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The Commons: Stepping into My Brother’s Shoes

Field notes on the making of a hero

Image of Twesigye Jackson Kaguri

Photo Courtesy Nyaka

Most people have a hero, someone they respect and admire. In my case, that hero is my brother, Frank. He was the oldest in our family of five children. Frank was the first to attend school, first to move to the big city, and first to get a job. He was also first to return to our small village in western Uganda and share his prosperity. When I was a boy, I helped as he met with villagers young and old. Some might need a few dollars to fix their roof or for tuition to send their child to school. Others might want him to put in a good word for them. Frank would patiently listen to them all and help as many as he could. Frank’s example made me the man I am today. So, when he died of HIV/AIDS, I not only took on the responsibility of helping his children, I took on care for our village, Nyakagyezi. HIV/AIDS had ravaged Uganda by then. An entire generation of middle-aged men and women had died from a disease with no promise of a cure. If that was not tragic enough, they left behind over a million orphans. Some could live with uncles or grandparents, but others had no one to help them. In our district alone …

Twesigye Jackson Kaguri is founder and CEO of The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project@twejaka

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