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Twesigye Jackson Kaguri

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Jackson (blue shirt) mentoring students in Uganda

CNN Hero Twesigye Jackson Kaguri is the Global Ambassador for Pencils for Africa.

Jackson was born and raised in Uganda in the small village of Nyakagyezi.

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At a very young age he demonstrated an unquenchable desire to learn, which led him to graduate from Makerere University in Kampala. During this time he co-founded the human rights organization, Human Rights Concerns, to help victims of human rights violations in Uganda and to educate the public about their rights.

In the 1990s he became a visiting scholar at Columbia University where he studied Human Rights Advocacy.

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In 2001, Jackson founded The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project in response to the devastating effects of the disease in his hometown. The organization, which recently celebrated its tenth anniversary, provides free education to children who have lost one or both parents.

In addition to two schools, it operates a library, a community agriculture and nutrition program known as Desire Farm, a medical clinic, and a clean water system. It also offers support services to the grandmothers who care for up to fourteen children at a time.

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Jackson is the author of A School for My Village where he shares how he built the first school and the struggles he faced during the first few years.

He has been named a Heifer International Hero, recognized in Time Magazine’s ‘Power of One’ Series, spoken to the UN about his work.

In 2012 Jackson was named a CNN Hero.

In 2015, Jackson was a winner of the Waislitz Global Citizen Award.