Long before I wrote my memoir, I had it in my mind to write books for children. It was the poor children of my village who couldn’t afford shoes, uniforms and books who needed to be inspired by stories. When HIV/AIDS tore through Uganda, taking with it more and more parents, leaving more and more children orphaned, my focused turned from stories to reality. There were so many children in need of help that there was no time for children’s story books.
It has been over a decade since I built Nyaka AIDS Orphans School’s first two rooms. Nyaka School is now graduating a class of excellent students every year. The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project has also built Kutamba School, a library, clinic, garden, and grannie program. The Nyakagyezi community has improved beyond measure. Once again, I have a chance to think about children’s books for both my home village and my home town here in Michigan.
As a father of four, I am always looking for books to read to my children. My oldest son, Nicolas, has grown from a toddler to an accomplished student. Many of the books I read to him were written by authors he couldn’t identify with. My younger son, Nolan, is at that age where he is reading three letter words. He is also picking up Rukiga and Kiryarwanda words, the native languages of myself and my wife, Tabitha. It will not be long until our twin girls are also asking for stories.
My memoir has inspired thousands of adults and college students. As a Ugandan who is citizen of the United States, I am now called to educate not only my own children, but all children, about my home country. To this end, I am now working on a children’s book that will be illustrated by a wonderful Ugandan artist. The book is to be a fictional tale about an orphaned boy who desperately wants to go to school. He represents all the poor and orphaned children in many parts of Africa. His story is one of perseverance, and one of hope.
With so many changes occurring in the publishing industry, I have chosen to self-publish this children’s book. I am holding a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter to cover the initial costs of producing the book. All proceeds from book sales will be donated to Nyaka and Kutamba Primary schools. They will be sold in the United States and distributed to the Nyaka Project students at no cost. I invite you to join me on this next writing adventure. Let’s inspire children around the country and around the world.
March 7, 2014 //
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