Tragic death of Asuman, 11 -Loss of a great leader; You’re dearly missed

 “He is a very gifted and beautiful kid, always helping the volunteers and active at the school. So sad,” Sonya, Canada.

The morning of Friday, August 13th, 2010 has been a very tragic day for Asuman Ssebowa’s (11 yrs) family, Hope Academy and URF wider family. Asuman was hit by a speeding vehicle while on his bike from Kyetume to pick up groceries. Staff and volunteers who have known him over the years describe him as a gifted, charming, kind, special kid always active in class and social activities at the Academy. At home, Asuman was “the man in the house” – with earlier loss of two siblings, Asuman was left to fend for the family supporting his mother and two little siblings. He used to sell roasted corn to travellers on the roadside to make money to support his family. He did various other odd jobs to earn some income. God only knows what would have become of this gentle soul but He chose to take his at such a tender age.

Through URF, he had secured sponsorship for his education and we all had great hopes in him. It is kids like Asuman that URF exists for – that we seek to empower to reach their potential and groom for future leadership of our communities. This is indeed a tragic loss not only for his family but for their village.

In honor of a special soul, URF is setting up the “ASUMAN MEMERIAL SCHOLARSHIP FUND” which will support the education of a deserving kid who exemplifies the character and integrity of our beloved Asuman, demonstrating a spirit of dedication to family, education, service to others, entrepreneurship, and personal responsibility. Part of the fund will also go to support education of two Asuman’s siblings whom he was toiling hard to support. Contribution to this scholarship may be sent to Asuman Memorial Scholarship, Uganda Rural Fund, P.O. Box 388, West Springfield, MA 01090. You may also contribute online at

Asuman, you lived a short but rich life; you left lasting impressions on so many people around the world. We all have fond memories of your charming smile, gentle character, and a soul full of love and passion for the good of others. You are dearly missed. May you rest in eternal peace and enjoy the everlasting life with our Father. We know how much you cared for mama and little siblings; we promise to do our best to support them. Thanks for being part of our lives for a short while.

“I haven’t had the chance to write you following Asuman’s death.  I am so upset.  I loved Asuman so much.  There was something very special about him.  He was very smart, intuitive, kind and funny.  He was so dedicated to learning.  He was so curious about the volunteers and the different cultures we came from.  He was constantly helping, truly expecting nothing in return.  Whether it was helping us wash our clothes or maneuver through Kyetume to find different things, Asuman always had a smile on his face and was willing to help out in any way he could.  I remember spending time with him in the evenings, after the after school program reading new books with Asuman to help him improve his reading skills.  He was so interested in learning and excelling and was tireless in his efforts to understand the world around him and make it a better place.  I am still so shocked that this has happened.  I always imagined seeing Asuman again when I return to Uganda and he would have been a joy to watch grow.  I can’t say enough what a kind, beautiful person Asuman was” – Rebecca, USA

He will really be missed. One of the sweetest students in the after school program that I remember. My thoughts and prayers are with his mom and his siblings. he was one of the most active kids in the after school program while I was there… he stayed after class until we had to go in for dinner and would stop by in the morning on his way to school” Marissa C (Canada)

“We probably all remember him. He was one of the sweetest, brightest kids I met. Please let us know if we can do anything for the family.” Caroline Z (USA)

I’m so sorry to hear about Asuman. I visited him and his family several times and he was a lovely boy.  Ill pray for the family and our loss.”Sarah C (Scotland)

“I am so saddened by this news.  Suman was very special to me (and all the volunteers who stayed at Hope with me)…He was a particularly gifted, warm and charming child.  I am heartbroken by this news.  Please let me know if there is anyway I can help his mother.” Jessie P (USA)

“I’m saddened to hear this news.  My condolences to the family and to everyone at HIA.  I recall Ssebowa Asuman from time at HIA.  He was always very interested in our project and was interested in learning.” Frank A (EWB-USA)

“I am so sorry to hear of this today. I remember him well from my visit to Kyetume. He was ever present while I painted the walls and ceilings of hope academy and he never stopped teaching me Luganda. What a great Kid! R.I.P”, Frankie K (Ireland)

yes i know him well. He is a very gifted and beautiful kid, always helping the volunteers and active at the school. So sad. Our thoughts and Prayers are with you from Canada and to the URF team and community as well.” Sonya S (Canada)

“I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to know him. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. He will be greatly missed.” Amanda C (USA)

“Heart is in Uganda today and my thoughts go out to you all. Asuman, your radiant smile and contagious laughter will forever be missed, but will shine on through all who were blessed to know you!! I think he was the resident Luganda teacher …for many (myself included!) of the volunteers at Hope!” Alyssa E (USA)
“Asuman your presence in life was a blessing for all who knew you. My heart is with your family and all at Hope and in Kyetume.” Kayla M (USA)
“Oh no! I myself did not know Asuman but am realy touched 2 loose such a brilliant boy and a bread winner 4 a given household, am tongue tied by d testimonies from Volunteers allover d world who knew him. As a Ugandan I’ll contribute something 4 his mama and siblings. Nakaliiri Olivia- Rakai, Uganda. “
“I miss him so much.  What an amazing person.  I second that Scott.  We are really hurting over his death over here and I know any volunteer who met him is feeling the same way.” Rebecca R (USA)

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