Young Alum Establishes and Runs Thriving Orphanage in Uganda
The Leeds School of Business is known for preparing student leaders for the corporate world. However, Andrea Pauline (’11 Management) has utilized her degree in the poverty-stricken world of Uganda instead.
Andrea began her Leeds experience hoping to earn a degree that would help her open a coffee shop. But when she did a three-month microfinance internship in Uganda and was exposed to the atrocious conditions that many children suffered in orphanages, her goals quickly shifted from a coffee shop to making a societal difference in Uganda instead. “I had learned about microfinance in my Business Solutions for the Developing World, a CESR course at Leeds, and became fascinated with the concept of using my business skills as a solution to global poverty,” says Andrea.
After changing her degree plans and obtaining sufficient funding, Andrea, her sister, and a friend began to build the Musana Children’s Home. “Musana” means sunshine in the local language and the return for their hard work truly developed sunshine in their lives. Andrea says, “The first night was by far the most memorable time of my life as I got to go around and tuck every kid into the first bed they had ever slept in. I gave them each a kiss on their forehead and told them that they were safe now. I will never forget the excitement, energy, and love in the kids’ rooms that night.”
Musana has quickly developed to become a huge success and is now a registered nursery and primary school, enrolling more than 200 students. It employs 45 workers, a farm with 15 acres of agricultural land, 160 chickens, four dairy cows, and three women’s groups that make and sell jewelry and bags in the U.S. for profit. Andrea and her team have goals to expand into a secondary school and a trade school so that children can learn business skills to improve their lives and the Ugandan economy. Andrea says, “I made a promise to myself to use my education at the Leeds School to continue truly making a difference in the world. The business school prepared me for the real world, although it was in a different way than expected. I have seen my kids transform to hopeful intelligent members of their society who will be the leaders of change in their country.”