Manuel Pinto Memorial Scholarship Fund

The Bright Kids Foundation USA and Bright Kids Uganda announce the development of a fund for post-secondary education (university, technical college or professional/technical training) to support Bright Kids Uganda graduates who have completed their residence in Bright Kids Group Home in Entebbe Uganda and have finished their primary and secondary education.  The fund is intended to commemorate the life of the Honorable Manuel Xavier Pinto, Uganda civic, business and political leader and co-founder of Bright Kids Uganda.  This fund is established with the support of Manuel Pinto’s widow, Marie Pinto and her children, Martin, Manuella and Michel Pinto.  Please read below for his amazing story.

CONTRIBUTE TO THE MANUEL PINTO MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP FUND

To contribute internationally, CLICK HERE to access the Bright Kids Uganda (USA) Foundation Paypal account.  Remember to type Manuel Pinto Fund in the comments section.

In Uganda send your donation to Victoria Nalongo: President and Founder Bright Kids  Uganda.  Email: nalongo56@gmail.com. Phone: +256 772 403304. By mail: P.O. Box 31535, Clocktower, Kampala, Uganda.

BIOGRAPHY

Manuel X Pinto, was born 25th December 1942. He was born in the small village of Nazareth and raised in Rakai District in the Masaka region of Uganda. He held a Diploma in Education and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in addition to professional certificates in Parliamentary Legislative Procedures and Practice, Teaching, Aviation Weather, Flight Dispatch, industrial Fire and Safety, Petroleum Operations Management, and Aviation Management Policy and Procedures.

Pinto served as a teacher from 1960-1966 in various schools in Uganda including the Aga Khan School in Masaka. In 1967 he was appointed Station Manager of Trans World Airlines based at Entebbe, the first Ugandan to hold that position in Africa’s Aviation Industry. He coordinated, on behalf of the Airline Operators’ Committee, the integral construction plans of the Airline Operators at the airport runway, taxiway and parking apron and hydrant fuel system at the then new Entebbe Airport, together with Ministry of Works and East African Directorate of Civil Aviation.

Manuel Pinto with Aga Khan Masaka Teachers in December of 1966.

Manuel Pinto with Aga Khan Masaka Teachers in December of 1966.

From 1971-1977 he was the Operations Manager of Esso Standard Uganda Limited, an affiliate of Exxon Corporation based in Kampala and the first Ugandan to hold that position.  He also coordinated, on behalf of Petroleum Companies, the construction of the Joint Jet-fuel Storage and Hydrant System. 1995-1971.

After being arrested and threatened with imprisonment or death under Idi Amin, he was exiled for 10 yrs. in Kenya (1977-1987) participating in the democratization struggle to fight against dictatorial and military regimes in Uganda.  While in exile, he operated an import/export and transport company dealing in petro-chemicals under Chemsphere Agencies as its Managing Director.

On his return from exile, he entered politics and served 12 years as an elected representative of the people in Uganda’s Legislature from 1989 to 2001; first as a member of the National Resistance Council (1989-1995); Member of the National Executive Committee (1989-1995); and Member of the Constituent Assembly. He served as Minister of State for Internal Affairs (1993-1995) and Member of Parliament under the new constitution (1995-2001) representing Kakuto County of Rakai District.  Concurrent with Legislative duties, he was the Director General of Uganda Aids Commission from 1992-1994.

Parliamentary Delegation in the September 22-26, 2003.Pintois in the back far right.

Parliamentary Delegation in the September 22-26, 2003.
Pintois in the back far right.

Pinto worked for the Parliamentary Commission as Coordinator of Planning and Development of Uganda’s Parliament from 2004 to 2009 where he was charged with the responsibility for coordinating implementation of the Parliamentary Strategic Investment and Development Plan which was developed jointly with Government of Uganda, USAID, DFID, NORAD, SIDA, Irish Aid and UNDP to strengthen the institution’s of Uganda’s Parliament.

Manuel Pinto was an active member of Rotary Club since 1972, inducted into Rotary Club of Kampala, was the Charter President of the Rotary Club of Muyenga and was a Paul Harris Rotary Fellow. He was a recipient of the R.I President citation. He was a lifetime advocate of the Scouting movement. He joined scouting as a junior cub at age 7, progressed to the Chief Scout of Uganda and had previously the Chairman of Africa Committee and member of the World Scout Movement. He was honored with the African Elephant Award and the Bronze Wolf Award, both the highest in Africa and the World Scout Movement. He was also engaged in various Community Based Organizations concerned with HIV/AIDS prevention and also Rural Community Development.  He was a founder member of the Orphans Community Based Organization, the Human Care Alliance for Refugees and Uganda Community based Association for Children. He was a recipient of the Uganda NGO Forum meritorious award for support and dedication to voluntarism. He was chairman of the NGO Code of Honor, the NGO Quality Assurance Certification mechanism.

Manuel Pinto in Chief Scout Uniform in about 2005.

Manuel Pinto in Chief Scout Uniform in about 2005.

In 2000, Manuel Pinto worked with Victoria Nalongo Namusisi to establish Bright Kids Uganda, a group home that now cares for and supports educationally 68 Uganda children. Namusisi and Pinto were both influenced by the ideals of the Scouting movement and used it as a model in their approach to the education and development of children.

Pinto participated in an external Election Observation Mission (with the U.S. based Carter Center) during the conflict culminating in Charles Taylor’s Presidency. He was also an observer in Mozambique under UNOMOZ during the conflict over President Joachim Chissano’s first election and he participated in Nigeria’s pre-election assessment and as an Election Observer in the first Military to civilian transitional election after Gen. Obasenjo under the International Republican Institute, Washington DC.

Manuel Pinto died in a tragic accident on Monday 14 April 2008. According to a Uganda newspaper at the time of his death, “Pinto lives on in both small and great things on that murram road in Kyotera (Rokai), which leads to the home of the late Gideon Kivumbi, the man believed to be the first Ugandan to die of AIDS in November 1982. The road has been named Pinto Road. He still lives on in the hearts of the hundreds of thousands of people whose families were devastated by the AIDS pandemic in the early 1990s. Then, society shunned not only those infected, but their families as well. Pinto, who was resolute in sending teams across the country with the good news that AIDS was not transmitted by caring for the sick or supporting their families, helped change that myth.”

Manuel Pinto is best known for his work on HIV/AIDs. It was Pinto who organized the first house-to-house survey on orphans in Rakai district, an area in Uganda which was most devastated by AIDS. The survey revealed that there were about 40,000 orphans who had lost parents to AIDS at that time. Coming from Rakai meant that he had encountered the epidemic much earlier than most.  It was, therefore, not surprising when he became the first director-general of the Uganda AIDS Commission in 1992. According to NewVision newspaper, he was instrumental in defining and finding ways of fighting HIV/AIDS in Rakai district according to the Rakai district chairman, Vincent Ssemakula Ssettuba.  Manuel X. Pinto’s legacy of supporting HIV/AIDS work in Uganda was cemented on Wednesday December 2, 2009 when MildMay Uganda,  a pioneering HIV charity delivering quality care and treatment, prevention work, rehabilitation, 
training and health systems strengthening in sub-Saharan Africa, named a portion of the facility Honorable Manuel Pinto Village in recognition of the contributions he made to the initiation of Mildmay.  The presence of his wife Marie and son Martin at the dedication, officiated by his excellency, the Vice President of the republic of Uganda, Gilbert Bukenya, was requested to demonstrate the importance he played in transforming the lives of those affected by HIV in Uganda and worldwide. Manuel Pinto’s widow recieved a posthumous award from his excellency, the President of the Republic of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, during the 10th anniversary celebration for his efforts in seeing Mildmay’s work being initiated in Uganda in the early 90’s.  

CONTRIBUTE TO THE MANUEL PINTO MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP FUND

To contribute internationally, CLICK HERE to access the Bright Kids Uganda (USA) Foundation Paypal account.  Remember to type Manuel Pinto Fund in the comments section.

In Uganda send your donation to Victoria Nalongo: President and Founder Bright Kids  Uganda.  Email: nalongo56@gmail.com. Phone: +256 772 403304. By mail: P.O. Box 31535, Clocktower, Kampala, Uganda.

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Posted January 7, 2013 by Victoria Nalongo

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