Despite facing many challenges, including poverty, health problems, and lack of access to quality education, Kiryagana never gave up. With the support of our local partner, Project Yesu, he was able to attend school and pursue his passion for medicine.
Today, Kiryagana is a thriving nursing student, and he is well on his way to achieving his dream of using his knowledge and skills to help others in his community. Hear how monumental education has been in Kiryagana's life:
I’m Kiryagana and I'm 22 years old. I was born in the village of Musima in Uganda, and have four brothers and four sisters.
When I was younger, I used to walk long distances to and from school and was usually late; I missed some lessons, lagged behind the school curriculum, and was left out academically.
On some walks to school, I was caught by the rain, which made me sick, gave me intermittent fevers, and still hurt my performance in school. In walking to school barefoot, I suffered many minor accidents, which left me with several wounds — and an outcast among my classmates.
Besides the struggles of attending school, affording school tuition and other fees was difficult. I worked on many people’s farms, and still struggled to pay my education expenses. Because of my young age, they would take advantage by barking at me, leaving me psychologically tortured and physically neglected. My school attendance became very poor.
Nearly every term, I would default on my tuition and have to change schools to escape payments. I felt disorganized, lonely, and frightened — I had no friends. Worse, I always felt a guilty conscience for leaving my fees unpaid.
To make a living, I also started making bricks at a young age. The mud would splash in my eyes, leaving them irritated and red. The work was hectic and made me tired; it hurt me so much that it stunted my growth. Later on, I even tried raising pigs to see myself through school, but the entire struggle left me in tears: the pigs died of swine fever!
Overall, my health was also very poor, as it was so hard for my parents to find health services. This left me sick often and missing more school because I couldn’t get the care I needed. For example, when I had parasites, I would treat myself herbally, but they would just cover up the parasites instead of eliminating them. This caused me more harm than good.
Then, in 2016, I got a scholarship from Project Yesu to attend a boarding school. My life changed forever. Before, I would walk long distances, struggle to pay for school and miss a lot of school days. After getting the scholarship, I didn’t have to worry about the long walks to school or how I would pay my fees; I could simply focus on learning and passing my exams instead.
Now, thanks to Project Yesu, my Dream of becoming a medical surgeon is becoming a reality; with their support, I started studying nursing in 2017, and I’m excited to graduate soon!
By believing in me, Project Yesu helped me become educated, healthy, and socially smart.
By giving us the right tools and technology, like laptops, Project Yesu has increased our computer literacy and helped our community progress.
Kids in our village, like me, are also healthier thanks to Project Yesu’s medical outreach for students. Project Yesu gave me access to good quality health services for the first time in my life. Now, I no longer suffer from preventable diseases. I feel healthy, wealthy, and wise. Even better, I now have the knowledge and skills as a nurse to help other people in my community be healthier too.
Project Yesu has helped me become a trusted leader that lives harmoniously with others. They’ve empowered me to support my community by helping the sick and encouraging the weak.
Finally, Project Yesu has changed my life so much — I see myself improving day by day. As I write this, I received another scholarship to pursue clinical medicine. Bravo to Project Yesu! With this, I call upon every Dreamer to give education to kids like me. BE THE CHANGE!
Photo by our local partner, Project Yesu