2013 Scholar of Change: Bakali Mukasa

Walden University Ph.D. in Health Services student is working to help improve livelihoods and build hope for underprivileged children and families in rural communities of Uganda.
Dec 16, 2013 2:05 PM ET

Born into an uneducated and improvised family with 18 siblings in a remote village in central Uganda, Bakali Mukasa's parents sturggled to sufficiently apply for the family's basic needs. As his siblings all dropped out of school, Bakali challenged himself to continue with education as he believed it was the pathway to a better future. At the age of 9, he walked five miles to and from farms to collect water on his head for sale to raise tuition.

In 2000, he became the best student in national high school exams and qualified for a full government scholarship at a local university. Always looking for an oportunity to help others, Bakali spent much of his time while at college visiting withp people in rural villages who had similar backgrounds to him. There he encouraged them not to give up on education.

In 2004, he graduated and started work contributing more than half of his salary to paying education tuition for his immediate relatives and other poor children in his village. Still, the need for help remained. In 2006, he founded Face of Hope International Uganda in the hope to mobilize support from friends and well-wishers to make education—the magic that turned his life around—accessible to the poor and a right for all children. Currently there are more than 380 children sponsored in school.

In 2012, he established Face of Hope International U.S.A. to operationalize fundraising campaigns and seek partnerships with similar organizations that provide effective and sustaining services for the underserved. His time as a Ph.D. in Health Services student at Walden University has allowed him to further his mission of positive social change and to expand his knowledge, networks and resources.