This Determined Ugandan Jew is Building a Well for His Village— and did the Fundraising, too.

Inside Leadership

This Determined Ugandan Jew is Building a Well for His Village— and did the Fundraising, too.

I’ve always had a love and a talent for making things work out. When I see a problem in my community or a chance to improve, it’s in my nature to find a way to fix it – and from a young age, I was able to put my ability into practice.

My father passed away when I was 9 years old, but because clan members in our village of Namutumba, Uganda, had decreed that a woman had no right to her husband’s land, my mother was sent away from my father’s property, with my seven siblings and me in tow.

I placed a high priority on education, but at that time, in order to receive an education in Uganda, students had to pay for schooling – and so, even as a little boy, I began working. My uncle, a butcher, gave me two kilograms of meat every day, which I then cooked into meals and sold. The money I made helped me to pay for three years of my elementary schooling.

My family took notice: When I completed elementary school, my grandfather told me that if I stayed with him and worked on his farm, he would pay for the rest of my education. As a result of this deal, by the time I started high school, I had 14 goats and three cows, and I had even collected some savings. Finally, I was financially stable.

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