A Star in the Making

by David Kafambe

When we set out to make a difference in Uganda, little did we know we would be witnessing the birth of a new star. Our mission began with home visits, a quest to identify young individuals who, despite their circumstances, showed great promise and an eagerness to rise above their challenges. It was during one of these visits that I met Herbert.

Herbert, a vibrant and proactive young man, was at home and not in school the day I visited his house. He was in his final year of secondary school but had been forced to stay home due to lack of school fees. Despite this setback, his spirit was unbroken. When I asked him about his future aspirations, he didn’t hesitate. Herbert wanted to be an engineer by profession and a musician by passion. He shared with me how music was not just a hobby but a healing force in his life. Living with his single mother and three siblings, music became his solace and his strength.

Herbert & family

Herbert (right) with his mother and three siblings.

Recognizing his potential, we enrolled Herbert in our scholarship program. Yet, every time we met, he expressed a sincere desire for support in his music career as well. We encouraged him to continue composing songs, promising him an opportunity to showcase his talents. That opportunity came sooner than expected.

At the launch of our Kiteezi Samaritan office, where national and local leaders were present, Herbert got his chance. He performed with such an electrifying presence that he caught the attention of Hon. Geoffrey Lutaaya, a celebrated musician and director of the New Eagles Band. Lutaaya was so impressed that he offered to sign Herbert to his label and support his journey to stardom!

Herbert and his band performed his original song for our Samaritan Scholars and their families. It’s titled “Tayiwa,” In God We Trust. The entire English translation is available to read, and the chorus is written below. 

“He does not disappoint or abandon me; he is not deceitful in his heart
Even when the world lets me down, Jesus is present; he does not disappoint those who trust him completely.”

Reflecting on his journey, Herbert sees a bright future ahead. Just a year ago, he felt hopeless, but now, with his education and music career on track, his confidence is sky-high. He is grateful to International Samaritan for the opportunities provided and to God for guiding our organization to support individuals like him, especially those from the challenging environments of Uganda’s dumpsites.

Herbert’s story is a testament to the transformative power of opportunity. It highlights the importance of recognizing and nurturing the potential in every individual, no matter their background. As we continue our mission, we remain committed to unlocking the potential of many more Herberts, believing that God has a unique purpose and plan for every person.

Let Herbert’s story remind us all: given the chance, every child can find and fulfill their calling. Thank you for being a part of this journey, and let us continue to support and believe in the dreams of the youth. The sky is indeed the limit.

International Samaritan is a Christ-centered organization built on Catholic Social Teaching. Our mission is to walk hand-in-hand with people who live and work in the garbage dumps of developing nations to help them break out of poverty.

We provide holistic scholarships for students from kindergarten through college, and we’re currently supporting 950 scholars in Central America, the Caribbean, and East Africa.

Would your church or school group like to partner and travel with us? Learn about our Learn, Serve, Grow program.

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David Kafambe, Uganda Country Director

David has more than 15 years of leadership experience and a deep knowledge of East Africa. He specializes in managing and developing organizations in development and humanitarian contexts. He has degrees in Community Development, Business Administration, and an M.B.A.

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