In Uganda, young people represent “wealth of courage, agency and ideas”

During a ceremony recognizing how young people in Uganda are true “agents of change” in health and healing, Rev. Pauline Njiru, eastern Africa regional coordinator for the World Council of Churches Ecumenical HIV & AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy programme, said young people are bringing a fresh drive for justice in many local communities.

“Everyone one has a voice and our role is to create opportunities for young people and amplify their voices,” she said. ”Africa is a rich nation—we have great wealth in terms of the young people’s courage, agency and ideas.”

She held up the example of Hillary Nuwamanya, 24, who has helped educate people in how to lead their communities in gender equality and gender justice. He often participates in or facilitates intergenerational workshops—using resources developed by the WCC—on HIV and gender justice.

He also supports people living with HIV with treatment adherence in this period of COVID-19 by picking up and delivering their medicines to their homes. He was using a borrowed bicycle to travel many kilometres so that he could reach out to them.

Now Nuwamanya has a new bicycle. Students from the Anglican community within the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity at Makerere University in Kampala raised money to purchase him a bicycle of his own, which he received on 8 July.

As she helped present the bicycle, Sarah Ayer, college custodian at Makerere University, described stewardship as “serving the purpose of God at all levels.” She added, speaking to Nuwamanya: “The line you have chosen is within the will of God, and our God doesn’t disappoint us.”

When asked why he goes to such great lengths to help others, Nuwamanya said: “I choose to help out because I have the means to save lives of people that are affected by circumstances; saving their lives means a lot to me and my God.”