Former Refugee and Current Millennium Fellow Helps 349 Refugee Children Access Education

Agaba Dunok was born in a refugee camp in South Western Uganda. Not only did he escape the refugee camp and create a future for himself but he also created a future for 300+ refugee children just like him. 

Agaba spent his early years in Nakivale Refugee Settlement. His parents were survivors of the Rwandan Genocide and fled to Uganda in order to escape the conflict. Conditions in the camp were extremely difficult for his family. Diseases such as cholera, ebola, HIV, and AIDS were rampant while food and water were scarce. The living situation eventually took a toll on Agaba’s mother. She passed away when he was just three years old. Shortly after his mother’s demise,  his father left the family in order to accept a job elsewhere. After his father left Agaba was orphaned and alone in a refugee camp. 

However, even as a young boy Agaba was entrepreneurial. He soon got to know an older woman, Ms. Katurumba who needed his help. Ms. Katurumba was too old to collect water from the local water well by herself and so Agaba volunteered to do it for her in exchange for a hot meal. The two of them eventually developed a mother-son bond and Agaba would stay at her home occasionally. Ms.Katurumba’s biological son, Mr. Arishaba Edson, soon took notice of the boy and offered him a place at his primary school. For Agaba this was the opportunity of a lifetime. He left his life in the refugee camp and started school at Mary and Paul Primary school where he was both a worker and a student. He stayed at the school full-time. When he was not in classes he would help to raise cows for the school. Despite working and studying at the same time, Agaba excelled in his studies. He loved learning and performed very well in his academic life.

“I love to be in school more than I love being at home. In school, is the first time I had 2 meals a day. I loved education very muc