A Scarborough woman who has raised cash to help fund a Ugandan man’s education was delighted to hear he has been accepted to study medicine at university.
Valerie Humphreys, of Lawrence Grove, kept in touch with Denis Musasizi, 21, since they met in 2010, when he was working as a porter at a national park.
He was paired up with Valerie and helped carry her rucksack during the excursion.
She said: “He was so caring and helpful. We chatted away and if asked if we have telephones and email in our country.”
Valerie gave Denis her email address and received a message from him on returning home - and the pair have been in touch ever since.
The retired guest house owner wanted to find a way to help Denis fulfil his dream of getting an education.
She found out about a charity called Aid Conservation Through Education (ACE), which helps support primary schools in rural Uganda.
Valerie was then able to raise money through events such as coffee mornings and strawberry teas, which has been used to put Denis through school.
He has now completed his final exams and has been so successful, he has secured a place at Kampala University to study for a degree in medicine and surgery.
Valerie said: “I was thrilled to bits when I found out - I can’t think about anything else!”
Denis will be studying for his degree for the next five and a half years. It will cost £1,400 a year in tuition fees, plus living costs on top.
He is the first ever student from Vision School in Kisoro to go to university - and the first ever member of his family to do a degree.
Valerie said: “Denis is from a big family and they have no money for education, so we are appealing for funds to keep him at university.”
Her next event will be a soup and sandwich lunch, with a recent coffee morning raising £165 and a strawberry tea bringing in £400.
Valerie is also hoping that individuals and businesses in Scarborough will get involved, either by organising their own fundraising event or making a donation.
A special account has been set up for Denis at ACE to make sure all money raised goes to his education. Call Valerie on (01723) 363529 or firstname.lastname@example.org