Jimmy’s Story

In 1999, my class at Angolo Primary School in Uganda starting writing to a Grade 1 class from Canada. My pen pal was Ryan. I was fascinated about Ryan’s life in Canada and he asked what life was like for me in my village.

Life was very different for me in Uganda. Every night, I walked eight kilometres carrying a small container to collect water. I had to go back and back again to fill the pot we used at home for cooking and washing. I usually got up at midnight to do this so I could still go to school in the morning.

The water I collected was not clean, it looked like chocolate – but it was our only source before Ryan’s well was built.

In 2003, my village was facing many problems as a result of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) – a rebel group looking to overthrow our government. I was abducted by the LRA but thankfully managed to escape and find my friend Tom Omach – a project coordinator for Ryan’s Well. It took some time – and lots of paperwork – but eventually I came to Canada to live with Ryan and his family.

I love being a part of this incredible family and in 2007 – I received my Canadian citizenship and graduated from highschool!

It has been interesting adjusting to life in Canada – a new language, a new culture, cold weather! – but I couldn’t be happier. I like to help the Foundation when I can – volunteering at the office or joining Ryan for presentations about the need for clean water and the work of the Foundation. We have fun talking with school kids about our stories and how they can help other kids around the world.

In the spring of 2012, I graduated from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada!