Philly grew up near Mannya, and like many other students from his village, had to walk long distances to and from school each day, approximately 13kms. He came from a large family of thirteen children, which meant his parents often struggled to pay his tuition on time, resulting in many disruptions to his studies.
During his time at St Bernard’s Senior Secondary School in Mannya, Philly received support from the Cotton On Foundation child sponsorship program, which covered the cost of his school tuition and provided him with dormitory accommodation at the school. While on school holidays, Philly also had the opportunity to work closely with the Foundation’s infrastructure team. He says, “the friendships I have made both at school and professionally have opened up many business opportunities for me. I think friends are an incredibly important part of life”.
While his sponsorship continued, Philly successfully completed a Diploma in Water Engineering at Kyambogo University in Uganda and was in charge of the construction, maintenance and monitoring of the grey water system in the new Mannya school dormitories. This system also ensures that the banana and pumpkin crops used for student’s daily meals at school are watered year round. Philly used the money he made from this work to further his education and is currently completing a Bachelor of Civil and Building Engineering.
Philly is passionate about giving back to his community and now runs his own construction company, employing 74 staff members across four projects. Some of the local staff are currently also senior students at St. Bernard’s! Philly says his dream is to “continue growing my construction company, having enough projects to employee more than 200 people”. He even plans to educate communities on sanitation and hygiene issues at a household level.
Like many, Philly has the responsibility of providing for his family and taking care of his two younger siblings who currently attend St Bernard’s Senior Secondary School in Mannya, they are both enrolled in the Cotton On Foundation child sponsorship program also. Philly’s parents are delighted that their son was able to finish his studies uninterrupted and are incredibly proud of the progress he’s made. The first thing he did with the profits from his construction company was build a new home for is parents and siblings to improve their standard of living.
Philly is extremely thankful for the support the Cotton On Foundation has provided him in helping achieve his academic goals. “I’m so grateful for the support of my sponsors, who have helped me pursue my own dreams, as well as give back to the community that has given me so much”.
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