It was tears of joy for vulnerable children under the care of Pure Hearts Organisation, a charity organization in Kampala as UNEB released last year’s Uganda Certificate of Education results.
Among the 311,233 who passed the exams were two boys; Emmanuel Wefafa and Cyrus Kituyi both from Namisindwa District who could not help shedding tears upon receiving the news about their results.
Whereas Wafafa scored 14 points, Kituyi had performed better with 12 points having studied at Trinity Senior Academy, Bwebajja along Entebbe road in Wakiso District.
Wafafa’s story is that he is the 8th child of 18 siblings who had failed to join secondary school due to the inability by his parents to pay fees despite scoring aggregate 8 in Primary Leaving Examinations in 2016.
“We were many in the family and my father, Anthony Wesswa is a primary teacher in one of the UPE schools in our area. He therefore could not raise money for all of us. I studied in ten schools and I would leave each school with a debt until I completed primary school,” Wefafa narrates.
He reveals that after receiving his PLE results in 2016, despite being one of the best pupils, Wefafa did not join secondary school until the second term when a sympathizer connected him to Emmanuel Wanyama, the director of Pure Hearts Organisation.
He was taken on and helped get another chance to enjoy is right to education.
According to Wefafa, the organisation has been kind and caring by helping him to pay fees, facilitate his study leading to the best grades but above all groom him into a responsible person encouraged to serve his country.
“I want to be an epidemiologist to help my country fight epidemics. Pure Hearts is my mirror to the society by identifying and helping us the poor children explore our potential,” he says.
Cyrus Kituyi’s story is not different from what Wefafa went through.
The 18-year-old Kituyi who scored aggregate 14 in PLE exams in 2014 had to wait longer before joining secondary school .
“I did casual labour to get school fees to complete primary school because my parents are unable to raise any money,” he says.
“We are 14 children and getting school fees was a problem. After P.7, my hope to join secondary education was gone and I decided to work on someone’s farm raring animals until 2017 when I found a group of people who had got stuck on the road in our village and helped them. They asked me about myself and I told them I was not schooling, they picked me up and brought me to school,” he recalls.
Kituyi says that he is pursuing to become a medical doctor to help in building a healthy country and also improve people’s wellbeing.
Wefafa and Kituyi are part of the hundreds of children who secured a second chance to pursue their education career after they were identified and co-opted by a charitable body, Pure Hearts Organisation, based in Muyenga, Makindye Division in Kampala.
According to Emmanuel Wanyama, the founder and director of Pure Hearts Organisation, the success of the youngsters in the national examinations is the ultimate goal for the organisation.
Wanyama, a medical doctor explains that the organisation was started six years ago in response to then scaring statistics that revealed that over 50,000 homeless children were living on streets.
“I was at some point a victim of same situations after having grown up with my grandmother who was very old. After scoring aggregate 5, I ended up on Mbale streets because I did not have school fees to continue with school,” he says.
He recalls that his sister picked him up from Mbale but dropped him Kampala where he lived on streets for one and half years until a wealth man picked him up and returned him to school.
“I felt rejection and I was desperate to do anything for survival. People on the streets have no choice and I had lost hope but the worst moment was during the outbreak of typhoid and I was only saved by a street preacher,” said Wanyama.
According to him, upon being helped to succeed, he started the charity organization to help youngsters explore their potential.
“It was sympathy that I am able to share and I am strong. I started this program as a way of a bigger purpose to create change and shaping the country’s future by supporting young vulnerable scientists to obtain scholarships and study materials to reduce school dropouts,” he says.