Live chat with Jackson Kaguri
 
2:13
Brian Wheeler: 
Good afternoon. Sorry for the delay in starting this conversation. As sometimes happens, computers do not choose to cooperate!
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:13 Brian Wheeler
2:14
Brian Wheeler: 
I'll be chatting with Jackson Kaguri, founder of the Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:14 Brian Wheeler
2:15
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
Better late than never. I am here waiting for your first question
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:15 Jackson Kaguri
2:15
Brian Wheeler: 
Mr. Kaguri, can you briefly tell me about how this effort started?
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:15 Brian Wheeler
2:16
Brian Wheeler: 
Throughout our conversation, I'd ask readers to offer their own questions. We expect to be doing this until 3 p.m. We're happy to answer any of your questions!
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:16 Brian Wheeler
2:16
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
It started in 2001 after my brother and sister both died of HIV/AIDs in 1996 and 97 respectively.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:16 Jackson Kaguri
2:16
Brian Wheeler: 
What happened then?
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:16 Brian Wheeler
2:18
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
My brother Frank left three children, my sister left one boy who was born with HIV/AIDS. As I took care of these little ones, there were millions who had no uncle, I wanted to help those who had no one else to help them get an education.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:18 Jackson Kaguri
2:18
Brian Wheeler: 
You grew up in Uganda, but you were living in the U.S. at the time, correct?
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:18 Brian Wheeler
2:19
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
Many of these children stayed with their grannies, but as soon as we opened the first school, we realized we needed to take a holistic approach.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:19 Jackson Kaguri
2:19
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
Yes, I was at Columbia University in NYC.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:19 Jackson Kaguri
2:20
Brian Wheeler: 
You say you "wanted to help those who had no else to help them get an education." Can you explain what needed to be done to get them an education? In East Lansing, for example, there are plenty of schools that are open to all.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:20 Brian Wheeler
2:20
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
You are right, I grew up in Nyakagyezi village where Nyaka school is located.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:20 Jackson Kaguri
2:21
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
Education in Uganda is paid for, you buy your own books, uniform, pay building fund. No pay, no education.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:21 Jackson Kaguri
2:21
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
Kids drop out because they cannot afford a pencil or notebook.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:21 Jackson Kaguri
2:22
Brian Wheeler: 
Was your family able to afford for you to go to school in Uganda as a youngster? What happens to children who don't go to school?
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:22 Brian Wheeler
2:23
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
Children needed a pen, a pencil, a notebook to stay in school. We started with 5,000 dollars and built a free school. Free pens, free uniform, food, healthcare, and many more.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:23 Jackson Kaguri
2:24
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
my family sold chickens, goats, and cows for me to get an education. Even land was sold.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:24 Jackson Kaguri
2:25
Brian Wheeler: 
We have a question from a reader. Here goes.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:25 Brian Wheeler
2:25
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Mr. Kaguri, I see you are also a human rights advocate. Do you believe that education is a human right? What role does human rights play in the battle against HIV/AIDS?
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:25 Guest
2:25
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
children who are not able to go to school become servants in people's homes, prostitutes, beggars,and many die on preventable diseases.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:25 Jackson Kaguri
2:27
Brian Wheeler: 
Just so readers know, we periodically will have questions we don't immediately answer. We want to give Mr. Kaguri time to type! Thanks, and keep the questions coming. I'll let Mr. Kaguri write now about whether he feels education is a human right.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:27 Brian Wheeler
2:27
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
Yes, education is a human right. Article 26 of Universal Declaration of human rights says so. That was how I started my love for human rights.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:27 Jackson Kaguri
2:28
Brian Wheeler: 
You started answering at one about your work in opening a school. When did that happen? How many schools have you opened? And tell us more about taking a "holistic approach."
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:28 Brian Wheeler
2:28
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
HIV/AIDS victims have the same rights are you and I. right to healthcare, education, and all other human rights. We cannot chose and decide whose rights are upheld or denied.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:28 Jackson Kaguri
2:31
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
We now have two schools. Nyaka and Kutamba, a total of 587 students. Holistic human rights based approach. We make sure our children get education, healthcare, food, shelter with their grannies, and employment when they finish school. Those are five basic human rights.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:31 Jackson Kaguri
2:31
[Comment From Maria NansambaMaria Nansamba: ] 
Mr. Jackson Kaguri, I grew up in Masaka , Uganda. There are many children in this district whose story is similar to that of the children in Nyakagyezi. My question is, How can a project like Nyaka get implemented in every district in Uganda.?
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:31 Maria Nansamba
2:32
Brian Wheeler: 
I'd also ask Maria where she lives now, if she'd care to respond.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:32 Brian Wheeler
2:32
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
We also have a community library, clean water systems in both villages. we have worked with Rotary clubs here in Lansing and East Lansing
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:32 Jackson Kaguri
2:33
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
Thanks Maria, we have a model that is proven to work. UN invited me to share this model and now Kenya, Rwanda, and Sudan communities are using our Model. You can duplicate what we have done and save lives in Masaka.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:33 Jackson Kaguri
2:34
Brian Wheeler: 
We are starting to get a few questions, and I have a few more, myself! Here are two, and I'll let Mr. Kaguri answer them however he sees fit.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:34 Brian Wheeler
2:34
[Comment From Kay HelmKay Helm: ] 
How do you handle the transition from school into the workforce?
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:34 Kay Helm
2:34
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Is there any movement by the Ugandan government to provide free education for the country? Are there other groups similar to yours that perhaps could join together in a coalition to provide schools outside of the government?
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:34 Guest
2:36
[Comment From Maria NansambaMaria Nansamba: ] 
I currently live in Fort lauderdale, Florida.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:36 Maria Nansamba
2:36
Brian Wheeler: 
Maria, thank you for joining us today!
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:36 Brian Wheeler
2:37
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
Uganda has a Universal Primary Education UPE on books but it is not working well. There an average of 150 students in these classes. Yes, they are groups working together to educate masses one child at a time, one village at a time.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:37 Jackson Kaguri
2:38
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
We are just starting to build a movement, i invite you to join Nyaka movemnet.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:38 Jackson Kaguri
2:39
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
Kay, we have few students who have graduated and are now employed by Nyaka. It is a new area we need to learn from others. Any ideas?
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:39 Jackson Kaguri
2:39
Brian Wheeler: 
To follow up, I also would ask about what grades or ages the two schools cover, plus what sort of education these students might receive. How do these schools compare to what we might expect in the U.S.?
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:39 Brian Wheeler
2:41
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
We have Kindergatten to 7th grade at both schools. We then pay tuition for others to attend middle school. Our pioneers are now in 12th grade.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:41 Jackson Kaguri
2:41
[Comment From Kay HelmKay Helm: ] 
Thank you. I am with a school in Kitintale. We had not had many make it through school before now, so we have students graduating but no resources to go further. We are looking to see what other groups like yours do as well.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:41 Kay Helm
2:42
Brian Wheeler: 
Kay, where is Kitintale?
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:42 Brian Wheeler
2:42
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
They learn typical subjects but also extra skills like cooking, gardening, carpentry, hair dressing and cutting. These children are all orphans and so we teach them skills to survive in granny homes.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:42 Jackson Kaguri
2:42
[Comment From Kay HelmKay Helm: ] 
Kitintale is in Kampala Uganda
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:42 Kay Helm
2:43
Brian Wheeler: 
Thank you, Kay! Nice to see we are making connections all over the world!
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:43 Brian Wheeler
2:43
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
These are children who's parent or parents has died of HIV/AIDS. How many of the students are struggling with the disease themselves? Do many of them have to deal with medical issues on top of the trauma of losing a parent?
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:43 Guest
2:43
Brian Wheeler: 
Can you also offer some perspective on how widespread of a problem HIV/AIDS is in Uganda?
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:43 Brian Wheeler
2:44
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
Kay, we need to talk because together we can make a difference. Working in silos in our work not accpetable.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:44 Jackson Kaguri
2:45
Brian Wheeler: 
While Jackson answers the next question, I'd direct anyone who is interested in contacting Mr. Kaguri to go to nyakaschool.org. Or just email me; I'm happy to play middleman!
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:45 Brian Wheeler
2:45
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
Guest, there are 2.2 million children orphaned in Uganda. In our schools 8 students have HIV/AIDS we buy medication for them.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:45 Jackson Kaguri
2:46
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
Uganda is one of the few countries in the world that reduced HIV/AIS infection rates to single digits. However, these numbers went up during president Bush era.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:46 Jackson Kaguri
2:47
Brian Wheeler: 
Why is AIDS such a problem in Uganda and other African nations?
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:47 Brian Wheeler
2:48
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
by the way ask guest to like my page on FB https://www.facebook.com/TwesigyeJacksonKaguri?ref=hl
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:48 Jackson Kaguri
2:48
Brian Wheeler: 
Done!
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:48 Brian Wheeler
2:48
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
HIV/AIDS has a face of poverty on top of so many other factors.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:48 Jackson Kaguri
2:48
Brian Wheeler: 
How so?
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:48 Brian Wheeler
2:49
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
Poor communities are faced with this challenge more than well to do communities.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:49 Jackson Kaguri
2:50
Brian Wheeler: 
With about 10 minutes, I have a few more personal questions. Do you work full time on the Nyaka project? What did you do previously for a living? Do you visit Uganda often? Do you miss it?
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:50 Brian Wheeler
2:51
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
Truck drivers spread HIV/AIDS faster on stops where there have concubines because women are poor and need money to buy food. they settle for little money and in return get the disease.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:51 Jackson Kaguri
2:52
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
women are raped, cultural practices where 100 boys are circumcised using one blade.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:52 Jackson Kaguri
2:53
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
My brother could not afford medication and so are many people in countries on the continent of Africa.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:53 Jackson Kaguri
2:53
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
I am full time. I have a book our A school for my village.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:53 Jackson Kaguri
2:55
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
I worked at MSU as director of development. I go back to Uganda three to four times a year. People donate miles for me to go. I miss Uganda everyday and yes, I miss my people at MSU But i followed my heart.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:55 Jackson Kaguri
2:55
Brian Wheeler: 
You must enjoy some aspects of this work. You were featured on CNN. You met former President Jimmy Carter, right?
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:55 Brian Wheeler
2:57
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
I love it with all my heart and soul. I did this work even when I worked fulltime. Yes, Time Magazine, CNN, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, but it all comes to orphaned children and their grannies. Those are my heroes and they inspire me everyday.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:57 Jackson Kaguri
2:57
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Mr, Kaguri, your essay in Huffington Post made me cry and since you won't say it yourself, I will. You are truly a hero.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:57 Guest
2:57
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
What does your school need? We have so much in America. Is there any way to donate school items, books, clothes, pencils to your school?
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:57 Guest
2:58
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
I promised my bother and sister as they dies I would take care of their children, I continue to do so because they loved all children regardless where they are born and raised. Grannies are the backborne of our communities.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:58 Jackson Kaguri
2:59
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
Get involved, start a club at your school and or a granny group to support grannies we work with. 34,500 children live with 7,000 grannies in Nyaka and Kutamba.
Thursday October 4, 2012 2:59 Jackson Kaguri
3:00
Brian Wheeler: 
There's a fundraiser for Nyaka on Friday night at Dublin Square in East Lansing, too. Jackson, will you be there?
Thursday October 4, 2012 3:00 Brian Wheeler
3:00
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
Shipping items to Uganda is very expensive, and we want to invest in the local market. Donate funds and we will account for each penny.
Thursday October 4, 2012 3:00 Jackson Kaguri
3:01
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
Yes, come one, come all to the fundraiser. If you cannot make it, bid on the items online. Its for the good cause.I will be there and many other surprise guests!
Thursday October 4, 2012 3:01 Jackson Kaguri
3:01
Brian Wheeler: 
It's just past 3 p.m., so I am going to bring our conversation to an end. I certainly have more questions, and perhaps we can do this again sometime. Thank you, Mr. Kaguri, for your time, and all the best to you.
Thursday October 4, 2012 3:01 Brian Wheeler
3:02
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
Thank you Brian!
Thursday October 4, 2012 3:02 Jackson Kaguri
3:03
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
Yes, I do blog on HP. READ THE ESYAS AND SHARE WITH OTHERS.
Thursday October 4, 2012 3:03 Jackson Kaguri
3:03
[Comment From Kay HelmKay Helm: ] 
I agree different groups should work together. We'll definitely be in touch. Thank you for the good work that you do!
Thursday October 4, 2012 3:03 Kay Helm
3:04
[Comment From Jackson KaguriJackson Kaguri: ] 
Thank you all guests and please raise awareness and stay involved. Our children and grannies count on us everyday. @twejaka is my twitter handle
Thursday October 4, 2012 3:04 Jackson Kaguri
 
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