UoM inspires philanthropic ventures in Africa

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What’s your ultimate aim when you graduate and leave your Manchester Student Houses home? A top job with a bulging pay packet? A profession to satisfy your killer instinct? Making sure you look out for number one? Or have you considered that, after the educational establishment has invested so much time and effort into your well-being, it might be an idea to give something back? Overseas student Tom Geme certainly has, much to his credit.


When you start off in life the way he did – in a slum in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, in the poorest of environmental circumstances – you can appreciate just what he has achieved in the way of benefitting others. He has just graduated from The University of Manchester with a master’s degree. At home he was a bright and talented child and subsequently gained valuable experience whilst working in conservation for East Africa’s forestry and carbon offset project in Kampala. It was during his time there that he learnt about the opportunities in the UK to study under an Alan Gilbert Memorial Equity & Merit scholarship in Manchester.


Tom explains his journey, “On joining Busoga Forestry in 2014, I met Rogers Muyambi, a former Equity & Merit scholar who had himself just returned to the company after his studies at Manchester. I told him about my aspirations and that is when I found out about the scholarship scheme.” He had to bide his time while he got some work experience under his belt, but that period helped him find out exactly what options were available to him. He now has the kind of skills needed to help with sustainable plans in his homeland for infrastructure developments including roads, bridges, power stations and other areas, as well as improving on his more familiar forestry and agriculture expertise.


Tom’s commitment is heartily endorsed by the university. Senior International officer Joanne Jacobs added, “Tom is another one of the talented students we’ve been able to welcome over the last eleven years and I am sure he will go on to make a significant contribution to the development of Uganda.” Tom’s ambitions were originally motivated by the risk of floods in his homeland, due to poor environmental conditions and unsuitable planning and infrastructure regulations. Our guess is that, with the benefit of his UoM qualifications, when he returns, offers of suitable jobs will come flooding in to him.