“Mark my words!” he assuredly blurts out. “I will be the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo.” Standing few inches shy of 6feet, he doesn’t go unnoticed. His ambitions, however, are what will command all and sundry to attention. Lembusa might be a Congolese refugee in Uganda now, but not for long. He has a plan.
First, he knows that he must get an education to do this. He also knows his education wouldn’t have been possible without Windle International Uganda’s help. “The organisation has really played a big role in my education,” he starts. “How could I afford school fees, how?”
Windle International Uganda, an organisation with a foot in education, has been paying Lembusa’s tuition and providing educational materials. Before that, they also ensured he and other learners in the settlement had educational materials in primary school. Lembusa acknowledges that Windle International Uganda has given many refugees like him, whose lives would have crumbled upon arrival at the camp, a chance.
Lembusa delves into the story of how his family first arrived at the Nakivale refugee settlement after the Congolese rebels threatened to kill every man who hadn’t willingly joined them. This was ten years ago, a then 11-year-old Lembusa thought school wasn’t going to be an option, certainly not for the refugees. “My father is a hardworking man, he does some small job that supports the family,” he explains. “But everything he gets goes to buying food; life at home is not very easy for us right now.”
He says that there was no way his overwhelmed father would have pulled it off had it not been for organisations like Windle International Uganda chipping in. “Truth to be told, I thought there would be no education, no churches, just a place where they dumped people and forgot about them,” he confesses. “When we reached here, I found schools; I was so excited that there was still hope for studies.” Almost instantly, Windle International Uganda gave the excited Lembusa mathematical sets, books, and many other things, which encouraged him to keep in school.
“I thank Windle very much, it has given me hope towards success of achieving my goals, now I am in secondary school,” he continues with praise of the organisation. “I am doing a combination which has history; I believe I will attain my success.” Away from the scholastic materials, the ambitious Lembusa has been a beneficiary of the school’s career guidance sessions, no wonder he wants to be President!
“Windle has really been good to me, I can’t express just how much!” he breaks to a whisper. “It has given me courage and showed me that if I keep focusing on school, I can attain my goal.” Lembusa has taken to understanding history, which is his favorite subject. “I want to do political science at University,” he says. “When you set such big goals, you need to understand how things are done.”
He pledges to return to his home country and help with the peace process. “I have learned that I must be the solution and not the problem,” he speaks with the command of a politician. “First of all, I must preach reconciliation and lead by example.”
Lembusa is not joking about his ambitions; besides studying politics, he is also a student leader, a task he doesn’t take for granted. “If I want to be President someday, I must start at a young age,” he beamingly adds. “And believe me when I say that I will be President!”