Episode 58: Learning with a Smile with Robert Katende

Robert Katende: Founder of Smile Africa Children’s Home

Robert is the founder of Smile Africa Children’s Home and School in Uganda. Robert himself was an orphan when he lost his dad and it brought his education to an end since his mother did not have enough money to get him and his brothers to school. He decided to start teaching his brothers how to read and write and to his surprise, children from the neighborhood started to join. He realized many children have not attained basic education in life and decided the lack of funds to go school stops with him. He started saving up some money as he worked somewhere as a cleaner, and rented two rooms where children would gather and learn. Everyday numbers increased and there was a need to provide good education to these little ones, hence the birth of Smile Africa Children’s Home and Orphanage.

Robert says he is both a dreamer and doer!

Growing up in Uganda

It is very difficult to survive in Uganda. Many children who grow up in the slums struggle. When Robert was young, his father passed away. The responsibility then falls on the firstborn to take care of the family. Robert dropped out of school and began working to support his family. He cleaned hotels to provide for his family. After working, Robert would go home and teach his brother to read and write. Other children would come to Robert and learn from him as well. This is when he realized the children in the slums needed schooling.

Creating Smile Africa

Robert created a community of children who became his brothers and sisters. He rented two rooms to help teach the children in and since everyone was always smiling, he called it Smile Africa. Robert uses this organization to help change the slums in Africa and also provide clean water to new areas.

Middle School Advice

It’s not the end of the world to not have an education! You have a vision. You still have opportunities to do something in the world. Never give up on your dreams!

Key Takeaways

  • Change starts with you.
  • Never give up on your dreams.
  • Everyone has a vision.

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