As we walked into the guest house after a grueling 11-hour ride from Kampala to Nyaka Primary Schools, his welcoming wide grin made it all seem a little bit brighter,
"Welcome Madam, I am Hilary.
I am one of your secondary school students in Senior 5.
You are welcome."
He seemed pleasantly surprised to learn that I knew who he was and was humbled when I told him
that we are so very proud of him in the United States.
19,000 miles away, as the crow flies, there are people who care about his success—pretty cool!
I was so happy to meet this young man. He is one of our pioneer students. In other words he was one of the first students to be selected to attend the school and was in the first graduating class in 2007.
I knew that Hilary wanted to be a doctor from his many thank you letters he has written to donors in the United States. At The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project we offer a child a free education from the moment they are enrolled as long as they continue to perform well in school. We believe this creates buy-in.
And it is working! Hilary is one example of over 650 students who are working so hard to pass their exams every day.
Board Member and native Ugandan, Frank Byamugisha of the World Bank writes,
"The performance of our students in 2012 is no mean feat for a rural school. While 53 of our students performed at Grade Level 1 (equivalent of an A), some of Nyaka's competitors have not had a single student in this same category for more than 5 years."
While I sipped a hot tea and Hilary ate tiny morsels of a Snickers bar, savoring every crumb, Hilary explained to me (perhaps with tears in his eyes, but as a teenage boy I shall let you decide as the reader if you'll include that detail) how unbelievably grateful he is for Nyaka.
He doesn't know where he would be without Nyaka, but the pregnant pause after he said it made me conjure up images of the many young men I've encountered who are skimming a living as boda boda drivers in the city. They wear torn and dirty clothing and are at very high risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.
Instead, Hilary had just finished volunteering on his school break, working at the guest house, and is studying hard so that he can become a NEUROSURGEON.
Your generous support makes these kind of success stories happen each and every day at Nyaka and Kutamba Primary Schools.
Thank you for your love, care, and support.
Watch for an update from our 2013 Inaugural Ladies Trip over the weekend, as
well as a very exciting announcement!
Director of Development
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