MY SUCCESSES

 

"Bekunda Sunday" Crowdfunding Campaign

 

In 2013, during my first year of college, I stumbled upon a newspaper article about a Ugandan student named Bekunda Sunday. Bekunda was in the middle of his Tourism degree when he was kidnapped and brought to Kenya. There he was captive, along with other young men and women, forced to prostitute himself, act in pornographic movies, to rape, and be raped. He and the other captives were constantly beaten up, threatened with death, and force fed erectile enhancement drugs. After around two months of captivity and an estimated 400 sexual partners, he was able to escape and flee back to Uganda where he eventually contacted news agencies and NGOs to tell his story.

One of the media outlets to pick up the story was Radio Netherlands Worldwide. A quick google check revealed to me that there were no programs set up to help and allow him to finish his degree, so I connected with the RNW editors who gratefully passed my contact info to Bekunda. A few months later he helped me set up an Indiegogo campaign where I managed to collect almost 800 Euros to donate to him, alongside around 500 Euros I collected from shops, friends, and companies in my surroundings.

Today Bekunda is the proud owner of a Bachelor's degree in Tourism and has a job he enjoys. We still are in touch.

 

Musical "Career"

 

When I was a teenager, I had a pretty successful rock band with a few friends of mine. Apart from playing the drums, my job was to manage the everyday questions and problems: I was in charge of organising practice rooms, new concerts, recording studios, money, and so on. I consider this time one of the best episodes of my life, with the success of managing and achievements of the band. One memorable achievement being when we won a major regional youth rockband competition against groups that were older and more experienced than several of us combined. We had concerts in the Batschkapp in Frankfurt/Germany, a club that hosts international artists and we published a professional music video.

 

Valerio Montanari

 

Journalist

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