God has granted us gifts and resources which some people carelessly use. When I met Vicent deep in the western part of Uganda hidden behind the tall, gigantic mountains being eaten away by deforestation, my instincts told me he is one of the kind foreordained for success. It didn’t cross my mind that he uses only his left arm and this left arm has given hope to school going children through an affordable education and a heart to share his passion and teaching skills.
Vicent Tugume is from Ntungamu district, Rwekoona Kayonza doing a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Social Administration at the African Renewal University. He was born to Mwine Jackeline and the late Ndyabahinduka Seperino. Vicent is a teacher and a school proprietor in addition to his schooling.
Wundef.com believe Vincent is a Game Changer as his school is helping to provide affordable education for children and employment for the adult. We decided to pay him a visit to know his motivation and future of what he is currently doing. Let’s head over to the interview.
Jerome: What did you want to be in the future when you were a child?
Vicent: I had a burning passion of becoming a teacher and I still do love teaching most especially children, because I love to interact with kids. But the dream didn’t materialize because of financial constraints that fogged that path. However, an opportunity knocked and I got a sponsor who was willing to see me through my university education, but the university where I am now didn’t have the education course I craved. Hence, I ended up going for Social Works and Social Administration. Interestingly enough I realized social works is in line with my calling and I have no regrets.
Jerome: What is the nature of what you are doing to help your community and country as whole?
Apparently, I have two primary schools up and running under the brand name Driven Life Nursery and Primary School. Am glad of the impact that I see on these youngsters. They can read, write and express themselves in English. Secondly, I do offer an education at a cheaper price that can be afforded by their parents and to some who are not in position to pay fees I have allowed their children to study for free. Finally, I have created employment in my community through the hiring of teachers, cooks and security guards. The schools have classes from nursery up to primary three.
Jerome: What motivated you to start these schools?
While in high school, I struggled looking for school fees through casual work that was laborious and time consuming. I used to off load tracks of bananas and any work my hands could come across. After I completed my high school, I camped at home for two years due to the dearth of tuition to pursue my dream course at the university. Three years ago, I flashed back to where I had come from in relation to my education pilgrimage and its one I would not want any infant to travel. Along these lines, I was motivated to help others.
Jerome: What other projects have you been involved in?
I was part of the Rubaare Education Foundation project (REF) that oversees some school projects in my district and Gaba CDP that deals with child sponsorships programs.
Jerome: Have you ever received any nominations or awards before for the projects you are involved in?
No currently I have not received any tangible award. In spite of that, I have received verbal appreciation from parents and friends for the thrilling school projects I set up for the community children and a chance for schooling.
Jerome: What does the future hold for Driven Life Nursery and Primary School?
I see these projects expanding from nursery up to primary seven with spacious facilities. Next year I plan to set up a modernized stationary for printing school materials and for sourcing more funds to support the schools.
Jerome: How do you fund your projects?
If you don’t find me at any of the schools, then am busy teaching. I teach history and divinity at one school and am also a head teacher at another school. Through these two jobs, am in position to raise funds for the school projects because the projects have not grown to the level of supporting themselves.
Jerome: Any other hard times in your life?
Yes, I was knocked down by a speeding track that left my right hand fractured, shoulder dislocated and nerves injured. I felt life had ceased. To this day I can’t lift my right hand, which I used to use for writing. Eventually, I applied for a dead year. This accident left me no choice but to train my left arm to take up the responsibility of the right arm. Am proud of myself that today I perfectly use the left arm to write and execute other duties, and the future is bright.
Jerome: What motivated you to move on?
What kept me moving was the encouragement from people and close family friends who didn’t look at my fractured right arm but saw the potential in me. Through their daily dosage of positive words affirmed to me, I believed in myself that I could soldier on.
Jerome: Who has had the greatest influence in your life?
My loving mother. She keeps on motivating me to push on when the going gets tough.
“My son you can make it”, she always says.
Jerome: If you had the chance to change one decision you made in your life, what would it be?
I regret the day I got the accident. I wish I had decided to stay home. I wish I canceled the plans for that day.
Jerome: What is your advice for people who wish to become like you?
I encourage them to stand firm, manage time and have a high sense of integrity. It’s because of people who trust you that will motivate you to pursue your dreams. If you are not trustworthy or committed, your networks will find hard time transacting business with you. I have two jobs and am a full time student with one arm operating. Managing time has disciplined me to stay focused. If I can do it, what about you who has both arms functioning. What’s the excuse?