As a young boy, John led a fairly normal life in the Gulu district of northern Uganda. But at 9 years old, like one million other children in the region, his father was killed by rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army. He lived with his mother until she died of AIDS a year later. At 10 years old, John’s world had imploded.
He completed primary school despite missing several months of school during his final year because he was working to help his grandmother raise the fees. At 12, he decided to move away from the village in western Uganda to Kampala district in order to earn enough money to fund his secondary education. He told his grandmother: “If I stay here, my life cannot continue.”
John joined Onwards and Upwards School when it opened in February 2008:
“I like the environment here and the buildings, especially the laboratories.”
He makes bricks to fund his education. He can make up to 500 bricks in a weekend and must sell 5000 bricks to earn the 100,000 shillings (less than £30) he needs for his termly expenses.