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22-08-2017: Stories of Hope

What is it like to grow up as an orphan in Uganda? We thought it would be interesting to share some of the stories of some of the older young people that Esuubi has supported through their education. Having just reached the age of 20, Max is coming to the end of his school education and looking to what the future might hold for him. He will be taking his A-levels in November.

We first encountered Max when he was at Mityana Orphanage. He had been staying there since his parents both died when he was aged just five. With three brothers and four sisters, he was part of a large family that had very few opportunities available to them. In amongst the hardships of untreated health issues, little food, crowded classrooms and a shortage of teachers, Max has some fonder memories of roaming free with his friends. However, he is grateful for the support and structure that he has had in his education since being supported by Esuubi – he feels it has allowed him to concentrate more fully on his studies and given him a foundation for life that he would otherwise have missed out on.

As he comes to the end of his schooling, Max is hoping to study “law science” at university – it is “more respected than just law“ - but that is just one of a myriad of ideas about what he could do. He laughs and jokes about his chances of becoming a celebrity, a newsreader or just famous for doing “something else”. “As long as I am famous and can be generous, I don’t mind.” Turning to the subject of football Max cracks a wide smile. He rather sheepishly tells me that he has recently switched allegiances from the blue of Chelsea to the red of Manchester United. The draw of José Mourinho was just too strong to resist: “He’s a winner. With him they just cannot lose. I follow him wherever he goes.” He gets excited telling me about the black role models he sees in the world of football – “Pogba – the most expensive player in the world – he just looks like he’s having so much fun. He gives young men in Uganda something to dream of.” And he has high hopes for next season’s Champions League, when Man Utd return to Europe’s top club competition.

In amongst the bravado and jokes, Max has a heart for those around him, he is keen to be generous, sharing knowledge and opportunities with others like himself. Wherever he ends up he hopes to remember the good things he has been given and helps others to get the same.