Where are they now?
The 52 Kids Foundation was formed in Kamuli, Uganda in 2005. Of the original fifty two, many are still in school and several are now working and have viable employment in Uganda. Here are just a few examples of how your support has helped change their lives.
Karim comes from a small village called Bulanda on the edge of Kamuli town. As of a few weeks ago, Karim has begun his pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in Civil engineering from Ndejje University, Uganda. At the age of three, Karim lost his parents to HIV/Aids. He and his sister were raised by his blind grandmother, with whom he still lives. One of his dreams is to build her a decent shelter when he graduates from university.
Here’s a recent note from Karim:
“Hello, Rolf! I hope you’re doing well. Engineering is stimulating, and our first assignment will be presented this Friday. We are to understand and describe how a solar telescope works. I am so grateful for the support and inspiration that 52 Kids gives me. I promise to achieve my goal of becoming an engineer. Please continue to support me until the end of this course. Be well Rolf and know I miss you.”
Fred was born in the village of Namulesa, Jinja town 21 years ago. When his parents separated, and his mother remarried, Fred and his younger brother were raised by his maternal grandmother ( late) in Namalemba village, Kamuli. He is the first born in a family of 6, one brother and four cousins.
In August 2017, Fred joined Kyambogo University, Kampala for a 3-year bachelor degree in business administration and accounting.
“ With my academic success, my family looks at me as a strong pillar in the family and I hope to live up to their expectations. I have always wanted to be a teacher/ educationist. I think my training in business will enable me to establish and manage a school when I graduate in the near future.
Born in 1993, Esther is the first born in a family of 8 siblings. Esther graduated from midwifery school in 2015 and is working with Nyenga hospital, Jinja as a midwife.
“ I am the most educated person in my family. My parents cannot read or write. I am the source of family pride, and I hope I can model and support my young siblings to be successful. I plan to gain as much experience as I can and enroll for additional credentials in midwifery practice. I want to be the best in my profession.”
Rita graduated from high school with straight A grades and won a government scholarship to the Makerere University Business School. She has a passion for business and enterprise, and hopes that her graduate training will transform her into a successful entrepreneur and business manager.
She has persevered through the perceptions of a community that thought she was HIV positive. After a comprehensive medical review, it turned out not to be true. Rita lost her parents before her first birthday, and she is one of eight orphaned children raised by her grandmother.
“ I am where I am because of the love of the 52 kids foundation and my” dad” Mr. John Koerner. University is a new challenge for me but I want to make the best of it. I am hoping to use my skills and training from business school to be a successful entrepreneur and show other women that women too, can be successful in business.”
George is the younger of two brothers who had to fend for themselves with no care and guidance of an adult from the age of six after losing their parents to HIV/AIDS –A situation which was commonly called “child-headed home” before he enrolled with the 52 Kids Foundation. To survive, George and his brother Tony had dropped out of school and became child laborers. They did odd jobs in their neighborhood like fetching water, collecting firewood to sell, and brick making.
George must divide his attention between school and taking care of what is left of their family property. He is currently doing a training course in motor vehicle mechanics and driving. His goal is to start his garage in the near future.
“I had to struggle on my own to survive from a very early age. If it was not for the support and care of the 52 kids foundation, I don’t know where I would be now―maybe one of those bad elements in society. Thank you for the love and support you have shown me. I love cars, I love to drive, and that is why I am training to be a mechanic. Maybe one day I will start my own motor workshop. ”
James is our pioneer student to attend university and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in statistics and business at Kyambogo University Kampala. His academic diligence has been an inspiration to other students at the foundation to believe that they can also succeed. Like many of the young people the Foundation supports, his grandmother raised him after the death of his parents.
“The day I was told that I had got sponsors who were going to take me to school has remained one of the most memorable days in my life. Because I was very young, then, it did not make so much sense , but Ilater realized how much lucky I was. My life has never been the same again. School has progressively been getting more expensive from secondary to university, but to my surprise all my fees have been paid together with other necessities of life. I thank the 52 kids foundation for extending a helping hand to me. If it was not for you people I would not be in school at this point to realize my future dreams. I thank God for letting me meet people like you with golden hearts and unending generosity”
Jane is a practicing midwife at the Crimier Medical Center in Kamuli. She is one of two children, and with the death of her father, and no stable income from her Mum, the family could not afford fees for education. Even though she was a well performing student, she was always in and out of school because she could not pay the school fees. This changed when Jane gained the support of 52 Kids foundation. The Foundation supported her throughout her schooling. As of 2015, Jane completed her training and is now a qualified mid-wife.
She has decided to stay and work within Kamuli community for a number of years to provide the much-needed midwifery care in this community.
“ Thank you 52 kids foundation for helping me become who I am today. You saw the potential in me and helped me achieve it. I am not where I need to be quite yet, but I will get there. I will return to school to train further in midwifery and health care. I can now support my mother and my brother; many young girls look up to me for guidance. I hope to continue doing better."
Margarete graduated from Nursing School last year and has immersed herself in much needed nursing profession. Born in 1993, Margarete is the first born in her family of eight siblings.
“ My passion is to improve the health conditions of my community through treating the sick and preventing disease. After 2 to 3 years of experience, I hope to enroll for advanced training in nursing care to better serve my patients. ”