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  • Writer's pictureRoss Young

Celebrating the past to build our future

Updated: Sep 29, 2020

It was just over a month ago that we first heard the devastating news of Herbert’s death. Although we’ve had time to grieve and come to terms with the loss, it’s still difficult to imagine the future of The Zuri Project and Opportunity Africa without Herbert. He meant everything to us all. Our tribute to Herbert, which was read out at his funeral by the reverend, is below for those of you who haven’t read it:

Yesterday, we lost our brother. Our leader. Our inspiration.

The tragic passing of Herbert Niwagaba has broken our hearts and created a chasm that will never be filled.

We will be forever indebted to Herbert for everything he has achieved, for every relationship he has built and for every life he has touched. His contribution to the world around him has been immense, he has changed lives, created opportunities and enriched people’s futures.

Above all else, we are eternally grateful. We are grateful to have known a man whose humility, selflessness and compassion knew no bounds. Grateful to have shared some wonderful times, to have laughed together, to have cried together, to have dreamed together.

It is now our responsibility to build upon Herbert’s legacy, to celebrate his remarkable achievements and to be inspired by a man who made the world a better place. May Herbert now rest in peace, assured that together, we made a difference, and that he will remain forever in our hearts.

Until we meet again, brother.

Webare munonga sebo.

Ross and Martin x

It was because of the depth of our relationship with Herbert, that Danielle and I decided to travel to Uganda earlier this month to spend time with Herbert’s family, and to pay our respects to his friends and to the community that meant so much to him. In spite of the circumstances, it was wonderful to see so many familiar faces and to spend time with people who have grown to become like family over the past few years. We cherished our time with Sarah and the children in particular, sharing our memories and celebrating how much Herbert was able to achieve throughout his short life.

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It was also great to spend time with the Opportunity Africa team and to visit all of the projects that we’ve been supporting in Kihembe recently. We had a number of meetings, discussing predominantly what the future might have in store, and looking at ways in which Opportunity Africa can continue delivering projects that will have a positive impact in their community. We were completely overwhelmed by the commitment and determination shown by the team to continue with the projects and to plan for the future. We’re confident that Opportunity Africa, led now by Elly, Monica, Job, Mercy and Bright, will do Herbert proud and collectively, will continue to create lasting positive change in Kihembe.

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In the UK, we are as determined and resolute as ever, and if anything, our fundraising efforts will intensify. As I write, Martin is 350km into an epic 3500km bike ride across Europe, for which you can sponsor him here. We also have a number of events planned throughout the year and if you would like to support us by arranging an event at work or with your friends and family, then please do get in touch.

We thank Herbert for what he started and for the memories that we cherish. We now must ensure that we continue his work, and ensure his legacy is fulfilled.

Ross x

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