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Ugandan graduates from university with first class degree after chance meeting with British teenager

A Ugandan student has graduated from Bangor University with a first class degree after a British teenager helped him escape ‘extreme poverty’.

Julius Muyombya was 11 and earning 70p-a-day as a litter picker when Christina Ramsay saw him while she was on an outreach programme in the capital Kampala.

The then 18-year-old sixth-former at the independent St David’s College in Llandudno saw the ‘sparky’ Julius and told her teacher back home ‘this boy has to come to Wales’.

Julius Muyombya was 11 and earning 70p-a-day as a litter picker when Christina Ramsay (pictured together at his graduation last month) saw him while she was on an outreach programme in the capital Kampala

The then 18-year-old sixth-former at the independent St David's College in Llandudno saw the 'sparky' Julius (pictured as a child) and told her teacher back home 'this boy has to come to Wales'

The then 18-year-old sixth-former at the independent St David’s College in Llandudno saw the ‘sparky’ Julius (pictured as a child) and told her teacher back home ‘this boy has to come to Wales’

Julius and his six siblings were adopted by his grandmother Tereza Nassuna (pictured together) when he was four, after his parents split

He had been living in a house that leaked when it rain and was without water or electricity

Julius (right) and his six siblings were adopted by his grandmother Tereza Nassuna (left, together) when he was four, after his parents split. He had been living in a house that leaked when it rain and was without water or electricity

Ms Ramsay persuaded her £33,000-a-year boarding school to let Julius in for free on an expenses-paid sponsorship in 2010.

She also raised £5,000 to build her new friend a family home, with many of the residents of the coastal city of Katwa – where Julius grew up – living in cramped wooden and scrap metal huts.

Despite Julius speaking little English he started his new life thanks to donations from ten families in Llandudno, known as Friends of Julius, and the work of college chaplain Reverend Tim Hall.

Julius at his graduation

Ms Ramsay persuaded her £33,000-a-year boarding school to let Julius (pictured with college chaplain Reverend Tim Hall) in for free on an expenses-paid sponsorship in 2010

Ms Ramsay persuaded her £33,000-a-year boarding school to let Julius (pictured with college chaplain Reverend Tim Hall) in for free on an expenses-paid sponsorship in 2010

Julius lived with members of the group while taking his GCSEs, before sixth form and then Bangor University, where he graduated with a first class degree in business and law last month.

Julius, now 22, told the Mirror: ‘It is a dream come true. This couldn’t have been possible without the support of those who have been there for me since day one.

‘Christina was terrified by what she saw when she visited Uganda. I owe her so much. Meeting her changed my life.’

Julius (right, as a child) said he felt 'tough mentally and physically' when he flew into a rainy Heathrow, before heading to Anglesey and starting at St David's College

Julius (right, as a child) said he felt ‘tough mentally and physically’ when he flew into a rainy Heathrow, before heading to Anglesey and starting at St David’s College

Julius and his six siblings were adopted by his grandmother Tereza Nassuna when he was four, after his parents split.

He had been living in a house that leaked when it rain and was without water or electricity.

To make a living he sold sweetcorn his grandmother made or cleared rubbish, with Julius saying the memories of it make him cry.

To make a living he sold sweetcorn his grandmother made or cleared rubbish, with Julius saying the memories of it make him cry (pictured in their house)

To make a living he sold sweetcorn his grandmother made or cleared rubbish, with Julius saying the memories of it make him cry (pictured in their house)

He added: ‘To be where I am now is a miracle.’

Julius said he felt ‘tough mentally and physically’ when he flew into a rainy Heathrow, before heading to Anglesey and starting at St David’s College.

He said as a 13-year-old he found Wales ‘the most beautiful place I’d seen’ and was impressed by the countryside and mountains.

Julius had only been to school occasionally in Kampala but came out of St David's with eight GCSEs at grade C or higher. He won a national award for his BTEC business diploma while in sixth form, which secured a scholarship at Bangor University in 2016 (pictured at graduation with  Rev Tim Hall, second left, and Christina Ramsay, left)

Julius had only been to school occasionally in Kampala but came out of St David’s with eight GCSEs at grade C or higher. He won a national award for his BTEC business diploma while in sixth form, which secured a scholarship at Bangor University in 2016 (pictured at graduation with  Rev Tim Hall, second left, and Christina Ramsay, left)

But he did struggle with the dramatic change in food, culture and climate, with the vast quantities of grub available being new to him.

Before arriving, he also admitted the only thing he knew about the country was that his treasured Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey was from there.

Julius had only been to school occasionally in Kampala but came out of St David’s with eight GCSEs at grade C or higher.

Julius has returned to Uganda (pictured in Kampala during an outreach programme in 2015) in a bid to help people living in poverty in shanty towns

Julius has returned to Uganda (pictured in Kampala during an outreach programme in 2015) in a bid to help people living in poverty in shanty towns

He won a national award for his BTEC business diploma while in sixth form, which secured a scholarship at Bangor University in 2016.

All this time he was still backed by Friends of Julius – who raised £50,000 overall – and helped fund his living allowance and international student fees.

Ms Ramsay, 29, who is now a nurse and a mother of two in Afonwen, said: ‘He has turned into the most amazing man who has taken every opportunity. I’m lost for words.’

Julius has returned to Uganda in a bid to help people living in poverty in shanty towns.

He wants to go into politics to help end extreme poverty – and is on a graduate programme with BDO, the international accountancy firm.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk