Uganda: Meet John


Meet John*. John is in his final year at St. Denis Secondary School and comes from a small, dusty village about 10km away. His family owns a large coffee and matoke farm, and his father is a local politician. He has been boarding at St. Denis so he can concentrate on his studies - even staying at school over his holidays. At home there is much work to do and no electricity

meaning John would find it difficult to study. Nevertheless John is proud of his home and family -

"My mother has struggled to see me go to school - it is because of her that I have gone and succeeded. My uncles, they also have supported me and help me along the way."

John helps his mother out with school fees by running two small businesses - pig-rearing and hens. He currently has 2 piglets and 4 hens. The piglets will be raised until they are about 1.5 years old and than he'll sell them, hopefully for around UGX 100,000 (roughly GBP 30) each - enough to cover most his own school fees (or one of his 12 brothers and sisters). The hens give eggs which are sold at UGX 200 -250 (GBP .05-.07) in the village center. While it may not seem like a lot, the money earned helps John to buy school supplies and other needed necessities.

While he is at school, his mother and siblings look after the piglets and hens. After John completes his exams this November, he'll help out at home and hopefully start his own coffee farm from the money he has earned and saved.

John has dreams of being a politician and lawyer. His mother is scared of his dreams, because being a politician can sometimes be dangerous here in Uganda and few have proven to bring real change. But John has big dreams and wants to work for a different life for his village and family. He knows he needs to work hard and also take a few risks to achieve his goal - he is already doing so by being both student and entrepreneur.

Meet John, meet the future of Uganda.

*Name changed to protect privacy.

Picture: John in front of his pig shed.


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