Meet Jacob Gum Dek. In 2006, his parents, Gabriel and Monica, along with their six children, sought refuge in Uganda. They had come from South Sudan, engaged in an ongoing civil war. Gabriel met Fr. Dunson, who gave him an amazing opportunity for his six children about to receive an education from the St. Kizito Foundation.
Today, we will highlight one of his children, Jacob, who recently graduated from college with a degree in Information Technology. Jacob joined the St. Kizito Foundation family as a student in primary school. He started going to a nearby day school with his tuition being paid for by the Foundation.
In 4th grade, Jacob was sent to boarding school to finish his primary education. Among the things he recalls during these primary years was Fr. Don and other members of our staff checking in periodically to see how he was doing. He also recalled starting school not speaking any English and unable to converse with Fr. Don and the other Foundation members. But as the years went by and he continued in school, his ability to converse in English fluently grew. Jacob recalls, “I never missed a semester at school, my tuition was always paid, and I was provided with the scholastic materials that I needed.” It may seem strange to us that he would remark, “I never missed a semester at school,” but in Uganda, missing school for one or more semesters or attending sporadically,s not uncommon or unusual.
Jacob went to high school immediately following his completion of grade school. He finished in four years and was able to get into college, first pursuing a certificate in Information Technology. After, he received a college diploma. Jacob faces a bright future as an educated young man. The following are Jacob’s own words written as he graduated this past spring from college:
I feel so blessed to have spent 12 years of my life with the St. Kizito Foundation; getting support from people who didn’t know me but still ensuring that I went to school. So, on this happy day, I ask God to bless every hand that has contributed to the St. Kizito Foundation – the contributions have changed lives – and to the board members for their tireless work to reach and support children. I can’t pay anyone back and even if I could it wouldn’t be enough. My payback right now will be to say THANK YOU to everyone, thank you for changing my life.
The St. Kizito Foundation congratulates Jacob and his family on their success! We are happy and proud to be a part of his story.