Nyaka AIDS Orphans School


Inside the Nyaka School
By permission from Nyaka School

Robin Basselin and Ryan Geertsma look at the work of Twesigye Jackson Kaguri. After family members died, he decided he could help other orphans.

Transcript


Voice 1 

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Robin Basselin.

Voice 2 

And I’m Ryan Geertsma. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1 

Twesigye Jackson Kaguri sat quietly listening. He was in a classroom at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. He was learning about the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On this day, he heard these words for the first time,

Voice 3 

“Everyone has the right to a life which includes an acceptable level of health and well-being. This right is for every individual and his family - including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services.”

Voice 2 

Kaguri heard these words over 20 years ago. Today, he still remembers them because they changed his life. Before that day, Kaguri had never heard people talk about human rights. He was from a small village in Uganda called Nyakagyezi. In Nyakagyezi, many people lived in poverty - particularly the many children orphaned by AIDS. This disease had killed many people in Nyakagyezi. Many children lost both their mothers and fathers. These orphans had few human rights. And Kaguri wanted to change that. Today’s Spotlight is on Twesigye Jackson Kaguri and the Nyaka AIDS Orphans School.

Voice 1 

Kaguri understood well the problems caused by the AIDS crisis. His own brother, sister and his sister’s son died from AIDS. Losing his family members was very painful. After his brother’s death, Kaguri began supporting his brother’s children. He paid for their education and made sure they had food, clothing and housing. But this caused him to think about his whole village. He wondered who would care for all the other young AIDS orphans.

Voice 2 

Often other family members like grandmothers would try to care for the children orphaned by AIDS. But many of the family members had other children they were already caring for. Kaguri explained to the news organization CNN,

Voice 4 

"You see the grandmothers again and again. Their own children have died and left them. Some of them have up to 14 grandchildren to care for in their homes. Sometimes the child is living with HIV or AIDS. They need medicine. The grandmother needs food. They need a house. And nothing is there."

Voice 1 

After university, Kaguri moved to the United States. There he continued his studies and began working. But he did not forget Nyakagyezi. He decided to work for human rights in his village - even if he was not there. Each time he returned to Nyakagyezi he brought supplies for the people. He provided children with school clothes. He gave grandmothers money for food. And he paid school bills.

Voice 2 

But there were always so many more children that needed help. Kaguri knew he needed to do much more to help the village. He wanted to give the children hope for a better future. So in 2001, Kaguri and his wife made a major decision. They decided to build a school in Nyakagyezi. It would be a school for AIDS orphans. It would provide free education and school clothing.

Voice 1 

For many years, Kaguri and his wife had saved money to buy a house for themselves. However, they decided the school was more important. So, they used their money to build the school. They did not have enough money to build a big school. They started by building two classrooms.

Voice 2 

Kaguri knew two classrooms would not be enough. So, he began to make plans for more classrooms. He spoke about the project with everyone he could. He told his friends in Uganda. He told his friends in the United States. And he told people at his church. Many people shared Kaguri’s belief that education could help the orphans of Nyakagyezi. They believed it could help them escape poverty and achieve basic human rights. So, they offered money to support the project.

Voice 1 

The Nyaka AIDS Orphans School opened its first two classrooms on January 2nd, 2003. And on the same day, Kaguri began work to build a third classroom.

Voice 2 

Building the school was a major achievement. However, there were other problems that kept many of the children from attending. Often, children were too hungry to study. Other children stayed away from school because they were sick. And dirty drinking water caused much of the sickness.

Voice 1 

Kaguri knew the school needed to care for all these problems. So, the school began many other programs. They started feeding meals to the children at school. They also started a seed program. Students could take seeds home. And the families could grow crops for eating.

Voice 2 

Kaguri also raised money to pay for a water tank. This tank would catch rain water. The water in the tank was kept clean. And the children and villagers could pump water out of the tank when they needed it. This clean water reduced disease and sickness. Finally, the school provided the students with basic healthcare. A trained nurse cared for the children’s medical needs.

Voice 1 

Life for the children orphaned by AIDS improved. And in December 2008 the school held its first graduation ceremony. The whole village celebrated as the first students of Nyaka School finished their primary education.

Voice 2 

The Nyaka AIDS Orphans School has become a great success. However, Kaguri does not believe it is his success. He told the Huffington Post news organization,

Voice 4 

“I could take credit for the students’ success. But without God's guidance every day, Nyaka School would not exist.”

Voice 1 

In 2010, Kaguri stopped working at his job. He decided to devote his life to working full time for the school. Today, there are two schools - one in Nyakagzezi and one in the village of Kutamba. Together the schools serve almost 600 students whose parents died from AIDS.

Voice 2 

Kaguri’s work is now even larger than the schools. He has also helped build a health center, more clean water tanks and a library for books. Kaguri continues to dream of doing even more. And he encourages other people to do the same. As he told TIME magazine,

Voice 4 

“Many people think an issue is so oppressive that you cannot do anything about it. I believed that I could make a difference. Now think of the 437 children that will finish Nyaka AIDS Orphans School over the next years. The power of one person is going to increase and affect so many.”

Voice 1 

The writer of this program was Courtney Schutt. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United States and the United Kingdom. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again and read it on the Internet at www.radioenglish.net. This program is called, “Nyaka AIDS Orphans School.”

Voice 2 

We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.

Question:

What is one thing you dream about doing? Would you dream help people?

Comments


Avatar Spotlight
hoaaof
said on May 25, 2013

best wish for him, for great things what he did . everyone has human right to be happy and respect. AIDS children or orphan children are born in the less lucky conditions than other children, so they need to be held, protected.

Avatar Spotlight
Skender
said on January 27, 2014

Kaguri’s actions are very inspiring for everyone. His generosity is an example for everybody.

Avatar Spotlight
timetobealive
said on January 31, 2014

The power of one idea could change the life of many people in a poor place.
It’s your desition to make a diference about helping poor children and people sick with AIDS.
Thanks.

Severino Ramos da Silva's avatar
Severino Ramos da Silva
said on October 19, 2016

From: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)(Severino Ramos)
To: spotlight programme
Subject: answer to the questions above
Date: Wednesday 19, October 2016
São Paulo SP Brazil

Dear Robin Basselin, Courtney Schutt, Ryan Geertsma, and Michio Ozaki:

At first, I want to thank you to bring us readers and learners of English more one great article, thanks!

I dream to achieve my goal in which is to speak English perfectly like the American people.
Yes, I would. As a nurse, I have helped people every day in the hospital where I work for.

The best regards,
Severino Ramos
Brazil