marriage, Shani (pictured left with her grandmother) left everything she knew: her loving family, trusted school friends, and the wider community. Deeply entrenched societal beliefs reinforcing female subordination contributed to Shani’s limited prospects.

'I didn’t feel like I had many other options,' she explains. Without access to education, the vicious poverty cycle once again, seemingly, claimed another victim. With many women just like Shani feeling pressure to desert their education, their everyday struggles are further exacerbated, and the cycle of oppression continues.

The Wise Choices for Life program provides vulnerable community members in Uganda with the knowledge and power to reject such learned discrimination and suppression. Having heard about Wise Choices from a school friend when her plans of marriage foiled, Shani made the leap and joined the program.

Her grandmother Grace, once riddled with angst witnessing her beloved granddaughter’s plight, admits her delight when Shani decided to re-join her peers and commit to her high school education.

‘I’ve seen my granddaughter change so much,’ she says, as she witnessed Shani’s transformation under the teachings of Wise Choices.

Grace admits to her delight when Shani decided to re-join her peers and commit to her high school education, 'I have less stress than I had before'.

By nurturing the voices of the marginalised, Wise Choices seeks to empower those like Shani. The lessons on assertive communication and the importance of self-hood have contributed to her empowerment and she is keen to pass on that teaching.

‘I've learnt that my “no” can really mean “no” and my “yes” can mean “yes”.’

‘I would like to thank everyone at Wise Choices for Life,’ she adds. ‘And to those who support this program, thank you for all you have done for us.’

Anglican Overseas Aid established their partnership with Wise Choices for Life in 2022.

Wise Choices for Life exists to transform communities by training participants in reproductive health and life skills to break the poverty cycle.