Michael’s classmates have singled him out as the very best in doing the things he loves to do; soccer, dance, and playing the drums. Michael giggles as he tells the story of how he learned to play rhythms on his mother’s dishes, sometimes the dishes did not fair so well, and he was scolded by his parents. But, at the time, those dishes were all he had to use as a makeshift drum set. It is fair to say that his innovative nature has served him well; today he is the drummer for the church band at Outreach to Africa’s Tree of Life church, in Geme village.
In addition to his role as church drummer, Michael is a member of the dance troupe, and was voted the best soccer player in the school by his fellow students. Michael is what we in North America would describe as an all around “cool guy”.
Michael has been sponsored as a boarder/student at the Paul Devlin school since it opened. With his confident and charming disposition, Michael is an outstanding example of the significant impact quality education, opportunity, and caring, consistent mentoring can have in shaping a young life. It is fair to say Michael is a very popular kid. His peers like him, they look up to him, and his school life has brought him great joy and rewards. In the midst of all this though, there is also sacrifice; Michael’s family lives in Kampala, which is several hours away, he spends most of the year far away from his siblings and his parents. When he can, Michael’s father travels to Fort Portal to visit. Up until this year Michael had a sister, Ketsia, boarding at the school as well. Ketsia was the lead singer in the school choir, and just wrote her P7 Leaving Exams. She will move on to her secondary studies in February. When their father visits them in Geme, he helps fix things around the school, at Mama Evie’s, and he even managed to repair a much needed centrifuge machine at the OTA medical clinic, the last time he was there. This is his way of giving back what he can to OTA, by using his talents and gifts where they are needed.
The school year has now ended. Classes will resume in February, and when they do things will be different; Michael will return to school on his own, without his sister Ketisa. Thankfully, he will be surrounded by his longtime friends and classmates, as he continues with his education and works towards his dreams of one day having his own fine quality drums, and a bigger house than anyone he knows. Maybe he will become a famous musician, a star soccer player, a teacher, a pastor, his dreams are BIG.
The investment made in Michael’s future by his sponsors over the last 4 years is priceless. Every life is filled with possibilities. God has given each of us unique gifts, and potential, and Michael’s sponsors have helped him tap into those gifts through his education. With the support and commitment of his sponsors, Michael has grown into an incredible young leader. He has been able to participate in music, dance, and sports as part of his school life activities. This investment into his life has been a valuable deposit of generosity, love, and kindness, and has certainly helped to shape Michael into the person he is now, and who he will become in the future.
Michael is one of the countless students who have flourished and grown through the gift of educational sponsorship. We recognize his progress and his achievements, as one of Paul Devlin’s Notable Young Leaders.