According to UNICEF estimates, 1.2 million children in Uganda have lost a parent to an AIDS-related illness. One man is dedicating himself to making the lives of those children better. CNN Hero Jackson Kaguri, 41, who grew up in Uganda’s Nyakagyezi village, knows of the devastation of AIDS all too well. He has lost a brother, one of his sisters and a 3-year-old nephew to the disease.
“In Uganda HIV/AIDS came striking like a machete in a cornfield, killing men and women, leaving 1.2 million children orphaned,” he told CNN. In the absence of parents, it was the country’s grandmothers who filled the gap. “You see the grandmothers over and over whose own children have died and left them … Some of them have up to 14 (grandchildren) to raise in their homes,” Kaguri said.
Soon after childhood, Kaguri left Nyakagyezi. He got a college degree, and moved to America, where he attended Columbia University. But he continued to make trips back to his childhood village to deliver school supplies. One particular trip in 2001 changed his life completely. He woke up one morning to find grandmothers, some who had walked many miles, lined up around the house and begging for his help.
“These are women who has seen me grow up in the village. They had carried me when I was hurt. They prayed for me when I was away studying. What was I supposed to do?” Kaguri told the news outlet. He took his life savings — the $5000 he and his wife were going to put towards buying a home — and built a school for the orphaned children in the village.
The Nyaka School was built brick-by-brick by local volunteers. In early 2003, the school opened its doors to 56 children and provided them a free education. Eleven years later Kaguri’s vision has grown. He has now opened a second school, the Kutamba School. Between the two schools there are almost 600 students, attending grades K-12. In addition to a free education and school supplies, each student gets two meals and access to an onsite medical clinic.
Kaguri has also helped over 6,800 grandmothers learn a trade to help them support themselves, as well as creating an organization, the Nyaka AIDS Orphan Project, which is funded through fundraising and private donations. “I feel humbled looking in the faces of the children smiling focused on what their dreams are going to be,” Kaguri said. To get involved with Jackson Kaguri’s project, visit the Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project website. http://www.nyakaschool.org/
The Uganda Diaspora Network is a forum aimed at bringing together Ugandans who live and work abroad by celebrating their contributions overseas and also encouraging them to give of their time, talents, ideas and expertise whilst inspiring the next generation of Ugandan leaders.
Every year the Ugandan Diaspora Network will organize an annual Social Networking Gala and will also produce a quarterly publication highlighting the successes of the various Ugandans residing overseas. Please send us those inspirational stories and philanthropic work involving Ugandans abroad. We shall share these stories using this platform that is rapidly growing and expanding. The Next Diaspora Social Networking Gala will be Held on 30th December 2016 at The Kampala Serena Hotel.
The recent earth quake in Tanzania which was felt was felt in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Kenya which so far known 16 dead, 250 injured numbers still climbing up was caused by the GERD dam project of Ethiopia which is under way to build a dam on Nile River . The distance between Bukoba city the city , Tanzania and Lake Victoria – the Source of Nile River is 120 Miles or 192 km. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD ) formerly known as the Millennium Dam and sometimes referred to as Hidase Dam, is a gravity dam on the Nile River in Ethiopia currently under construction. It is in the Benishangul-Gumuz Region of Ethiopia, about 15 km (9 mi) east of the border with Sudan. The potential impacts of the dam have been the source of severe regional controversy. The Government of Egypt, a country which relies heavily on the waters of the Nile, has demanded that Ethiopia cease construction on the dam as a preconditions to negotiations, sought regional support for its position, and some political leaders have discussed methods to sabotage it.Egypt has planned a diplomatic initiative to undermine support for the dam in the region as well as in other countries supporting the project such as China, Italy, and Norway. However, other nations in the Nile Basin Initiative have expressed support for the dam, including Sudan, the only other nation downstream of the Blue Nile, which has accused Egypt of inflaming the situation.[ Ethiopia denies that the dam will have a negative impact on downstream water flows and contends that the dam will in fact increase water flows to Egypt by reducing evaporation on Lake Nasser.It has accused Egypt of being unreasonable; Egypt is demanding to increase its share of the Nile’s water flow from 66% to 90%. The GERD dam is an environmental catastrophe that most of Africa will suffer from more than Africa will suffer from the catastrophe of HIV since no one except Egypt , Sudan and Ethiopia is studying the impact of the dam while in actuality countries near and around Lake Victoria will suffer the most . Lake Victoria is drained solely by the Nile River near Jinja, Uganda, on the lake’s northern shore.