23 January 2013

Uganda: Amollo Quit Nursing to Educate Her People Through Writing

To catch fish, you do not have to be a fisherman. With a certain spirit, you can fish yourself some success on whatever you set your nets on, as Regina Amollo did.

Without any background as a teacher, she never abandoned her zeal to turn herself into a teacher and help people of Kaberamaido.

Much as she was not professionally moulded to stand in a classroom to teach, she is writing books, which people who stand before students to teach can bank on.

Some of her books have been approved by the Ministry of Education to be used in schools. Amollo quit her nursing profession and has devoted her life to teaching.

Born 58 years ago, the passionate writer pursued nursing for a profession, a career that saw her traverse the country.

Lira, Moyo, Iganga, Soroti, Fort Portal and Kampala, are just some of the districts she had worked in as a nurse.

But she is now home in Kaberamaido and has devoted her life to educating young ones. Following her profession as a nurse did not impede her passion to educate children. The fact that she never attended any teacher's college to master teaching skills, did not stop her from writing books as well.

On top of this she volunteers teaching children how to read. While working as a medical practitioner in Iganga district, Amollo used her free time to scribble down her first book, Season of Mirth.

She says the book's main theme is educating the youth and elders in Teso and Kumam about acceptable values in life. "I wrote Season of Mirth to portray our culture and way of living," she says. Amollo, who was nicknamed 'Maama Mono' says in Kumam, her nickname means 'Mother of Hope'.

"When the education ministry approved my book and put it on the curriculum, I felt appreciated and got the urge to write more books to teach children how to read," Amollo adds.

The elderly Amollo, who retired from her nursing profession in 2009, has an insatiable passion for writing. Her books, infuse hope and stimulate fortune-seeking in her young readers.

Her other books include When Mother Leaves Home, Pwonyo Isoma Itabu Me Agege (Learning How to Read: Book One) and Pwonyo Isoma Itabu Me Are (Learning How to Read: Book Two). Currently she is working on the manuscript of Ingeo Tedo? (Do you know how to cook?).

It is one book, she says, will teach the youth how to prepare traditional cuisines and domestic chores. In Otuboi vllage where she hails from, she discovered children were poor at reading; a factor, which hampered the region's academic success.

Amollo not only writes books, she started reading clubs in some Kaberamaido's schools. One school which greatly welcomed her determination to teach was Kaberemaido Comprehensive School, a government-aided school.

The school gave her a slot on the timetable, and she would step in to assist other teachers. For her selfless efforts, the school nominated her on its Board of Governors.

"That was the time one of the members on the school's board retired and without hesitation, the board members named me," she explains.

She adds that, "I thank God for being merciful to me and blessing me with this writing talent. I think God wants Ugandans to be wise and wisdom is found in books; for those who look for it" In Otuboi village, her people are full of praises for her.

"She was a nurse who retired to serve us in the community," Michael Oniro, the village chairman, says with a beam. "She started the project of writing books in Kumam two years ago and that has greatly changed our society," Oniro adds.

Amollo says with the support of the Government and the community, there will be more people coming up to transform the education system.

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