Discovering My Seed of Purpose | Harvesting Hope at Nakivale Refugee Settlement | by Tayebwa Philips | Inspiring Story #194 -

Discovering My Seed of Purpose | Harvesting Hope at Nakivale Refugee Settlement | by Tayebwa Philips | Inspiring Story #194


 When Tayebwa Philips came into the world, he carried within him an unseen purpose. As he ran through his family's plantations, he was unaware of what awaited - a life-changing encounter that would touch countless hearts. Explore his remarkable journey, and be inspired to uncover your own hidden seed of purpose.

Every person is born with a seed of purpose in their heart. This seed grows gently within us, often unnoticed, until one day, something big happens in your life. Suddenly, that little seed shoots, and you are called to answer your purpose.

I am Tayebwa Philips, 32 years old, from Western Uganda. And this happened to me.

Growing up, I lived with my father, mother, and nine siblings. Life was good, filled with peace and freedom. My happiest memories are of me working on our family banana plantation. The wind whooshed through banana leaves, bringing a fresh scent of earthly green. I loved digging in the garden, touching the soil, and planting yams, cassava, maize, and beans with my bare hands.

Nurturing the Seed of Purpose

My father, a kind man, taught me the value of living in harmony with everyone around us, including our neighbors and those from other tribes. Some of my agemate friends lacked school fees. I’d bring them to our plantation, teach what I’d learned in school, and then we’d play all afternoon.

Our days would end with the sky lit up bright white as the sun set over our plantation. There was no stress, just the freshness of healthy plants in the air and the warm love of family and friends.

Little did I know that my seed of purpose was being nurtured within.

Every person is born with a seed of purpose in their heart... Suddenly, that little seed shoots, and you are called to answer your purpose.

My parents recognized the value of education and sent me to university to study social work and humanities. The aim was to prepare me to promote social change, development, and the liberation of people.

Awakening to Purpose

One windy day, a friend invited me to tour Nakivale Refugee Settlement. I had no idea about refugee life. Children, elderly men, and women wore rags and walked dirt roads barefoot, their homes nothing but tents. I felt sorry observing how people lived. Eyes cast low, as miserable as the sky was windy black.

That night, images of the settlement whirled through my mind like a restless wind. The stark contrast between my childhood and the life of families in Nakivale struck me deeply. The wind, once a playful rustle through banana leaves, now carried the weight of dusty despair. I felt a nudging in my heart. My purpose seed had suddenly sprouted, and I was ready to answer the call.

The following morning, I returned to the settlement, where I started volunteering in various areas -  health education, livelihood skills, and psychosocial support.

Planting the Seeds of Change

Slowly, slowly, I expanded my efforts, and within five years, my tiny seed of purpose had grown into a whole team of volunteers - teachers, nurses, counselors, community leaders, and trainers.

In August 2022, we reached a significant milestone with the establishment of Healing Health Healing Hearts (HHHH), aiming to extend our reach and impact through training in permaculture design courses, trauma and addiction counselling, and livelihood skills.

Our current focus is on addressing food security for the growing number of refugees in Nakivale, now home to around 170,000 people. So far, in partnership with Nicola Kench of Groundswell Ecosystems, we've developed a 2-acre organic farm. This project, funded through a GoFundMe campaign, teaches self-sufficient, organic farming, free from chemicals and in harmony with nature.

Cultivating Hope

Today, as we continue to expand the permaculture project in Nakivale, there’s a feeling of hope in the air.

I see dear Miburo Tomath and Murindangabo amongst other families who’ve grown in strength and wisdom, knowing that as a community, they can fight hunger and become self-sufficient. No longer tormented by trauma and addiction of the past, they are busy, partaking in meaningful work growing vegetables like cabbages, dodo, spinach, green pepper, tomatoes. And, of course, bananas.


We still have much to do and challenges to face, like enriching the soil, accessing enough tools for all to prepare and work the land, and transportation costs.

But together we stand, united by the belief that every person has a seed of purpose waiting to sprout.

Harvesting Dreams

Through Healing Health Healing Hearts (HHHH), we extend our hands and hearts, inviting others to join our project. Because together, we grow stronger. Together, we grow, separate, not as much.

We hold fast to the belief that happiness is not a luxury reserved for the privileged few—it is our birthright, freely accessible to all who dare to dream and toil for a better tomorrow.

May our journey inspire you to embrace your own seeds of purpose, and join us in nurturing ours, for in unity, there is strength, and in hope, there is infinite possibility for every person on the planet.


Meet Tayebwa Philips

Greetings, I am Tayebwa Philips, a 32-year-old native of Western Uganda, specifically Sheema-Kitagata. I am the Founder and C.E.O of Healing Health Healing Hearts, a Non-Profit Organization.

HHHH was established with a clear mission: to provide training and support to vulnerable communities, both locally and beyond. Through partnerships and collaborative efforts, we aim to address a range of issues, including trauma healing, addiction recovery, permaculture design and livelihood, and sustainable living skills.

While I serve as the Founder and CEO of HHHH, I am fortunate to collaborate with dedicated individuals like Nicola Kench, Director of Groundswell Ecosystems CIC

Our latest endeavor involves the establishment of a 2-acre organic permaculture farm, aimed at bolstering food security within our community. This project represents a significant step toward achieving our long-term goals of self-sufficiency and resilience.

I am deeply grateful for the support of individuals like you who share our vision for positive change. If you feel compelled to contribute to our cause, please consider donating to our GoFundMe campaign. Your generosity will enable us to continue our vital work and empower those in need.

Rest assured, we are committed to transparency and accountability in our operations. Every donation we receive is carefully tracked and used to support those in need in our community. We believe in the power of transparent money to create meaningful change and build trust among our supporters.

Thank you for joining us on this journey of compassion and transformation. Together, we can build a brighter future for all.

Donate Here:

Contact Me via Facebook: Philips Tayebwa  and Healing Health Healing Hearts  
Contact:  Nicola Kench, Director, Groundswell Ecosystems CIC

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Share the Inspiration
  • Richard Lowe says:

    Yours is a very inspiring story. Thanks for bringing some facts and experiences in Africa to light.

  • Kelly Bolen says:

    Wow! What an amazing person. I could not imagine what it has taken for him to accomplish what he has. With such a giving and pure heart, he has touched the lives of so many. God bless him on this amazing journey!

  • This is so inspiring. I always believed that one should live a purposeful life.

  • Ebony says:

    This is such a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing! I will absolutely donate to the GoFundMe!

  • God bless you for sharing stories like this.

  • Hannah Bures says:

    This was truly heartfelt and touching. It is amazing to see the growth and change that is taking place!

  • Leanne says:

    I am so inspired right now! We need more people like you in the world.

  • Beth says:

    This is absolutely amazing! I love to see stories of people out there making the world a better place like this!

  • Your journey of discovering purpose through the Harvest Hope Permaculture Project is truly inspiring! It’s amazing how you’ve found fulfillment and meaning by connecting with nature and nurturing the land. Your dedication to sustainability and community empowerment is commendable, and your story serves as a reminder of the transformative power of purpose-driven work. Keep shining your light and inspiring others along the way!

  • I loved reading about Tayebwa Philps’ story about discovering his purpose! As a mother of 9, I hope that my children discover their seed of purpose as Tayebawa has and can make a great difference in the world.

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