Okello Sam

Okello Sam, a former child soldier in Uganda, purchased land in 1998 in an area safe from the country’s brutal civil war and started Hope North, a large rural campus for refugees, orphans and former soldiers. Almost 15 years later, Hope North has evolved into an accredited secondary school with an international arts center, vocational training and a working farm. 

While walking to school at age 16, Okello and a group of other kids were abducted into the rebel army of the now defunct UNLA. Roughly two-years after his abduction, Okello escaped during a battle and eventually made his way to Kampala, Uganda where he lived with relatives and finished his education, becoming a dance and theater artist. At the Clinton School, he discusses his abduction, escape, rehabilitation and his reasons for founding Hope North.