"One who sees something good must narrate it." Ugandan proverb.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mukumbwa Isaac: "I want my story to be an inspiration."

Meet Mukumbwa Isaac. 

We at Brain Tree are very proud of him. Mukumbwa was among the first students at Brain Tree when the school started in 1994. He finished Primary Seven at the end of 2001. Through the kindness of teachers at Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, PA he went on to secondary school with scholarship. At the time he entered secondary school, only 18 in 100 children of secondary school age went to school. Mukumbwa was certainly a lucky young man based on statistics in Uganda at that time. 

On December 20, 2012, Mukumbwa became the first person in his family to earn a degree. And not any degree, he earned a Bachelors Degree in social work and social administration! Congratulations Mukumbwa Isaac! Mukumbwa is now working for Retrak Uganda, helping children in need. The love and generosity that followed Mukumbwa through Brain Tree Primary School, secondary school, and college, is now flowing out to other children in Uganda. Love has no end.

I asked Mukumbwa if he would give me permission to share his story with the world but keep his name anonymous. He gave me permission to share, and also asked me to use his real name because as Mukumbwa said, “I want my story to be an inspiration to all those who have lost hope. I want them to know that there is hope at Brain Tree Primary School and that it is a true story”. 

Before Mukumbwa graduated, he volunteered with Retrak Uganda. Mukumbwa told me that “the former street boy you took in is now volunteering with Retrak Uganda an organization enabling street children to realise their potential and discover their worth. Therefore I ask you to continue being my mentor because your love changed my life. That is to say remember those days when I used to perform badly in class but you kept encouraging me, which made me improve and up to now I am always successful thank you so much. I promise to show the same love to suffering children”. 

Mukumbwa sent a lovely letter to thank me, as he often did over the years. I am often the recipient of gracious immeasurable gratitude. And I can not claim all of it for there are so many who come together to love the children of Brain Tree. I along with Mukumbwa am grateful. 

Hello, Madam Lori.   
Whenever I speak out your name I feel a lot of joy inside my heart because I am what I am now and what I am going to be because of your love and care you have for the children of Brain Tree School. I am glad to inform you that I have finished my course and I have been doing my internship with Infectious Disease Institute (IDI). I had a great time with them but I was called back by RETRAK Uganda to do some short term work with them. Whenever I am listening to the children’s painful stories tears flow out of my eyes. If it was not for you and Brain Tree School I would be among the street children to be listened to.          

This is a kind request from the bottom of my heart. I know you know how my performance started from senior one but God was with me that I managed to make it to the end. I want you to send a message to Brain Tree and Shipley School showing Mukumbwa's appreciation because Mr. Mukasa could stand in long lines to pay my school fees and could even travel to bring my bank slip to school even if my performance was not good but he continued to come. Tell him that I am grateful.   


Mukumbwa and his mother.

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