Story 1 - Topista - 'From despair to a dream unfolding'

Topista is very special. She was just 6 years old when we first met her in the slums of Kampala, together with her mother Joyce and her two brothers, Jackson and Gerald... 

We found the family living in one room which was smaller than the average one car garage in the U.K. Joyce had been recently widowed at the age of 26, following her husband’s murder on his way home from an evening shift as a ‘Boda Boda’ (motor bike taxi) driver.


Topista in February 2008

1. Topista when we first met her -age 6 in 2008.jpg

There is no mains water, electricity or sewage disposal in the numerous slum areas of the Ugandan capital city. This family’s room was virtually empty of household essentials and was dominated in one corner by a large pile of charcoal. This turned out to be the only source of a meagre income for the family, stored at home and sold locally whenever Joyce could compete successfully with the many other charcoal sellers.  The pile of charcoal was covered with a sheet and it was on the pile that the family sat and slept. 

Topista yearned to go to school and she became the very first child to be sponsored through TFCM.


One month after we first met her......ready to start at Happy Hours Primary, Kawempe.


Topista worked hard at her studies throughout primary school and in 2013 she successfully completed her primary leaving exams. We held a party in Uganda for her and six of her sponsored friends in February 2014, the week before they moved up together to secondary school.                                  

3. Topista in 2014 at her primary leaving party.jpg


In November 2017 Topista completed her first four years at secondary school and is awaiting the results of the Uganda Certificate of Education exams. 

4. Topista at HHours Sec - July 2017.jpg

Thanks to her own determination to succeed, and with the support and encouragement of her sponsors, teachers and the TFCM team in Kawempe, she will be helped to make a decision on how her career will develop after the secondary school exam results are known.

From 2018, Topista will have choices to help shape her future!

That’s a far cry from the situation she, her mum Joyce and her brothers were in when we first met them nine years ago. They no longer live in the slums because Joyce, also, was given the opportunity to help herself and her family out of the cycle of poverty........

But that’s another story of hope yet to be told in these pages.

Brian Stokes