‘Born in 1983 in peasantry family in Busandha parish, Kamuli district Eastern Uganda, Charles grew up a village boy and studied in rural schools for his primary and secondary education. He remembers crossing the boarders of Kamuli district when he joined Advanced level and University. ‘I did not attend kindergarten. I joined school in 1990 for primary one and completed primary seven in 1996 at busandha primary school. The school is located about 1.5 kilometers away from home. I was walking every day on bear foot for seven years. Due to absolute poverty at home my parents didn’t afford buying me a pair of shoes throughout my primary education. I started wearing shoes in 1997 after primary school and my first pair of shoes i wore was for women, students especially fellow boys used to laugh at me at school until I abandoned the shoes in the holiday that is when my father had to sale coffee to buy me an appropriate pair of shoes. I was a little boy in senior one and was teased, bulled by the big students who even stole all my books and other belongings. After the first term at school my head teacher who was teaching me mathematics receiving reports that the little boy (Charles) in senior one was being mistreated, he made me the class leader in charge of recording attendance, identifying people to clean the class and collecting books from classmates to teachers for marking. This is when I first tested the meaningful benefit of being in leadership position. It only of recent after LEAP training that I realized my senior one head teacher was preparing me to become a LEAP ambassador
‘Charles, Holds Bachelor’s degree in Information Science from Makerere University, got a fellowship with USAID/Measure Evaluation Leadership Program, Acquired postgraduate diploma in Monitoring and evaluation from Uganda Management Institute’
Every time I would get Holidays I would come back to my village but could always find many boys and girls dropped out of school. I would find majority of them married others pregnant and very poor and had become young parents. Out of the pupils whom I completed primary seven with in 1996 I am the only person that managed to maneuver through to the University. I got a conviction that I should be a change agent in my community; LEAP is making me realize this because I am able to meaningfully impacting on the lives of communities around me. I have started seeing former LEAP Trainee especially the youths and women getting empowered and accepting to take up leadership positions in Kamuli district.
I worked for some organizations such as John Snow Inc on USAID AIDS Project in Eastern Uganda, but a voice kept calling me to do something to help out the vulnerable youths, women and children. I kept seeing numbers of school dropout and early marriages increasing, coupled with domestic violence with poor living standards. I conceived an urgent need to form community development organization that could holistically support development initiatives of my community especially the youths and women and children. I shared this idea with some community members and I managed to get a few that supported it. In October, 2011 Holistic Initiative to Community Development –HOLD-Uganda was registered as anon profit organization in Kamuli district eastern Uganda.
The aim for this organization establishment is to support communities to become self reliant and meaningful contribute to the own community development. I envisage a community where women and youths are empowered and are at the centre of decision making in their respective communities- – Charles Mudhumba, Executive director HOLD Uganda.