By Raymond Baguma
A Ugandan doctorate student at the Walden University in Massachusetts USA has received a prestigious award for his efforts to fight malnutrition in Uganda.
Walden University runs the ‘Scholars of Change’ contest which rewards students who are making a positive impact on the world using the knowledge attained from the institution.
Bakali Mukasa founded Face of Hope International (FHI), a nongovernment organization to fight malnutrition amongst HIV/AIDS orphans in Jinja district in the villages of Walukuba, Budumbuli, Bugembe, Wakitaka and Mafubira.
FHI supports local leaders and charities to promote programs in education, primary health care, HIV/AIDS fight, community health education, nutrition and food security, and economic empowerment to promote interests of marginalized groups.
This year, Bakali’s NGO held a charity walk in Massachusetts to raise funds for buying nutritious food and food supplements for malnourished HIV/AIDS orphans. According to the ministry of health, malnutrition in Uganda is the single greatest cause of child mortality.
A statement by Walden University said, “These Scholars of Change have each demonstrated a commitment to using their Walden education to make a positive difference in the world.”
The award also includes a US$10,000 grant to run social change programmes. Bakali in a statement said that the award was highly contested, and thanked Walden University for the opportunity they give students to further their social change ambitions.
Other student contest winners included Courtney Skiera, Andrea Baer, Derek Neuts, and Heather Macdonald.
Skiera an American doctorate student of psychology won for her programme to empower young victims of human trafficking in Uganda.
Joan Kempango, another Ugandan student pursuing a Masters in nursing at the same university also received an honorable mention for developing a training program to educate Ugandans about personal hygiene and general sanitation practices.