Richard Semapala does not know when his birthday is. He does not know who his parents are, and he can only speculate as to which city he was born in. Yet he has committed his life to giving a future filled with hope to those often referred to as “hopeless”.
Shortly after his birth, Richard was abandoned in the streets of Uganda (likely Kampala), and it was his fellow street children that gave hope to this tiny babe. These children nourished and provided for baby Richard until he was found and adopted by Rev. Kefa Ssempangi.
In 2004, years after being rescued from the streets, Richard Semapala decided to commit his own life to giving hope to the hopeless. Still living in Kampala, Richard left his job as a high school computer teacher and founded the Africa Life Youth Foundation (ALYF), an organization that has not only established an orphanage that now cares for over 300 children, but has also committed to reaching out to high school and university students, supporting them through seemingly overwhelming life circumstances.
The Africa Life Youth Foundation has made one of its primary focuses exposing the truth about abortion, as it is estimated that there are 297,000 abortions every year in Uganda. Richard has given numerous presentations at universities, high schools, and community centres throughout Uganda exposing the humanity of pre-born children and the inhumanity of abortion, and many of the 300 children who live at ALYF’s orphanage are living testaments to his work.
And Richard’s work has not been restricted to Uganda’s national borders either; he has also answered the call from neighboring countries such as Rwanda, where the government recently approved legislation that legalized abortions in cases of rape, forced marriage, and incest, believing this to be a step towards improving women’s health and advancement in women’s rights. Through his talks and ministry at one of the universities in Rwanda, Richard was able to show the students that though rape, incest, forced marriage truly are all grave injustices, abortion can never right these wrongs, and can not be considered the solution.
May Richard’s work with the African youth, both born and pre-born, continue to be a beacon of hope and inspiration not only for those he helps directly, but for each of us as well