Bigz was born and raised in south-western Uganda. His story is one of a determined young man who faced many hardships, but was blessed by several generous people who intervened at critical points in his life.
When Bigz was 11 years old, his father passed away and he was taken under the care of his grandmother. He was transferred to a poor rural school where he not only had to fight for the few desks, but was also repeatedly suspended, not for causing trouble, but for failure to pay school fees. He negotiated with the headmaster to let him stay and try to catch up on fees when his grandmother could save enough, but the cost of school was a constant source of insecurity and worry.
Because he was recognized as a smart and resourceful student, Bigz could sometimes get help with school fees from distant relatives. One time Bigz walked 21 miles to his aunt’s home to see if she could assist. She was not home, so he started the long trek back home, deciding to try and hitch a ride. Fortunately, a gentleman in a nice truck picked him up. The man asked Bigz about his schooling and how he was paying for it. Before the ride was over, the man, who turned out to be a minister, had agreed to pay Bigz’ school fees, and ultimately connected Bigz with a woman from Portugal who sponsored his education until he was admitted to Cornerstone Leadership Academy in Kampala, a unique boarding school where all fees were covered by sponsorship. With the support of Cornerstone, Bigz went on to the University of Makerere, the top university in East Africa, and eventually began supporting and mentoring other children just like himself.
Of course, Bigz’ story is inspiring. And it is a testament to the many who intervened on his behalf. But sadly, Bigz’ story is not the story of over 30 million children in Sub-Saharan Africa who are currently not in school. These children live in countries and in families that simply do not have the resources to educate them. EducateMe wants to connect these children and families with education resources. EducateMe wants to create more stories like Bigz.