Follow Us


550 West Van Buren Street
Chicago, IL 60607

Toll Free: 1-800-793-9455

© 2020 Opportunity Internationala 501(c)3 nonprofit. EIN: 540907624.

Entrepreneurs Thomas Balya Bugembe

City: Sonde
Country: Uganda
Loan Use: Building and directing a school

Thomas, a former seminarian, dreamed of opening a school for the underserved students of Sonde, Uganda. In 2006, he opened Maryhill Kindergarten and Junior School with just 37 students in two rooms on land.

Enrollment grew steadily, and so did Thomas’ determination to improve the quality of education for his students -- whose parents were mostly subsistence farmers.

With a series of incremental loans, Opportunity Uganda helped Thomas purchase his own land and expand the school to include a main hall and a kindergarten wing. He now has 14 qualified teachers at Maryhill Kindergarten and Junior School to help him serve nearly 400 Ugandan students.

Thomas says his partnership with Opportunity International will allow him to continue expanding the range of educational opportunities at Maryhill and offer a brighter future for students.

Thomas plans to construct a school library, complete with a computer lab and technological training for students. He has a vision of three separate buildings: one each for kindergarten students, day students and boarding students.

Subscribe to our Newsletter