|   Posted: December 05, 2018

Raised surrounded by oppression and corruption, Doreen knew from an early age that she had to stand up.

Doreen Namanya

Raised surrounded by oppression and corruption, Doreen knew from an early age that she had to stand up.

Home Country: Uganda

Occupation: Police Officer in Mbarara

Q: Why do you think you were chosen to be assisted by Compassion?

A: I came from a very poor family where we could have one meal or nothing. We would eat "posho" (maize meal) with groundnuts (peanut paste). Dad was working in the Lugazi Sugar factory but couldn’t provide enough for the family. We would get food through debts, asking others and digging in other people’s farms. We didn’t have our own home but would live in the factory houses.

Q: What made you decide to become a police officer?

A: Because of the support of my sponsor, I was able to start a stationery business, which helped my whole family. But when I got married and began a family, ends could not meet. So when they advertised for degree holders to join the Uganda Police, I discussed it with my husband and I applied.

Q: How do the people in your community feel about the fact that you won’t take bribes?

A: I do what I am supposed to do. Many people are highly connected in Mbarara, so they call my boss complaining, but my bosses call me back and say, “You are doing a good job. We appreciate what you are doing; that’s why we brought you here.” They give me courage. This makes me not even rest. I always want to be in the field serving my country.

Q: What challenges do you face as a female officer?

A: Some of the people I encounter talk rudely to me because I am a woman. But I just use my authority so they calm down, especially the stubborn offenders. Sometimes, I will confront someone and they will say, "Don't you know who I am?" And they challenge me. But if they refuse to cooperate, I just have to order my team to arrest them.

Q: How have you been able to help your family as a result of your work?

A: I brought the family to Kampala so that I could build the house and complete it. When my father saw the house, he knelt down and thanked God. He said he would go to church and give his life to Christ and stop drinking alcohol. Our father is now a changed man, and we are happy. I am also currently paying school fees for two of my siblings at the university.

Q: How has Compassion impacted you and your family?

A: Life was so tough. After sitting for my police exams, I thought life would be too hard and I wouldn’t manage to continue schooling. I talked to the staff at the Compassion center. I asked them to support me, and the staff encouraged me. They told me, “You have to continue your studies.” Compassion has put a light in my family. I am a light in the family. I am who I am because of my experience in Compassion.