Mansoor is a quiet and sensitive individual, though never to be under-estimated. His academic performance and entrepreneurial ability to to make things happen are undeniable.
Mansoor is now 19, but joined the Butterfly Project when he was just 12. Even at a poor school he did incredibly well at his Primary Leaving Examination and he has just completed Secondary School.
He has many gifts – an interest and affinity with animals, a problem-solving approach to difficulties and an empathy to others, Mansoor grew up in Lyantonde, one of the districts ravaged by HIV over the last 20-30 years.
His first project was to decide to grow eucalyptus trees to support the children in Rakai, where he has relatives, who were struggling to find school requirements and he sold his eucalyptus as firewood, to find money to support these children. Thieves stole his crop one evening and he could not continue this selfless project, but he still has an interest in seeing how farming can be utilised to solve social problems.
His circumstances changed and he moved to Nansana, a suburb of Kampala, and it was not long before he observed a new problem – drugs. Mansoor devised a programme of drama, known as the “Say No to Drugs” campaign and took this to every school in Nansana, even while he himself was at school. The campaign attracted hundreds of young people in the area and undoubtedly has raised awareness of the issues surrounding drugs.
Despite working on A levels, Mansoor moved onto the issue closest to his heart and founded an organisation – Active Youths Uganda, which has moved from strength to strength, looking at ways to encourage youth to take action to safeguard themselves against HIV, but also to tackle community issues too. This year Mansoor was privileged to be named as Runner Up in the Queens Award for Uganda – congratulations to him!