Real Life Stories

Shimanya Bashir

  • Age: 15yrs    
  • Lives: Bududa
  • Current situation: Primary Seven Pupil at Grace primary School

What was your situation before you became involved with UCTF?

Were you able to go to school at the time?

I was staying with my late grand father in Bududa village who was not in position to send me to school and I had never been to school in my life neither had any of my family members. 

How did you become involved with UCTF?

I ran away from home and went to Mbale on a lorry hoping life was better on the streets than staying home carrying out domestic house work and digging in the fields. I had spent a year on the streets when I met a sports coach called Joshua who was passing through one night and served us all with chapatti's.  They spent some time talking to us understanding if we were interested to study and about our family background.  At the time I didn't know but this was going to be a life changing conversation for me.

What opportunities did UCTF provide you with? How did they help you?

UCTF has given me a life. I am now getting an education, I don’t lack food and they also gave me an opportunity to play sport, I hadn't even heard of Tennis before.

What have you been able to achieve with the help of UCTF?

  • Free education ( I can now read and write)
  • Counselling and mentoring
  • I have received pasteral care from the organisation
  • I know how to use a computer
  • Introduced me to sports
  • Given me a home and a family to belong to

How do you feel about UCTF?

They have given me hope and a purpose to live and family to belong to.

What are your ambitions now?

Study and finish my education with a qualification in medicine and also be able to change other peoples lives for the better.

Lawrence Ssempijja

When Lawrence Ssempijja was just 3 years old, his father died of HIV. Without money coming in, his widow struggled to support herself and her five children. School fees were the last thing she could afford, and Lawrence and his brothers were forced to drop out of school.

The Uganda Children’s Trust Fund (UCTF) became aware of their plight, and stepped in to offer them scholarships to some of the best schools in the country. Lawrence is now 19 years old, and has recently been accepted at University to study Business Administration. Thanks to the additional opportunities he had on the UCTF Sports Programme, Lawrence was able to develop his natural talents as a sportsman, and recently made his debut as a member of the Uganda national cricket team at the ICC T20 World Cup qualifiers in South Africa. He also ran the 2015 and 2016 Uganda International Marathon, to fundraise for the charity so that other children like him can benefit from a UCTF Scholarship. In his spare time, he volunteers as a Peer2Peer Educator, teaching Ugandan youth about Sexual Health.

Asio Patricia

  • Age: 19
  • Dependants: mother, Rosemary
  • Where do you live: Mbuya
  • Current situation: student who has just graduated from A-level

I was in a bad situation because my parents couldn’t afford to pay my school fees. UCTF started paying my school fees in 2008 and since then my situation started improving.

I became involved with the charity after playing tennis when my late grandmother who told me about UCTF; she worked so hard to get me supported. She encouraged me to practise and show my commitment and dedication to sport.

I thank the UCTF for the opportunity for paying my school fees and my exam registration fees and for showing me the discipline that can be learnt through the medium of sport.

I have had an education I never could have imagined.  I feel so proud to be a part of UCTF because of the ethos and the opportunity. If it wasn’t for the organisation I am sure I would be in a forced bad marriage, on the streets and illiterate.

I aspire to become a TV presenter or a business lady.

Byaruhanga Agatha

  • Age: 16 years
  • Dependants: Byaruhanga Evas (mother), Byaruhanga Ambrose(father)
  • Where do you live: Kololo inside East Kololo Primary School
  • Current situation: Student in Senior Four clas

I became a member in 2006 when I was in primary one at East Kololo Primary School. My school was visited by the UCTF team. They gave children who were performing well and defaulting on school fees  the opportunity to apply for scholarships and I was among one of them. We were interviewed and those who met their criteria were given a chance to join UCTF.

UCTF has provided me with a good quality education and introduced me to sport. They have also taken me and my fellow students on study tours and holiday clinics to places like Mbale.

I have achieved many things from UCTF such as: joining good schools both in my primary and secondary, getting involved in sports like Tennis and volley ball and interacting with mentors who give me encouragement.

I feel extremely grateful and am ambitious to become a doctor so that I can help transform my community.


Koowa Brian

  • Age:15 years old
  • Dependants: Namawejje Mary (Mother)
  • Where do you live: NakawaNAKAWA

I am a student at one of the best schools in Uganda called Makerere College School in my senior two and it is all because of UCTF. 

UCTF have given me the opportunity to broaden my knowledge and have the opportunity to make new friends. Because of the stiff competition, and high calibre of teaching I have improved my grades.

Before I joined UCTF, everything was difficult for me because my mother had to take care of the six of us. Being the first born, my mother used to support me financially as a preference, but it came to a time when my mother was unable to pay my school fees. That is when I started hating school because I became a beggar and was embarrassed, so I started dodging school.

When I started dodging school, it was noticed by my class teacher who took report to the director who followed me up and she asked the reason as to why I was doing so. When I told her my problem, she applied on my behalf to become a beneficiary of UCTF.

UCTF have paid my school fees and helped me to realise the importance of education and life skills taking me and other UCTF members to support sessions where we have the opportunity to learn.

I am looking forward to becoming a doctor and be able to help the needy.

The World Bank estimates that only 17% of young people (aged 15 –24) are in employment, but only 9.1% of these are in formal employment. Through the UCTF education and employment skills programmes, 65% of our members have entered formal employment.